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Museum Minute Vol. 6 – Bureau of Engraving and Printing

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Museum Minute is written by Elle O’Flaherty. Elle lives in Mt. Pleasant and previously wrote about Federal Government Museums.

Fun fact I learned on my tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing: Every 1 in 200 bills is actually a replacement for the original that wasn’t up to snuff in the printing process.  If you look closely, a replacement bill has a tiny, green star at the end of its serial number indicating that it’s a redo.  Monday through Friday BEP offers free tours of their printing facilities at 14th & C St., SW (head to the 15th St. side to pick-up your tickets before entering on 14th).  The tour takes less than an hour and kids as well as adults will love it.  Along with interesting historical facts, they showed us the new $100 bills debuting in October.  They look great with a lot more blue and a slightly three dimensional embedded strip. Nothing, however, beats the gift shop.  Who doesn’t want a pencil made of shredded money? Or, if you’re a high roller, you can get sheets of uncut bills that would make incredible, albeit expensive, wallpaper.  My one piece of advice is not to make the “do you give out samples?” joke.  Dude, it’s been done.

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