Candy Moulton: On the Trail 4-8-13
April 8, 2013
The history of money, an opportunity to create your own currency, and challenge games that test your knowledge of America’s monetary policies and system are all showcased at the Money Museum located at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. This is a new museum (opened in 2012) where you will learn all about money, can see some unique examples of it, and get an idea of the economic opportunities that drive the economy ever day.
It is true that visiting the Money Museum is not as easy as walking into some museums. There is no admission charge, but you will need to go through a security screening (it is not nearly as time consuming as passing through security at Denver International Airport). Once in the museum, you can watch a video that highlights some of the economic forces at work in the 11th District of the Federal Reserve that includes all of Texas, portions of New Mexico and a part of Louisiana.
Then make your way through the lobby, to another orientation piece that gives detail about some of the companies at work in the region. You will learn about Southwest Airlines, Texas boot makers, farmers, oil production companies and much more.
Entering the exhibit gallery you find a history of the Federal Reserve System and monetary policy from the days of Abraham Lincoln to more recent times. Interactive programs include the chance to challenge your friends or family to a quiz game related to money. You will hear from members of the Federal Reserve Board and bankers who share information about their jobs.
Challenge yourself to a test of banking issues, try to roll a marble around a maze of difficult financial issues, and then create some money yourself. You can select the color of your money, the design you will use, and what type of symbols you want on your currency. In the process you will learn why there is a need for symbols, varying colors and other features on currency that protect it from being counterfeited.
Those are some of the exhibits and interactive programs you can enjoy on a visit to the Money Museum in Dallas. It is open Monday through Friday (closed on bank holidays). But if you are not in Dallas, it is possible to learn some of the issues of the Federal Reserve at other money museums located in the various branch banks of the system. For example, there are Money Museums in Kansas City, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Denver. Each has differing information, but all provide interesting perspectives about the U.S. banking system, how it works, and the need for a federal monetary policy.
In some of the facilities, Kansas City for example, you can even see the vault where the money is held, and the money counting/sorting room. They won’t let you take photographs of that area, but it is fascinating to stand and watch the workers handle thousands upon thousands of dollars. In Kansas City you can design a piece of currency and you can also put your own photograph on it and then e-mail it to yourself.
Or for another take-away from the Money Museums, you can pick up a small bag of cash! Well, it is shredded so it won’t be real effective at buying a bag of peanuts or a candy bar, but you can say you hauled away some money from the Money Museum. ❖