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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/167

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163
SOILED PAPER MONEY

that passed through them, he asked, "What good would it accomplish to sterilize the same bill two or three times a week? It is surprising how frequently a bill returns to the bank. It is given to one depositor, who uses it for change; soon another depositor obtains it through trade, and when the next deposit is made the bill may again find itself within the same bank."

With a more frequent redemption of soiled money, all these suggestions for such cleanliness and the formation of clean money-clubs may be avoided, and particularly if we learn to keep our fingers away from our mouths both while and after counting money.

Very few people realize the expense and work involved in the redemption of soiled money. Many banks to-day go to great expense and trouble in redeeming soiled and worn bills in order to have crisp, new ones on hand when the demand is made for them. Bankers and business men do not prefer these crisp, new bills, for they can not be counted with as much speed and accuracy as those that have been in circulation for some time. Some banks deposit all their soiled and worn bills with another bank, and thus avoid the expense involved in redeeming them.

All money for redemption must be sorted, so that all bills of one denomination are together; and each denomination must have the various species sorted, such as gold and silver certificates, United States and "coin" notes, etc., while national bank notes must be kept separately. Each package must be labeled with its face value and the words "currency for redemption." National banks pay the express charges on their notes one way, while on all other currency the sender pays the charges both ways. The expense involved is not merely the time taken for sorting the bills or the express rate of forty cents per $1,000, but also the loss of interest and use of the bills while in transit.

During the past six months a series of diseases and deaths have been recorded as being caused by the handling of filthy money. The stimulus for such an increase in the reports of these diseases can easily be traced to abstracts of Morrison's pamphlet appearing in the newspapers and magazines. In the New York Evening World, November 8, 1907, there was a report of the death of Edward H. Hall, from "myxœdema," caused by moistening his thumbs on his lips when counting money. Since myxœdema is not considered an infectious disease, this case has no value. The Bridgeport Standard was quoted in a local paper on February 25, 1908, concerning the death of John M. Hopkirk, manager of the Mills Hotel No. 2, in New York, who died from scarlatina, contracted, his physicians believe, through the handling of the dirty bills coming from the slums of the city. Personal contact with these poor people who have little or no medical attention and among whom disease often appears in mild and unrecognized forms,