Ben Franklin Goes Hi-Tech On The New $100 Bill
SCOTT SIMON, Host:
The United States Treasury unveiled a new $100 bill this week. Benjamin Franklin stays, but Treasury engravers have put so many other high-tech features onto the currency, you might call it the iBill. The new Franklin has an embedded security thread that glows pink under ultraviolet light. Wiggle the bill back and forth and the Liberty Bell appears in an inkwell. A faint watermark image of Franklin looms to the right of his portrait, like Ben catching a glimpse of himself in a window. The numeral 100 shifts from copper to green.
Now, there are great demands these days to put more diversity of images onto U.S. currency, but keeping Ben Franklin in his spot on the hundred might remind us that the intrepid spirit that devised bifocals, published "Poor Richard's Almanac," tapped into lightning, and helped create a republic, is the kind of one-man diversity that endures in a nation's character.
By the way, it will take 128 billion Franklins to pay off the national debt.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS")
P DIDDY: (Rapping) ...millenniums, it's all about the Benjamins. What? I get a fifty pound bag of...
SIMON: P Diddy. You're listening to NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.