How much was $1 in £?
Updated: Jun 6
Between the 1880s and 1967, official currencies used by the Selangor State Government were initially a variety of silver dollars; Mexican Dollar being the most popular (up to 1895), followed by British Trade Dollar (1895-1899), Straits Settlements Government Notes (1889-1903), Straits Dollar (1903-1939), Malayan Dollar (1940-1942; 1945-1953) - briefly replaced with Japanese Dollar during the Japanese Occupation (1942-1945) and Malaya & British Borneo Dollar (1954-1967). One of the indents issued to the Crown Agents in 1906 by AB Hubback calculates the exchange rate to be $1 straits dollar to 2s. 4d. pound sterling. This rate was in fact pegged in February 1906 and was retained up to 1967.
ANM 19570139953 [year 1906]: The total cost for collapsible gates ordered for Masjid Jamek was £8 15s. 7d., equivalent to $75.25 Straits Dollars (exchange rate $1 to 2s.4d). Based on the UK Inflation Calculator, the value of this amount is comparable to about £980 in 2019.
The table below presents the exchange rates used by the Selangor Government when dealing with Crown Agents - the sole agency that managed materials imported into FMS/Malaya. These rates were announced by the Secretary to FMS Resident-General quarterly. Official exchange rates for salaries, on the other hand, were announced monthly by the FMS Financial Commissioner. The average annual market exchange rate is included as a comparison.