The 1970s fear of nuclear apocalypse has left us with some strange relics. Gizmodo uncovers the Culpeper Switch, where the Federal Reserve Bank stashed $4 Billion in cash so that even if Americans were stumbling around in a nuclear winter landscape, they’d still be in thrall to the banks:
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New York and DC are piles of ash, but at least your checks are clearing. That was the idea behind the Culpeper Switch, a sprawling bunker built by the Federal Reserve to keep the banks running after nuclear apocalypse. But even some Cold War-era politicians thought it was silly.
The compound was built just outside the small town of Culpeper, Virginia, near Mount Pony, in 1969. The 135,000 square foot facility was officially called the Federal Reserve System’s Communications and Records Center, and it housed about $4 billion of American currency during the 1970s — currency sitting in what was reportedly the world’s largest single-floor vault at the time.