Banknotes didn’t always look so neat. The first form of banknotes was made from papyrus or leather, and it was in the form of a promissory note. So, it was similar to a check that promises an individual that he will be paid a certain amount of gold or silver coins. Usually, promissory notes were issued by the government. Experts differ on which civilization was the first to use promissory notes, but it was either the Chinese or the Romans.
Merchants started keeping gold and silver in banks so as not to be the target of thieves.
The first bank was a Swedish one in 1661, and the main reason was that the Swedish Krona was so heavy that it became impractical to carry. However, the first bank to issue actual banknotes, not promissory notes, was the Bank of England in 1795, and the first version was handwritten.
In Egypt, the paper version of the Egyptian pound was first printed in 1899 by the National bank of Egypt.