Do you ever fantasize about meeting the past tenants of the house you live in? About learning the history of a book you bought used? A piece of clothing from a second hand store? A bill you got as change? I know I do.
The American project Where's George? has been around for 15 years now. It was named after president Washington, whose face marks $1 bills. Because bills it's all about. Where's George? is a website, on which its users can track the wanderings of the American currency.
The rules are simple: when you get your hands on a marked bill, you log in, enter the serial number, note when and where you received it, and spent it. Now not only you know what journey 'your' bill has behind it, there's a chance you will know what its future whereabouts will be.
The record bill has been entered 15 times. The record user marked and entered into the system over 2 million bills, crossing from hobby into obsession territory.
In the pre-blog (and pre-Lee) times, I participated in Where's George for a moment, unfortunately I can't remember my login, nor my password. When in Baltimore several marked bills got into my hands, I decided to open a new account and check where the bills came from. Are you curious? So am I.
Usually the bills are marked with a simple stamp...
...and sometimes the markings are handwritten.
Sometimes the stamp will reveal where the bill was entered into the system...
Some users sign them with their name...
...or a symbol.
|This is a map of the wanderings of 'my' bills. For most of them this was their second recorded stop. The longest distance was traveled by a $1 bill from Colorado - over 2,000 miles, but my favorite one is the one from Sterling, VA. The user who entered it into the system in February last year, left a note: "Don't recall where I got it but going to spend it on my daughter's class Valentine party - she has to bring the veggies and dip!"|