How money is made

How stuff is made

Paper money was first issued by the us government in 1861 as a way to pay for goods and services related to civil war costs.

final currency designs are ultimately approved by the secretary of the treasury. the bureau of engraving and printing is responsible for the design.

designing a new note can take several years and multiple hands.

they always feature a portrait of an important historical figure on the front and with a notable american monument or theme on the back.

after a design is locked, an engraver recreates the designers drawing in steel.

individual engraved elements are combined to form a complete face or back of a bank note.

once the master plate is completed, it's washed with deionized water and soaked in a vibrant orange potassium bichromate solution that prevents the plate from rusting.

money isn't actually made from paper but printed on a material made from 75% cotton and 25% linen.

the special inks used for money have trackable magnetic and color shifting properties.

greeen was originally selected for us dollars as a DETERRENT FOR COUNTERFeITERS.

after the 72 hour drying process, the freshly printed currency passes through a series of rigorous physical and mechanic inspections.

then the currency sheets are cut, packaged, and transferred to the federal reserve.

as these dollars are increasingly being earned by women, there is one question that lingers...

though martha washington made a guest appearance on the one dollar silver certificate, designs are in the works to feature more women in paper currency.

these changes will begin rolling out in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.