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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Touring the Bureau of Printing & Engraving in Washington, D.C.

When Eric and I were planning our trip in Washington, D. C., I emailed my U.S. Representative, Paul Tonko, to request tickets for tours.   A date and time for a tour of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving was arranged.

Banners at the Bureau of Printing
& Engraving celebrate Japan's gift 
of Cherry Trees in 1912.

The visitors entrance to the
Bureau of Printing &

Tickets for tours are also available at Raoul Wallenburg Place.  

Before automation, money
was printed by hand.

It was a laborious process.

Paper money needs to be durable.  The Bureau of Printing and Engraving turned to automation to test their bills ability to stand up to months and years of use.

circa 1920, folded and refolded
bills up to 4,000 times to test

$1,000,000.00 in Ten Dollar
Bills is over two feet tall.

Eric & me with an over-sized
$100.00 bill.

Photos are not allowed during the tour.  These photos are from the internet.

Money isn't printed in just one day.  The back of bills is printed and the bills sit for three days for the ink to dry.  The front of the bills are then printed.  Still, the bills are incomplete.  A separate process adds the Treasury Seal and Treasury Secretary's signature.  

Sheets of freshly
printed money.

I call this step, "money fluffing."

Bills are sent through a machine for automated inspection.  Perfect bills continue into machines to be precisely cut.

Bills are sorted into stacks
which will be bundled
& sent to Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve Banking system was created to help stabilize the economy and reduce the boom and bust cycles that plagued the US economy in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

This central banking system was planned at Jeckyll Island, off the coast of Georgia in 1912 by Nelson AldrichA. Piatt AndrewHenry DavisonArthur SheltonFrank Vanderlip and Paul Warburg.

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