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Topic: Removing Washington from one dollar bill
Message: Posted by: billfromoregon (Sep 20, 2004 08:47PM)
I have a presentation for the Wonderland Dollar, and want to make up a bill with a pic of John Malkovich in place of Washington. I want to print this out on my printer, but need to first remove George from the picture. I want to do this, as opposed to printing an entirely new bill, both because then there is no forgery issue, and the bill is actually a real bill, and should last a very long time. Any ideas? Thanks -

Bill
Message: Posted by: Magical Dimensions (Sep 20, 2004 09:45PM)
I do not think that it is possible to erase part of a real bill. Now I know that there are people who does steals checks from other people’s mailboxes. Once they get the check they “wash” the bill. Which means they remove the hand written ink. Then they write the check out to themselves with the amount they like. Can you say, "Bad Boys, Bad Boys, what ya Going Do?".

The only way that I know to do it is to use correction fluid (white out) and white out the area that is needed. Then scan both sides of the bill. Then you print out the bill.

I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but hey... It is the only thing that I can think of.

Ray
Message: Posted by: NFox (Sep 20, 2004 10:08PM)
Washing checks usually involves chemical baths (easily available at home depot). But the reason that they work is becuase the pen ink responds differently than the printed ink on the checks. You could try using a Q-tip and a minute about of bleach on the tip to erase what you need. This may bleed through, so I am not making any gaurantees. All I can say is use as little bleach as possible. Bleach and a one dollar bill is actually what many counterfeiters use to create larger bills (to maintain the "feel"). If this works it's only a matter of aligning your printer correctly to put the picture in the right spot. I hope this helps.

Nick Fox
Message: Posted by: billfromoregon (Sep 20, 2004 11:50PM)
Nick - Thanks, I'll give it a try, and let you know what happens. At worst, I'm out a buck. Thanks -

Bill
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 21, 2004 02:03AM)
I used a pencil eraser to remove the last digits for the bill in lemon trick, never tried it on the picture part. You might try that.
Message: Posted by: MinnesotaChef (Sep 21, 2004 07:47AM)
Why not just paste over the entire picture? Print out the pictuer cropped to the frame of the dollar on thin paper and stick it on a new dollar with good glue. When it's dry roll it around in a can full of marbles to break it in. Otherwise go to a high-end stationary store and but some paper that has a really high linen count in it. It feels similar to money and will last as long if not longer.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Sep 21, 2004 08:53AM)
There are soveniour shops that for a small fee will place your picture on a dollar bill - Graceland sells "Elvis" dollar bills. The bills they do this with are real.

Might try doing a google to see if you can find anyone that does this over the internet (ie: upload them a picture and they mail you the bill). Or, if you have a large budget find out who sells the setup/software for this.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Sep 21, 2004 10:56AM)
If you aren't picky about the denomination, quantity, and how "real" it looks, you might try this:

http://www.photobucks.com/

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Reis O'Brien (Sep 23, 2004 10:14AM)
Just make it easier on yourself and scan in a dollar and then erase Ol' George in Photoshop. Then drop in whoever. Print out both sides on cotton rag resume paper and use rubber cement to glue the two sides together. It won't pass inspection at your local bank, but it will be real enough for a magic effect. And I wouldn't worry about any forgery issues, your intentions are innocuous enough. And, besides, it's a one dollar bill! Who would counterfit a one dollar bill?!

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Sep 23, 2004 11:50AM)
Photoshop does wonders. Use computer graphic software to make that mircle work.

Good luck

Michael
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Sep 24, 2004 10:36AM)
Here's a wild thought...

If you're using Photoshop or a similar program, set up your new photo with an opaque "white" background and try printing it right over George. You'll need to Scotch tape the bill (one side only!) to a sheet of paper to run it through, but you can make several photocopies of the bill-on-sheet to run through as alignment tests.

I haven't done this and have no clue if it's possible, or how long the new ink will last, but I'm wondering if those companies that JoeJoe mentioned do something similar. I used to think it was illegal to deface or alter currency, but then these companies seem to be doing it. Interesting.
Message: Posted by: billfromoregon (Sep 24, 2004 12:07PM)
Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate it. I tried the bleach, but haven't had good luck with that. I wound up removing the paper as well as the ink. I'm going to try acetone next, and I'll post the results of that. I like JoeJoe'a auggeation, but haven't been able to find a source on the internet. The million dollar bills are also a great suggestion, but the set-up costs are higher than I would like to pay, with a 5,000 minimum. The Photo Shop idea is a good one, if my printer can do a good job of approximating the color. Again, thanks for all the suggestions -

Bill
Message: Posted by: GuySavoie (Sep 26, 2004 04:09PM)
Georgefl38 -

I might not be understanding your idea correctly, but with traditional ink processes, you can only make things darker, not lighter.

Printing something "white" from your computer means no ink is applied. Basically, printing a solid "white" image takes your paper media for a warm ride through your printer. The darker you get away from white, the more ink is used. (Up to pure solid primary colors, or mixes of primary colors.)

That includes color lasers, inkjets, and dye sub printers.

If I didn't understand, sorry in advance :)

--- Guy
Message: Posted by: Magic.J.Manuel (Sep 26, 2004 05:51PM)
Home printers do not use very stable ink anyway. Inkjet ink is water soluble and laser toner will crack and peel off too.

I made a big bill using the digital method above and they look good but don't hold up to folding.

