As the song goes “…sign a song of six pence….” But what exactly is it? A penny farthing is named for the largest and smallest coins in circulation at the time, but what is a farthing? And a shilling?
Well, for the answers to those questions, you’ll have to read the Wikipedia article on when the UK experienced decimalisation (or Decimalization in American English).
But why am I writing about this now? Well, the 15th of February 2011 will be the 40th anniversary of when the UK decimalized. If you’d like to read more about it, I would suggest starting with this recent BBC article.
On a side note, you’ll also find out why a 10d nail is called a 10 penny nail.
Image from duncan brown via flickr