Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum

In 1913, Congress created the Federal Reserve System to regulate the banks throughout the United States.  There are 12 Federal Reserve Banks total, which serve different regions of the United States.  Each one provides some type of tour or museum for the public.  The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has a Money Museum.

The Money Museum contains some samples of different types of money from the United States’ history.  For instance, did you know that there was an African American on a U.S. coin from 1946 to 1951?  It depicted Booker T. Washington.  However, it was a commemorative half dollar, and from what I can understand from commemorative coins, they had monetary value, but rarely circulated.

Admittance into Chicago’s Money Museum is free.  However, you need to show an I.D. and go through security in order to enter it, because the building contains more money than any other building in Chicago.  Not only is there money in the vaults, but in the Museum itself, there is a display of one-million $1 bills housed inside a rotating cube.  Additionally, you can take a picture with a box of $100 bills that equal one-million dollars.

Every weekday at 1:00 PM, someone provides a 30-minute presentation about the Federal Reserve Bank.  Although, I still find the financial system confusing, it was definitely interesting.  The Federal Reserve Bank is the one who decides when new money should be printed, and how much.  They also weed out counterfeit bills, and destroy unfit currency.  Chicago apparently finds 29 counterfeit bills per day, and destroys approximately $20 million worth of unfit bills per day (old or damaged bills).  While you are at the Museum, you can also take a bag of shredded money with you as a souvenir. The Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago only deals with bills, not coins. 

Sources and Further Reading

About Us. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. https://www.chicagofed.org/utilities/about-us/index%20original (accessed August, 31, 2019).

Chicago Fed’s Money Museum. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. https://www.chicagofed.org/education/money-museum/index (accessed August, 31, 2019).

Fed Facts. Fed Facts: As You Travel, Factor in a Visit to a Fed Museum. The Federal Reserve. March 15, 2018. https://www.frbservices.org/news/fed360/issues/031518/031518-fed-facts-travel-fed-museum.html (accessed August, 31, 2019).

Morgan, Charles and Hubert Walker. African-Americans on US Coins: Representation & Discover (Part 1). Coin Week. January 17, 2016. https://coinweek.com/coins/commemoratives/african-americans-on-us-coins-representation-and-discovery-part-1/ (accessed August 31, 2019).

Quick Facts. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. https://www.chicagofed.org/utilities/about-us/quick-facts (accessed August, 31, 2019).


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