The Commonwealth Bank and the Note Issue: 1920–1960
Currency Notes of the 1920s
The Monarchy figured prominently on our notes, starting with the 1923/24 series.
These notes were designed and printed by the Australian Note Printer, Thomas Harrison, who also printed the first series of notes. The 1923/24 series came to be known as the 'Harrison Series'.
They carried a profile of the Monarch (King George V) for the first time.
The gold mining scene on the first one pound note was replaced by an illustration of Captain Cook's landing at Botany Bay.
By the early 1920s, the importance of gold mining to the Australian economy had declined substantially. Mining overall accounted for little more than two per cent of national output.
The margins of the 10 shilling note were again overprinted in red with 'Half Sovereign' to help distinguish it from other denominations.
The plates for the 10 shilling and Â£1 notes were engraved before the sudden death of Sir Denison Miller, in June 1923, so that only those notes bore his signature.
Compared to our first currency notes, the new notes were smaller, and much more distinguishable by colour. The smaller notes meant six notes could fit on a print page rather than four, thereby increasing production by 50 per cent at little extra cost.
The representations of Australian economic life were unchanged from the first series, except for the one pound note.