Sunday, July 13, 2014

Macerated Money Souvenirs Landmarks of Washington

Souvenir buildings have been produced in a variety of materials. One of the most unusual has to be macerated money. Because it's the home of the U.S. Treasury, Washington, D.C. Landmarks are primarily represented.  The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Capital, and the White House have all been molded from worn-out currency that has been chopped up. Other items made of shredded bills include postcards, shoes, medallions, axes, presidential busts, top hats, and more. Paper currency did not come into general use until the Civil War. An act of Congress in 1862 authorized the Treasury Department to come up with a method for destroying old paper notes that were no longer fit for circulate. Between 1874 and 1942, the Federal Reserve disposed of worn-out currency by soaking it into a pulp. Enterprising people, who may have been early recyclers, discovered that the pulp could be used like papier-mache to form shapes. Souvenir companies bought macerated paper by the ton and the graded greenbacks were reborn. The process was discontinued when the Federal Reserve started burning old bills. Sometimes, the item was labeled with how much money was used to make the piece such as,  "Made of U.S. National Greenbacks redeemed and macerated at the U.S. Treasury, estimated $5,000."

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