Money in 19th and 20th Century

19th and 20th Century Money, in millions Source: Figures for coins, silver and greenbacks are estimated from 1980 – 2010. Source: US Statistical Abstract and Federal Reserve Bank
You can see that the money supply was somewhat steady until about 1970. In fact, it was tough to inflate. The money was fixed to silver and gold. We needed to dig it out of the ground, so there was a natural limit on currency inflation. If there were too much silver in the economy, it would find its way overseas in exchange for silk, tea, spices, and other goods. There is no such limit to paper money, especially in the computer age.