Pennies used to be a lot snarkier
Renaissance nerd Benjamin Franklin designed America’s first U.S. penny in 1787. Instead of E PLURIBUS UNUM, it was emblazoned with the motto: "MIND YOUR BUSINESS".
That eagle was a celebrity
The eagle on your money may have a name. From 1830 to 1836, a certain bird swooped into Philadelphia’s U.S. Mint building so often that workers named him “Peter the Mint Eagle,” cared for him, and allegedly used him as a model for coin engravings for years to come.
Pennies could bankrupt us
Today, it costs more than a penny to make a penny. According to the U.S. Mint, it costs them roughly 1.7 cents per coin. Here are some genius uses for all those spare pennies.
Your change makes the TSA wealthier
Change adds up fast. In 2015, the TSA collected $765,759.15 in loose change at airport security checkpoints across the country. They get to keep it all.
Paper money is not paper
U.S. paper money is not paper at all: It's 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen. In Ben Franklin’s day, people repaired torn bills with a needle and thread.
Money: the ultimate compost
Today, we trash them. A farm in Delaware mulches more than four tons of worn-out U.S. cash into compost every day.
Machine rejecting your bill? Microwave it
It takes about 4,000 double folds (first forward and then backward) before a bill will tear. It takes far fewer folds for a vending machine to reject your bill—but you can fix that by popping your Washington in the microwave for about 20 seconds to crisp it right up. Here are other unexpected things to put in the microwave.
Most paper money never sees puberty
Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images
Bill death happens more often than you’d think. With a lifespan of about 4.5 years, the $10 bill is our shortest-living note. Our longest-living note, the $100 bill, lasts only 15 years.
$2 bills are not as unique as you think
$2 bills are seen as a rarity, but there are more than 1.1 billion of them in circulation. You can request some from most local banks.
Printing new money uses 9 tons of ink. EVERY. DAY.
The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses nearly 9 tons of ink to prints 26 million currency notes each day, with a face value of approximately $974 million. Recession? What Recession!