Be that as it may (or may, in your opinion, not) that's not what I'm hear to talk about. Looking up the design of the new twenty (one spoof version has her pointing away from the viewer and onward with a revolver in her left hand while beckoning the onlooker to follow with her right hand, an image I totally support, a great big finger in the eye to racists, sexists and those who would disarm citizens), I discovered some of the earliest modern Federal notes, 1896 gen-u-ine Silver Certificates rather than "trust-me" FRNs, with the best set of themes I have yet seen on money:
The $1 bill shows History Instructing Youth -- in the functioning of the Federal Government. "Youth" looks to be of grade-school age. What's a Mutant Ninja Turtle or a Skywalker against James Madison? The flip side gives us not merely George Washington but Martha Washington as well, in engravings of equal size and gravitas; remind me again how real women never, ever showed up on Federal paper money 'til last Wednesday?
The bills get better from there: the $2 (dammit, we need more twos!), as Treasury puts it, "uses classical themes and allegory to portray Science Presenting Steam and Electricity to Industry and Commerce." Steam and Electricity being promising-looking kids, Industry and Commerce are young mothers, and Science is a slightly more mature woman. (Oh, those sexist 19th-Centry menfolk and their disregard of the value and influence of women!)
If that's not sufficiently technopositive, the $5 gives us "Electricity Presenting Light To The World," in a Classical tableau with sufficient artsy nekkidness that the T-men blushingly demur sharing it. One short websearch later, I find you can buy it as a poster, you lecher. Even the flip side (which Nanny Fed.Gov does share), with a double-bill of Phil Sheridan and
Now that right there is Money With A Message, and for once, it's not, "We sure used to be hot stuff." I'd sure like to see more in that line today. Where's the Private Rocketry series of 2016? The Pocket Computing 2010 bills? ...Oh, right, that geek stuff's not all that exciting anymore, I guess. And the Energy Independence Through Fracking 2007 FRNs would be just too, too controversial....
At least we got Harriet Tubman!
* This, like my phrase "The Civil War Between The States," is meant to please no one while stifling side-issue debate over terminology: you got your preferred wording plus some extra, so sit down and shaddup.
† Thanks to Fuzzy for the correction on the $5!.