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The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 19, May 8, 2022, Article 35

LOOSE CHANGE: MAY 8, 2022

Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor

New BEP Maryland Facility Moves Forward

As noted earlier, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is planning a move from Washington, D.C. to a new facility to be built in Maryland by 2027. Thanks to Scott Barman for linking to the article in his Coin Collector's Blog. -Editor

  Bureau of Engraving and Printing

The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which prints U.S. currency, is moving forward with plans to build its new facility in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday.

The bureau is expecting to house at least 850 workers on site, with 600 additional employees working remotely, the governor's office said.

The 104-acre site, located at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Prince George's County, has been officially transferred to the Department of the Treasury.

Despite the glamor of billions in banknotes, the BEP is a factory kept running by blue-collar factory workers. I wonder how they will be able to commute to their jobs once the facility relocates to what is currently a rural area. And will the new facility accommodate tours for the visiting public? Will the public still come if the facility is no longer in the tourist-rich D.C. area? -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Federal Money Printing Facility Moving Ahead in Maryland (https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/federal-money-printing-facility-moving-ahead-in-maryland/3036896/)

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
LOOSE CHANGE: MARCH 31, 2019 : BEP To Build New D.C. Facility (https://www.coinbooks.org/v22/esylum_v22n13a32.html)
MORE ON THE POTENTIAL BEP MOVE (https://www.coinbooks.org/v22/esylum_v22n14a16.html)

To read the Coin Collector's Blog article, see:
Weekly World Numismatic News for May 1, 2022 (http://coinsblog.ws/2022/05/weekly-world-numismatic-news-for-may-1-2022.html)

FBI Seeks Former Northwest Territorial Mint Officials

Another pair of numismatic fugitives is on the loose. According to Coin World, the FBI is looking for two former Northwest Territorial Mint officials. -Editor

Bernard Ross Hansen Wanted poster The former owner of the now bankrupt Northwest Territorial Mint in Auburn, Washington, and his vault manager and girlfriend, both convicted in 2021 of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud connected with the sale and storage of millions of dollars in gold and silver, went on the run after failing to appear for sentencing April 29 in federal court in Seattle.

Bernard Ross Hansen, 62, and Diane Renee Erdmann, 49, were placed on the FBI's Most Wanted list after failing to make their scheduled court appearance.

To read the complete article, see:
FBI seeks two former Northwest Territorial Mint officials (https://www.coinworld.com/news/us-coins/fbi-seeks-two-former-northwest-territorial-mint-officials)

For those who may have forgotten, in February 2015 the U.S. Marshalls captured SS Central America figure Tommy Thompson and his longtime assistant, Alison Anteiker, after more than two years on the lam. -Editor

To read a new USA Today article, see:
Deep-sea secrets and the 'Ship of Gold': Why a treasure hunter sits behind bars as bounty tours nation (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2022/05/08/treasure-hunter-gold-shipwreck/9663123002/)

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
SS CENTRAL AMERICA FINDER TOMMY THOMPSON FOUND (https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v18n05a09.html)
NORTHWEST TERRITORIAL MINT OFFICERS ARRESTED (https://www.coinbooks.org/v21/esylum_v21n18a11.html)

Spencer Clark's 5 Cent Fractional Currency Note

Pablo Hoffman passed along this 2017 Atlas Obscura item about Spencer Clark's portrait on the 5 Cent Fractional Currency Note. Thanks. -Editor

  Spencer Clark 5 Cent Fractional Currency Note

IN 1866, SPENCER M. CLARK, then Superintendent of the National Currency Bureau, made a daring decision: to print his own face on U.S. currency.

Clark, who served as Superintendent from 1862 to 1868, had no authorization from his superiors to do this. But U.S. paper bills were in flux because of the recent introduction of fractional money, and as the supervisor of the new bills, he was in a unique position to influence the design.

To read the complete article, see:
The bill was supposed to feature explorer William Clark instead. (https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/treasury-official-us-bill-fractional-money-spencer-m-clark)

The Best Political Cartoon In History

Another Atlas Obscura item (from 2016) found by Pablo Hoffman. Thanks! Great reading. -Editor

  1837 Satirical note

BLUR YOUR EYES, AND THE BANKNOTE above looks normal enough. It has the right proportions. It's covered in intricate line drawings, so as to discourage counterfeiting. It's got serious-looking slogans and strongly penned numbers. If someone passed it to you across a counter after a long night, you might not look twice.

Focus, though, and you'll notice a few weird things going on. A panel on the left side shows a bony, balding person dressed in a tattered American Flag. Across the top, a dragon rides a carriage through the streets, crushing pedestrians willy-nilly. The right side sports a donkey defecating into a monkey's top hat. And along the bottom, a dung beetle with a human face rolls a poop ball emblazoned with the bill's weird denomination: 75 cents.

To read the complete article, see:
The Best Political Cartoon In History Is This Fake Banknote from the Panic of 1837 (https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-best-political-cartoon-in-history-is-this-fake-banknote-from-the-panic-of-1837)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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