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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • POUR IT ON: WWII POSTER

Old Money: 1914

Old Money: 1914

Washington, D.C., 1914. "Treasury Department -- Ofc. of U.S. Treasury -- second step in destruction of paper money. Machine cutting bills in halves." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

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I bet Jack Benny had

I bet Jack Benny had nightmares of this room.

Handy and Practical

I need one of those machines--with the way money piles up, how else can you deal with it?

It’s all for the better.

I didn’t care for the grouchy engraving of Salmon P. Chase either, so I got rid of my $10,000 bills the same way.

A tale of old money for new

Around 1924 a widow friend of my father's family moved into a tiny house in West Philadelphia. The house was a lowly place which suited her straitened means. She had four fatherless children and little hope, this being before the days of Social Security. One day in the attic above the stairs one of her sons found a box full of money! (The previous owner had died in the house, and must not have told anyone of his nest egg). It was about $1,000 of the old bills. -- She was thrilled, seeing at last some hope for her children and her future. But being old money, it seemed the banks would balk at exchanging it for new, and it would be considered worthless.

She approached my grandfather about what to do and he devised a plan where friends and family, just a few bills at a time, brought these old bills in to their local banks and had them changed for new, being just a few dollars at a time didn't cause consternation as a lump sum would have.

As a result, she bought the little house, bought her sons bicycles and later sent them to college. -- We always loved that story and especially its happy ending!

High Tech Security

Shearing the bills lengthwise provides "extra" security before they are burned. That's one impressive paper cutter as evidenced by the size of the electric motor under the table. The exposed electric connections on the motor probably met the "OSHA" requirements of the day of "common sense" and a stern warning on your first day of work of "don't touch that".

Not on board

Says the guy in back: "This is bogus, man...I could by a house with just one of those wads."

Watch out,

the boss is taking a go on Old Nailcutter for the press.

The gentleman in the apron (presumably the regular operator of the machine) does look kind of wary. Like all practical people look when a suit from the head office takes over for a photo op.

What is the first step?

How can the second step be to cut a bill in half?

Holy Crap!!!!

Look at the bare terminals on the big electric motor under the table.

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