One of the most unique museums in the United States is the “Money Museum.” Part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Museum is visited by over 40,000 people annually. The Reserve Bank is still active, storing billions of dollars in currency for smaller banks. The museum features exhibits like a large glass cube containing one million $1 bills (which weigh approximately 2000 pounds), a briefcase with $1 million in currency for photo ops, and a “money pit” where $50,000 in coins have been placed in an unused elevator shaft.
It’s not just Scrooge McDuck-style fun and games at the museum, though. Visitors to the museum learn about the printing of currency, how currency is transported and stored, and the life cycle of a printed bill. In fact, the facility shreds about $10 million in unusable bills daily, and visitors are given some of the shredded cash as a souvenir. (One young visitor stated that if the money had not been shredded, she would have used it to buy a horse.)
While school groups, college students, and senior citizens make up the bulk of the museum’s visitors, anyone is welcome to visit, and admission is free. Not able to get to Chicago? They’ve got a “Virtual Money Museum” here.