Another thought is to cut your picture and paste it onto several bills, then arrange them on a standard size page and get color copies onto bond paper. Still, using toner. It will not feel real but you do not want to get too close to counterfeiting!
Message: Posted by: GuySavoie (Sep 27, 2004 02:46PM)
Absolutely true. There is no question that home inks will not stand up to years of use. Heck, even days of use. Even fold a page on an offset printed book, and the ink will scratch off at the fold. Mainstream inks just doesn't penetrate in the same way the treasury dyes can.

For that reason, if you're going to print bills for your performance(s), you'll probably need to think of the printed bills as consumables, and print 20 instead of 2 ;)

--- Guy
Message: Posted by: ScottL (Sep 27, 2004 07:51PM)
Just an FYI. The mere act of placing any denomination United States currency on the bed of a scanner or any other copying device is a federal offence. You don't even have to make a copy of it. The Treasury Department (Secret Service) takes an EXTREMELY dim view of such a thing.

Do this at your own risk.

Scott
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Sep 28, 2004 10:31AM)
Guy,

Duhhhh!!!!

Of course it doesn't work. My printer only has three colors of ink (not including white) plus black. What the heck was I thinking? Maybe it'd work on an offset press, where you can use white ink, but fogged about the computer printers.

Anyway, to reiterate... duhhhhh! :)

George
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Sep 28, 2004 11:50AM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-27 20:51, ScottL wrote:
Just an FYI. The mere act of placing any denomination United States currency on the bed of a scanner or any other copying device is a federal offence. You don't even have to make a copy of it. The Treasury Department (Secret Service) takes an EXTREMELY dim view of such a thing.
[/quote]

Which is another good reason we magicians must keep our secrets "secret". :-D

But serious, it's perfectly legal to remove the picture of Washington from a dollar bill and insert your own picture - in fact, if I am not mistaken here, those Elvis bills they sell at Graceland are indeed still "legal tender". If I were to do this type of effect, that's the route I would take. They use real dollar bills - not copies or conterfeits.
Message: Posted by: GuySavoie (Sep 28, 2004 08:21PM)
Scott - Can you provide a reference to that federal offense? I can't find a reference to it anywhere. I'm not concluding you're wrong, but I can't find a reference to that proviso. In fact, as I thought I read before, there is a specific allowance for duplicates being allowed for "projection or telecasting":

http://www.ustreas.gov/usss/money_illustrations.shtml

The accommodation:

[i]Motion picture films, microfilms, videotapes, and slides of paper currency, securities, and other obligations may be made in color or black and white for projection or telecasting. No prints may be made from these unless they conform to the size and color restrictions.[/i]

During a performance of live entertainment, as long as your prints are not distributed, and destroyed after your final use of them, then simply videotaping your performance would assure that it was legal. There is no specific exclusion or inclusion of live performance use without recording, however.

Have I printed and used duplicates during my performances? You betcha. If the Secret Service comes knocking, I'll post an update for everybody. I would argue my use as a protected natural extension of the clause listed above, if it ever came to it, btw.

At times, I like being able to turn 5 one dollar bills instantly into 5 one hundred dollar bills. I'm unwilling to keep the financial investment tied up in the effect, however.

I would never, ever, ever, put a copy in the hand of anyone else on the planet, however. Even my good friends might get reckless with a copy; show it off to a pal, it transfers hands, etc. No thanks!

--- Guy
Message: Posted by: ScottL (Sep 28, 2004 08:59PM)
I do not have a specific reference regarding this. But, years ago when I was involved in the printing business, we were told it was illegal to even put a bill on the platen of our camera (Because of course everybody wanted to put their picture on a dollar bill!).

The phoney currency you see in motion pictures is not the exact same size as a genuine treasury note. It doesn't show up on screen, but it's done to prevent any "accidental" attempts to pass this currency off as real money should it "grow legs and walk off the set".

My understanding is, especially with today's computer technology, the Secret Service considers making a copy or reproducing a bill as the possible precursor to a counterfiting attempt.

The custom one million dollar bills you see floating around are a different matter, since there's no such thing as a "real" million dollar bill. Although there are people dumb enough to try and pass one off as real.

If you want to deface or copy any U.S. currency for whatever purpose, that's entirely up to you. Personally, I'd rather not have some guys with mirrored sunglasses grace my doorstep.

But hey, that's just me.

Scott
Message: Posted by: dearwiseone (Sep 28, 2004 11:01PM)
Just a note for you:
Photoshop has incredible security built into it's software and will not allow you to import a scan of U.S. currency! That's right. According to Adobe (I haven't tried this myself) they've built into their software a utility that makes it so you can't scan a dollar bill. (I know this is with Photoshop CS, but I'm not sure about the others) Photoshop is incredible software, but it has little hidden gems as well!
Good luck!
-Kev
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 30, 2004 04:46PM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-29 00:03, dearwiseone wrote:
Just a note for you:
Photoshop has incredible security built into it's software and will not allow you to import a scan of U.S. currency! That's right. According to Adobe (I haven't tried this myself) they've built into their software a utility that makes it so you can't scan a dollar bill. (I know this is with Photoshop CS, but I'm not sure about the others) Photoshop is incredible software, but it has little hidden gems as well!
Good luck!
-Kev
[/quote]

Most graphics programs do a "call" to a twain driver (at least, this is true on PC's -- Macs may be different) and the scanner software, itself is what determines what gets scanned.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Oct 30, 2004 06:41PM)
I have a friend who prints money out on his computer, but only does it for a burning bill effect. Sorry I'm not sure on what program he has etc.