Magazine article Insight on the News

Capital Knickknacks Online

Magazine article Insight on the News

Capital Knickknacks Online

Article excerpt

E-commerce emerged as the big story at the end of the 20th century, and loyal citizens now can find patriotic gifts -- or at least amusing Americana -- online.

Take, for instance, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (www.bep.treas. gov/store/uc1.htm), which offers uncut $1, $2 and $5 bills and an assortment of other items. The currency runs from $15 for a sheet of four $1 bills to $196 for a sheet of 32 $5 bills. The $2 notes are the hottest sellers.

"We only print $2 bills very rarely," says the bureau's spokesman, Ed Sheehan. "People like to frame them and give them as gifts."

Of course, there is no rule against using them for something a tad more functional. "This is genuine money," says Sheehan. "They can cut them to size and spend them."

The U.S. Postal Service also has moved into the online gift business (www.usps.gov/postmark). It sells items like its "Pony Express Most Wanted T-Shirt" ($19.95) and Paul Bunyan blue ox boxer shorts ($14.95).

The Smithsonian museums are online (www.si.edu/activity/planvis/sic/ shop.htm), as is the White House Historical Association (www. …

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