How to shrink paper money

Dip the bill in liquid ammonia, then let it dry. Repeat this a few times, and you'll end up with a mini-sized bill.

Of course, most people don't have liquid ammonia lying around the house. So this is a trick only mad chemists can do.

I'm sure that shrinking a bill would be considered defacement of currency and therefore illegal. However, defaced currency remains legal tender (depending on the degree of defacement), so in theory you could still spend your tiny bill, but it would probably be difficult finding a store willing to accept it.

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 22, 2016
     Category: Money

As you point out, Alex, the only difference is the dimensions of the bill. The security thread, watermark, the microprinting around the portrait (which would be even more micro than before), all those remain on the bill. In the spirit of the law, it is still legal tender.

You may not want to do this with a Benjamin or a Grant. A single won't put you too much out of pocket and the novelty factor would make up for that.
Posted by KDP on 06/22/16 at 09:15 AM
Another thought crossed my mind. At one time anhydrous ammonia is not that hard to obtain. At least it wasn't at the time I was growing up in the Central Valley. One would see portable tanks parked in the grape vineyards. It is used mainly as a fertilizer but lately methamphetamine cookers have been stealing it so it must be locked up.
Posted by KDP on 06/22/16 at 09:21 AM
You really don't want to mess with anhydrous ammonia unless (a) You know what you are doing, or (b) You don't care so much about your flesh.
Posted by Virtual on 06/22/16 at 01:41 PM
Reminds me of the time Ernie Chambers (State Senator in Nebraska) had some tiny checks made, saying they reflect how little some people earned. Unfortunately, I don't remember who he was talking about (teachers? social workers?), and I can't find it amid all the other stunts he's pulled.
Posted by Phideaux on 06/22/16 at 02:07 PM
You're so right, Virtual. It is really nasty stuff when released. The applicator machinery would actually inject the liquid into the top few inches of soil and the tractor driver would have to wear long plasticized clothing and a respirator.
Posted by KDP on 06/22/16 at 05:21 PM
It was a reagent for a fertilizer pilot plant where I worked, and would come in 55-gal drums. The stuff seeks out water every bit as much as a strong acid. Humans come with plenty of water, so it likes us a whole lot. On my first encounter, I didn't have a respirator, but learned from that no-no -- undamaged, fortunately.
Posted by Virtual on 06/22/16 at 06:24 PM
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