Since 1933, the one-dollar bill has been the exclusive experimental denomination amongst circulating US currency, however, an exception was made in August 1981 for several Richmond $10 notes produced on Natick test paper. The first experiment was conducted in January and February of that year to assess the effects of using different ratios of cotton to linen in the make-up of the bills. Series 1928A and 1928B $1 Silver Certificates with serial number block letters X-B and Y-B were used as the experimental group; the Z-B block was used as the control group. The results of the experiment were inconclusive.
In 1937, another test was conducted, similar in style to the 1933 experiment. This test used Series 1935 one-dollar bills. The particular notes used in this experiment can be identified by their serial numbers. Notes ranging from A00000001B–A06180000B and B00000001B–B03300000B were the experimental group and notes ranging from C00000001B–C03300000B were part of the control group. No conclusive results were found.
A more well-known test was done in 1942 during World War II to test alternative types of paper; this was a precautionary measure in case the current type of paper supply could not be maintained. Series 1935A notes made of the special paper and were printed with a red "S" to the right of the treasury seal, while notes of the control group were printed with a red R. Fake red S's and R's have been applied to regular Series 1935A notes to try and pass them at a higher value; checking a note's serial numbers can prevent this. Serial numbers of the R group range from S70884001C–S72068000C and serial numbers of the S group range from S73884001C–S75068000C.
Sometime in the early to mid 1960s, the BEP experimented with a new firm, the Gilbert Paper Company, to see if they could duplicate the usual paper production. The BEP selected a series of notes printed by the "Philadelphia FRB as the test subjects. Serial numbers for this group range from C60800001A–C61440000A.
One-dollar bills were again the subject of experimentation in May 1992, when the BEP began to test a "web-fed "Intaglio printing press. Because of a need for greater quantities of $1 FRN's, the BEP sent out a REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) (year 1985) NO. BEP-85-73 to procure a web-fed intaglio printing press to dramatically increase the production of currency notes within the confines of their current (1985) 14th & C street facility. Instead of printing one side of a square sheet of 32 notes at a time, the web-fed press used 96 engraved images or plate-cylinder to print the back of the note, then another 96 image engraved plate-cylinder to print the front of the note. Both sides of notes were printed from a continuous roll of paper. The Alexander-Hamilton intaglio Web press printed both sides of intaglio at the same time. The web-press was actually designed as a full-blown production press as opposed to an experimental press. The notes were issued in Series 1988A, 1993, and 1995. Because of mechanical problems, operator error, as well as the sometimes poor quality of the notes, production was ended in July 1996. Web notes can be identified by the back plate number next to IN GOD WE TRUST and the removal of face check letters and quadrant numbers.
Obverse of current $1 bill
The portrait of George Washington is displayed in the center of the "obverse of the one-dollar bill, as it has been since the 1869 design. The oval containing George Washington is propped up by bunches of Bay Laurel leaves.["citation needed]
To the left of George Washington is the Federal Reserve District Seal. The name of the Federal Reserve Bank that issued the note encircles a capital letter, (A-L), identifying it among the "twelve Federal Reserve Banks. The sequential number of the bank, (1: A, 2: B, etc.), is also displayed in the four corners of the open space on the bill. Until the redesign of the higher denominations of currency beginning in 1996, this seal was found on all denominations of Federal Reserve Notes. Since then it is only present on the $1 and $2 notes, with the higher denominations only displaying a universal Federal Reserve System seal, and the bank letter and number beneath the serial number.
To the right of George Washington is the "Treasury Department seal. The balancing scales represent justice. The chevron with thirteen stars represents the original thirteen colonies. The key below the chevron represents authority and trust; 1789 is the year that the Department of the Treasury was established. The series 1969 dollar bills were the first to use a simplified Treasury Seal, with the wording in "English instead of "Latin.
Below the FRD seal (to the left of George Washington) is the signature of the Treasurer of the U.S., which occasionally varies, and below the USDT Seal (right side) is the Secretary of the Treasury's signature. To the left of the Secretary's signature is the series date. A new series date results from a change in the Secretary of the Treasury, the Treasurer of the United States, and/or a change to the note's appearance such as a new currency design.
On the edges are olive branches entwined around the 1's.
Reverse of current $1 bill
The reverse of the one-dollar bill has an ornate design that incorporates both sides of the "Great Seal of the United States to the left and right of the word ONE. This word appears prominently in the white space at the center of the bill in a capitalized, shadowed, and "seriffed typeface. A smaller image of the word "ONE" is superimposed over the numeral "1" in each of the four corners of the bill.
"THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" spans the top of the bill, "ONE DOLLAR" is emblazoned along the bottom, and above the central "ONE" are the words ""IN GOD WE TRUST," which became the official "motto of the United States in 1956 by an "Act of Congress. Below the reverse of the Great Seal on the left side of the bill are the words "THE GREAT SEAL," and below the obverse on the right side are the words "OF THE UNITED STATES."
The Great Seal, originally designed in 1782 and added to the dollar bill's design in 1935, is surrounded by an elaborate floral design. The renderings used were the typical official government versions used since the 1880s.
The reverse of the seal on the left features a barren landscape dominated by an unfinished pyramid of 13 steps, topped by the "Eye of Providence within a triangle. At the base of the pyramid are engraved the Roman numerals MDCCLXXVI (1776), the date of "American independence from "Britain. At the top of the seal stands a Latin phrase, ""ANNUIT COEPTIS," meaning "He favors our undertaking." At the bottom of the seal is a semicircular banner proclaiming ""NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM" meaning "New Order of the Ages" that is a reference to the new American era. To the left of this seal, a string of 13 pearls extends toward the edge of the bill.
The obverse of the seal on the right features a "bald eagle, the "national bird and symbol of the United States. Above the "eagle is a radiant cluster of 13 stars arranged in a "six-pointed star. The eagle's breast is covered by a "heraldic shield with 13 stripes that resemble those on the "American flag. As on the first US flag, the stars and stripes stand for the 13 original states of the union. The eagle holds a ribbon in its beak reading ""E PLURIBUS UNUM," a Latin phrase meaning "Out of many [states], one [nation]," a de facto motto of the United States (and the only one until 1956). In its left talons the eagle holds 13 arrows, and in its right talons it holds an "olive branch with 13 leaves and 13 olives, representing, respectively, the powers of war and peace. To the right of this seal, a string of 13 pearls extends toward the edge of the bill.
Redesign or replacement of the dollar bill
In modern times, most Americans currently use the one dollar bill rather than the "dollar coin, despite the U.S. Government's efforts to promote the latter. There are organizations specifically aimed at either preventing ("Save the Greenback) or advocating ("Coin Coalition) the complete elimination of the one dollar bill in favor of the dollar coin.
On November 29, 2012, a "House subcommittee met to consider replacing the dollar bill. This action took place after the seventh "Government Accountability Office report on the subject. The latest report claimed that switching to dollar coins would save $4.4 billion over thirty years. However, according to polls, few Americans want to give up dollar bills. Recent budgets passed by Congress have included provisions to prevent the Treasury Department from spending any of its funds to redesign the one dollar bill, largely because of potential cost impacts on the vending machine industry.
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