The Three Dollar Bill.... Once upon a time, banks all over the country issued their own currency. Even after the National Bank Act of 1863 imposed a 10 percent tax on such notes, many banks continued to make their own money . By 1935, the national banks had transferred this power to the Federal Reserve. Yet throughout most of this nation's history, bank-issued currency, now relegated to myriad numismatic collections, was as legal a tender as any. The banks issued every denomination of paper money now in circulation, plus one: the three-dollar bill. Yes I do mean that the three dollar bill was actually, and those bills still would be if used, legal tender. Specific designs varied from bank to bank. But one design was used more than any other. That preeminent picture was, as on current currency, of someone. Someone you've known all your life. He appeared on the three-dollar bills issued by the Howard Banking Company of Boston and the Central Bank of Troy and the Pittsfield Bank and the White Mountain Bank--and by one Manhattan bank bearing the name of the man on the three-dollar bill: Anybody want to take a guess?