Many people don’t realize that the money they handle every day has so much history behind it, as does the place where the money is made. The first United States Mint opened in Philadelphia and is still the largest producing mint in the world. There are many interesting facts about this historic place.
It all started in 1799
The US Mint opened for business in 1799 as an independent agency reporting only to the President of the United States. That changed in 1873 when it became part of the United States Department of the Treasury.
But how does it make money?
The US Mint is able to produce money for less than the face value. They then sell the money for face value, which results in profit. This process is known as seigniorage.
Raining? No entrance!
According to the US Mint’s rules in 1825, “Visitors may be admitted by permission of an officer to see the various operations of the Mint on all working days except Saturdays and rainy days.”
If you were to visit the Philadelphia Mint, you’d see a 150-year-old eagle. Peter was a real bald eagle who made the US Mint his home. After he died, he was preserved and mounted.
The US Mint was initially fueled by horses, oxen and men! The steam-powered coin press wasn’t introduced until 1836.
Four times the charm
The Philadelphia Mint is in its fourth building. It is home the original key to the first building as well as a chair that George Washington was thought to have sat on during a visit.