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dollarGeorge.gif

Remember when your momma used to tell you: “Wash your hands after touching that money. You don’t know where it’s been!” Well, now you can reply: “I do so! Let’s see: it first showed up in Dayton, Ohio, five years ago, at a Sonic drive-thru, then it headed south, then west, spending a lot of time being handed around amongst Texans. It was even found on the floor of a Dallas strip joint!”

Okay, maybe momma was right. Go wash your damn hands!

This is an excerpt from an item I posted on my site, Street Tech, a few weeks back, about a currency tracking site I’d discovered after seeing a rubber stamp on a dollar that said: “Track this bill at whereisgeorge.com.” It was on a bill I was about to feed into a DC Metro FareCard machine. This morning, standing at the same FareCard machines, I discovered another dollar in my wallet with a different “Where is George?” stamp on it. Someone in DC is having fun augmenting money.

DIY Currency-Circulation Tracking – Link
Where is George? – Link

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. yo_tyler says:

    For Canadians there is whereswilly.com
    I use my laser printer to print ‘whereswilly.com’ on all my cash in the top left corner of the face side. I’ve entered 88 bills and haven’t had a hit yet.

  2. Laen says:

    Wheresgeorge.com is great fun. I’ve encountered about a dozen of them, and have put about 30 into circulation myself (with only one hit).

    Someone just needs to make a dollar-bill OCR program to automatically enter bills in the database.

  3. skammah says:

    My S.O. and I have been searching money for markings recently too. We are addicted to finding artistically modified money, or as we call them Doodle Dollars. We are so intrigued by this art form that we are creating a gallery for them. If you have any fancy cash in your wallet, we would love it if you would send a scan and a story about it to submissions@doodledollars.com. You can also upload your images to our flickr pool. We only have 1 scan right now. Which, is why we need your help.

    Thanks!
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/doodledollars/

  4. Meggeler says:

    Hey – you behind the times. I even have a stamp that identifies the bill. Seems a few years ago – 2, maybe 3. But I lost interest.

    The concept is intriguing I liked following it.

  5. Meggeler says:

    Sorry – I looked for my stamppad – as you might imagine, I even remember throwing it away. When you get a certain age, you throw things away (kids don’t want ‘em).

  6. wiml says:

    Yep, every now and then I get the WheresGeorge bug and mark a bunch of my bills (usually after getting a hit on one of my bills from an interesting place). Then I get bored with it and forget about it for six months.

    I agree with Laen, someone really needs to write a wheresgeorge OCR program so I can just wave my bills under a webcam and have them entered. The problem is that the year and series are printed really small. I think you’d need pretty good camera resolution for this to work.

  7. wiml says:

    Yep, every now and then I get the WheresGeorge bug and mark a bunch of my bills (usually after getting a hit on one of my bills from an interesting place). Then I get bored with it and forget about it for six months.

    I agree with Laen, someone really needs to write a wheresgeorge OCR program so I can just wave my bills under a webcam and have them entered. The problem is that the year and series are printed really small. I think you’d need pretty good camera resolution for this to work.

  8. rbean says:

    At various times in the past I’ve found quarters that have been painted red (the paint wears off the high spots, leaving a red background). More recently, I found a yellow one. There has to be a story behind this. Anyone know what it is?

  9. garthabrindoid says:

    @rbean: I’ve been to a couple laundromats which had change machines that would always return red-painted quarters. Not sure what the reasoning was, however.