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Saturday, September 22, 2012

10 Things You Didn't Know About Money

1.      The paper used for U.S. bills isn’t made from trees. Rather, it contains 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen.

2.   Researchers found more cocaine residue on U.S. bills than on any other currency. Also found on money: staphylococcus bacteria and fecal matter.
United States five-dollar bill
3.   To foil counterfeiters, the latest $5 bill design has an embedded security thread that contains more than 650,000 tiny glass domes. They create an optical illusion that the Mint hopes is almost impossible to duplicate.

from coopertoons.com
4.   As you file your taxes, you can take solace in knowing that the ritual dates back almost 5,000 years, to a time when Egyptians started paying taxes in goods and labor.

5.   Paper money originated in China in the year 910 and amazed Marco Polo when he visited three centuries later. He also noted thatthe emperor, Kublai Khan, seemed to be printing an awful lot of notes…

6.    ….which ultimately wrecked the economy. Due to skyrocketing inflation caused by churning out so much money, paper bills had to be abolished in China in the 15th century.

7.   He left home without it: In 1949 Frank X. McNamara took friends to dinner in New York City but forgot to bring his cash. He vowed never again to be so embarrassed and so 
      created the Diners Club Card, the first credit card.
The first credit card.
Courtesy of Diners Club.
8.   The Diners Club Card was initially made of cardboard. It listed the 14 participating restaurants on the back and had an annual fee of $3.

9.   Scottish inventor John Shepherd-Barron built the world’sfirst true ATM for a Barclay’s Bank in North London in 1967. The machine was based on the concept of a chocolate bar dispenser.

10. Plastic cards did not yet exist, so Shepherd-Barron’s ATM accepted only checks laced with identifying traces of radioactive carbon-14. Once a distinctively radioactive check was detected, customers entered their four-digit PINs. Shepherd-Barron claimed users “would have to eat 136,000 checks” for the radioactivity to have any dangerous effects.

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