old english banknotes

Old English Banknotes

Adam Smith Twenty Pound Note

Adam Smith Twenty Pound Note

This is an Adam Smith Twenty Pound Note with serial serial BB58817951 on Series F.

It has been signed by Andrew Bailey, Chief Cashier 2004 to 1st April 2011

These notes were issued on 13th March 2007 and are withdrawn from circulation on 30th September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II (1926 – 2022) is the monarch pictured on this £20 note

Adam Smith Twenty Pound Note Rear

Adam Smith Twenty Pound Note rear

The words printed on the rear of this Adam Smith Twenty Pound Note are:

The division of labour in pin manufacturing: and the great increase in the quantity of work that results

Adam Smith 1723 – 1790

division of labour

The division of labour that Adam Smith is referring to in the printing on the £20 note is about job specialisation. This job specialisation is common now but took a long time to get where we are now. You can see this division of labour in nearly every job. You are responsible for one part of the process, a co-worker is responsible for another part. The work is divided between the workers allowing each worker to specialise in their job.

Think of a factory producing widgets. There are pickers, packers, machine operators, store men, managers and a boss. Each worker has their own job or set of jobs but only does one at a time.

pin manufacturing

Adam Smiths example to explain the idea of division of labour and how it can improve production levels was in the manufacturing of pins. Something that now is done by a machine, was completed by by a single man. The division of labour could break the processes up and employ up to 10 men, each specialising in a part of making a pin. This method can increase productivity.

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