Making Money: Bureau of Engraving & Printing

Making Money:  Bureau of Engraving & Printing

It’s all about the money.  Always has been.  Apparently always will be.

At least it is at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP).

The BEP prints all the Federal Reserve notes (translation:  Money) at facilities in Washington DC and Ft Worth, Texas.  Coins are produced by the US Mint.  The BEP also prints other specialty items, including engraved White House invitations, and other security documents for various governmental agencies.

Bureau of Engraving & Printing in Washington DC

Free tours are offered at both facilities, and provide an overview of the steps in the money making process.  I toured the Washington DC facility on a rainy mid-week afternoon.  There were no lines, and even though the tour group dawdled a bit, it still only took about an hour to watch stacks and stacks of large pieces of paper become ready-to-be-spent hundred dollar bills.  There is also a short movie which explains the process.

At the end of the tour is the requisite gift shop, where you can find treasury bills for serious collectors, as well as an assortment of novelty items.

The Washington DC facility is located at 14th & C Streets, S.W.  (map) Tour times are seasonal, so check the BEP website to make your plans.

During the apring and summer season, tickets are required.  They are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the ticket booth on Raoul Wallenberg Place on the same day only.  The ticket booth opens at 8 am, and closes when all tickets have been distributed.  This is a popular tour, so plan to get to the line early as tickets go fast.

The Fort Worth facility is located at 9000 Blue Mound Road (map).  Check for tour availability.

Photo credit:  Daquella manera @flickr

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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury – luxury for real people – and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world.

When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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