A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 23, 2012
“Mind your business” (business proverb)

Entry in progress—B.P.

“Mind your business” was called an “Eleventh Commandment” in the early 1800s.


Wikipedia: Fugio cent
On April 21, 1787, the Continental Congress of the United States authorized a design for an official penny, later referred to as the Fugio cent because of its image of the sun shining down on a sundial with the caption, “Fugio” (Latin: I flee/fly). This coin was reportedly designed by Benjamin Franklin; as a reminder to its holders, he put at its bottom the message, “Mind Your Business”. The image and the words form a rebus meaning that time flies, do your work. This design was also used on the “Continental dollar” (issued as coins of unknown real denomination, and in paper notes of different fractional denominations) in February 1776.

Some historians believe that the word “business” was intended literally here, as Franklin was an influential and successful businessman. Given Franklin’s history publishing aphorisms, it may have been intended to mean both monetary and social business.

The reverse side of both the 1776 coins and paper notes, and the 1787 coins, bore the third motto “We Are One” (in English) surrounded by thirteen chain links, representing the original thirteen colonial states.

Google Books
Miscellanies. The Tenth Volume.
By Jonathan Swift
London: Printed for R. Dodsley in Pall-mall
1745
Pg. 88:
Therefore sit down and be quiet, and mind your Business, as you do, and contract your Friendships, and expect no inore from Man than such an Animal is capable of, and you will every Day find my Description of Yahoes more resembling.
(Letter to Dr. Sheridan, dated Sept. 11, 1725—ed.)

28 July 1787, Providence (RI) Gazette, pg. 3, col. 1:
The UNITED STATES, in CONGRESS
Assembled, July 6, 1787.
RESOLVED, That the Board of Treasury direct the Contractor for the Copper Coinage, to stamp on one side of each piece the following device, viz.—Thirteen Circles linked together, a small circle in the middle, with the words, “United States,” round it, and in the centre, the words, “We are One;”—on the other side of the same piece the following devices, viz. A dial with the hours expressed on the face of it, a meridian sun above, on one side of which is to be the word “Fugio,” and on the other, the year in figures, “17 7,” below the dial, the words, “mind your business.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Monday, January 23, 2012 • Permalink