Friday, June 21, 2013
On a day when it seems like it will never stop raining and you are feeling like you are trapped in your home, what do you do to cheer yourself up? We decided to hang out with billions of dollars at the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank's Money Museum. Sigrid and I had often talked about visiting but always had something else to do. Today was the perfect day to scratch another place off the "bucket list".
The Federal Reserve Bank system was created in the early 1900's to help stabilize and control the nation's money supply. I will not attempt to provide much more detail since most people are not interested so Google on your own if interested.
There are 12 regional banks and 24 branches in the system. Kansas City is Region 10 and has branches in Denver, Omaha, and Oklahoma City. KC had to fight hard to become a regional bank. A coalition of bankers and politicians lobbied hard and effectively to win a seat for KC back in 1913.
After going through a careful security screening, Sigrid and I made it into the museum. You have to expect security when you are rubbing shoulders with billions of dollars. Each person that visits gets $165 in cash on the free tour. Its pretty hard to spend since it has been shredded to the point of not being recognizable, but cool none the less.
A spacious lobby as you would expect of our government buildings.
They have a very nice collection of old money going back the the beginnings of our country. Photos were difficult due to glare from the lighting.
Here is $40 million in $100 bills stacked along the wall.....impressive. They also have a gold bar weighing 400 troy ounces (27 lbs.) worth $400,000.
Sigrid is highly undervalued in this photo.
Agents working for the Federal Reserve used machine guns like the one below for security years ago.
Congratulatory telegrams on KC becoming one of the regional banks.
US Treasury Certificate authorizing operation of the KC Federal Reserve Bank in 1914.
We were not allowed to take photos in the cash vault area for security reasons. The cash vault is four stories high and is completely automated. Robots pick up and retrieve cash stored in the vault. The vault has the capacity for $138 billion in $100 bills. About $2 million in old worn out paper money is shredded each day in the vault area. It was an interesting tour that takes about an hour.