Money Moves: How Fort Worth became the production hub for American currency
The two-dollar bill is the most mysterious out of all the American paper currency. Many believe they are rare commodities, have gone out of circulation or are no longer printed. This bank note featuring Thomas Jefferson is often considered America’s forgotten child; however, two dollar bills are printed daily, right in our very own backyard, at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth! In fact, almost 70% of U.S. currency is printed in Fort Worth.
The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in Fort Worth was constructed in the late 1980s to meet the increasing demand and production requirements. When he served as Speaker of the House, Congressman Jim Wright heavily lobbied for Texas to be the home of the new printing facility. It remains one of the only two currency production facilities in the country – one in Washington D.C. and one in Fort Worth.
Visitors can enjoy free, 45-minute, self-guided tours that include “interactive exhibits and displays showcasing currency history and the intricate art of currency manufacturing” (BEP.com). At the end of the tour, visitors witness the production of more than $30 million per hour at a birds-eye view from the suspended walkway. There is also a gift shop with uncut currency and shredded money available for purchase!
Unfortunately, tours have been paused until further notice. But, you can visit USCurrency.gov to learn about the history of the American currency and how it is made! And, yes, that includes the two-dollar bill!