The money in the furnace

[22.04.2020 22:26:15]

Money of the First World War and the Civil War epoch are exhibited in the museum. In one of the showcases, there is a furnace and stacks of money: royal money, money of the Provisional Government, the first Soviet banknotes and others. Burnt banknotes are also can be seen.

Indeed, there was a period in Russian history when money depreciated so much that it was more profitable to fire up the furnace with money than to buy firewood.

During the Civil War, prices skyrocketed so that in 1922 all prices were in millions and billions of rubles. The habitants called themselves "millionaires" with was a bitter irony. Ten eggs cost 7 thousand rubles, women's boots - 10 million rubles. At such prices, banknotes turned into low-value paper.

One of the most expensive goods was firewood. After the revolution, there was a fuel crisis in the country, the wood cost fabulous money. In 1921, firewood cost 1,200,000 rubles. Furniture and books were used for heating houses. "Previously, houses were heated with furnaces, but now the furnaces are heated with houses", joking at that time. These furnances warmed up quickly and could heat a small room, but they cooled down quickly. To spend precious wood was expensive. Only the financial reform, which started in 1922, could stabilize the situation with such depreciation of money.

Such inflation happened not only in Soviet Russia. Hyperinflation also broke out in Germany in the early 1920s, making money cheaper than wood and coal. There went banknotes worth a trillion marks, and prices for a month increased by 1000 times. And the largest bill in history was a sextillion (one billion trillion) pence, issued in 1946 - during hyperinflation in Hungary.