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Blue plaque honour for dollar sign inventor Oliver Pollock

By Donna Deeney

Published 15/04/2016

Chris Spurr of the Ulster History Circle; Derry and Strabane mayor Elisha McCallion; US Consul General Daniel J Lawton, and James Kee of the Bready Ulster Scots Group at the unveiling
Chris Spurr of the Ulster History Circle; Derry and Strabane mayor Elisha McCallion; US Consul General Daniel J Lawton, and James Kee of the Bready Ulster Scots Group at the unveiling

The man credited with creating the dollar sign and helping fund the American War of Independence to the tune of £1bn in today's money was the 200th person to have a blue plaque erected in his honour.

Oliver Pollock was born in the Co Tyrone village of Bready - where the memorial was erected yesterday - in 1737 but left to find his fortune in America in 1760. He died in relative poverty in 1823, but not before he left an indelible mark in US history.

William Houston from the Ulster Historical Society said: "Oliver Pollock was one of the most successful traders in America in his day and was a wealthy merchant living in Philadelphia. He traded with the West Indies and used the Spanish peso.

"Pollock, using a form of shorthand, used a capital letter 'S' with the two lines through it for peso, which is still used today and is perhaps the most recognisable symbol in the world. And yet so few people know about the man behind it."

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