Website Lets You Track Cash’s Travels

Website Lets You Track Cash’s Travels

last week, a dollar beak was handed to me in change. Stamped in red around the U.S. Department of Treasury ‘s seal on the bill ‘s movement were two arrows : One pointed to the words “ Track This Bill ” ; the other pointed to a web site, “ ” It ‘s constantly interest to be handed a poster with the markings of the privately run currency-tracking Web address on it. The project was started in December 1998 by Hank Eskin, a database adviser in Brookline, Mass., who said he did it “ because it had not been done so far, ” so it would be easy for people to track their currency as it circulates around the state and the universe.

To find out where the bill has been, merely go to the web site and enter the bill ‘s consecutive issue. ( The placard I found, pictured here, has the serial count partially obscured to prevent delusive entries. ) I soon learned that the bill had started its “ Where ‘s George tracking journey ” barely before Thanksgiving in Ocala — about 80 miles away. In the placard ‘s gossip department, I noted that it was in very estimable condition, and well marked. I first registered as a Where ‘s George user a short after the locate started in deep 1998. Back then, it was tracking merely a million or so dollar bills. today, the site is tracking more than 186 million dollar bills. other denominations are tracked as well, but the dollar charge is by far the most democratic. The $ 20 bill comes in second, with more than 24 million tracked. A small looking about on the web site finds that there was a dollar bill printed in 1999 that was followed around the United States starting in 2002 in Dayton, Ohio. It was final reported in 2005 in Rudyard, Mich. In those three years, it accumulated 15 entries on the Where ‘s George site, visiting as far west as Utah and as far south as the Florida Panhandle. It besides went through Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Fifteen entries, by the means, is the most entries for any bill being tracked on the web site.

Is it illegal to mark on currency ? A question/answer section of the web site notes : “ Where ‘s George does not encourage the defacement of U.S. Currency. The law defines ‘ illegal ‘ defacement as defacement that renders bills unfit to be re-issued. ” The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing cites the United States Code covering defacement with this terminology : “ Whoever mutilates, cuts, disfigures, perforates, unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank beak, draft, eminence, or other evidence of debt issued by any national bank association, Federal Reserve Bank, or Federal Reserve System, with captive to render such token ( s ) unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. ” There are a fortune of fans of Where ‘s George in Polk County. Dig deep enough on the web site, and you ‘ll find that of more than 3,200 counties with Where ‘s George entries, Polk ranks 151st, with 384,500 bills entered.

One of those has a serial number ending in 246M and a red stamp on the front ask, “ Where Has George Gone ? ” Keep an eye out. If its localization pops up on Where ‘s George, I ‘ll let you know in a future column. [ Lonnie Brown can be reached at LedgerDatabase @ ]

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