"I have one pound seventeen here, and two and six at the office"
An English Penny from an 1899 Book by Herbert Appold Grueber
Public DomainAn English Penny from an 1899 Book by Herbert Appold Grueber - Credit: Herbert Appold Grueber

Prior to decimalization in 1971, Britain used a system of pounds, shillings and pence introduced by King Henry II. The currency was denoted '£sd' or 'LSD' (L latin word libra; d coming from the latin word denarius).

One pound equalled 20 shillings and one shilling equalled twelve pennies. A guinea was 21 shillings. Two and six, abbreviated 2s 6d, was half a crown; a crown was five shillings. According to the National Archives, one pound seventeen in 1890 would have had the same purchasing power today as £112.29 (around $173). Two and six back in 1890 would be worth £7.49 today (around $11.60).