Description of the Crane papermaking plant

Crane tells us that currency paper is made of more durable linen and cotton fibers. When NPR visited, the company was preparing tons of dull-brown linen fibers to be an ingredient in the paper. One of the first things we see is a giant iron ball swinging from the rafters. If you’re at all familiar … Continue reading

Main points in 1998 GAO Report

“Currency Paper Procurement: Meaningful Competition Unlikely Under Current Conditions” Purpose: Congress was “concerned about the lack of competition in the procurement of currency paper, fairness and reasonableness of prices paid, and possibility of disruptions to paper supplies.” It directed the GAO to do an analysis the current system and report back on optimum circumstances for … Continue reading

Currency Paper Production Process

via GAO Report 1998. (Remember, this is as of 1998 and thus way out of date.) BUT it gives a good idea of the breakdown at that time. The first type, distinctive currency paper, does not have any security thread or watermark and is used to print all 1- and 2-dollar notes. The second type … Continue reading

Dollar Bills vs. Coins

March 2011, the GAO released a report stating that “the transition to an all-coin dollar would initially cost the nation money, although long-term savings would ultimately be realized.” See here for a longer discussion of GAO reports on this subject. In December of 2011, the US Mint decided to curtail production of dollar coins. It … Continue reading

Notes on Planet Money – “Where Dollar Bills Come From”

via Planet Money One kind of quality check– called a “fold test,” a machine folds a bill back and forth until it breaks. Currency paper lasts 5000 folds, normal paper lasts about 100. Company lore– pre-1879, USgov is using a non-Crane paper co. to get currency paper, decides that the 75cents/pound price is too expensive. … Continue reading

Retail Stores

Q. In 2006 you sold the Crane retail stores. Do you fear that you’re getting away from the core product the company is known for? A. No. We had 23 retail stores, and we closed some and sold the balance. We sell to 4,000 independent stores, but that number is dwindling. What we’re doing is … Continue reading

Environmental Responsibility

In February of 2011, Crane began construction on a new Dalton facility that uses a process called pyrolysis to turn waste into energy. Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures without the participation of oxygen. It involves the simultaneous change of chemical composition and physical phase, and is irreversible. Pyrolysis is … Continue reading

Currency Security Technologies

Some definitions for technologies, processes, and other terms involved in the security printing industry. See here for the individual trademarked names that have been given to different proprietary versions of these technologies. The substrate is the material that is being printed on, typically paper. Overt security devices are meant to be easily seen by the naked eye; … Continue reading

Trademarked Currency Security Technologies

A long if not necessarily complete list. Crane: MOTION – “the new standard in optical security features,” “first micro-optic based material ever used in banknotes. MOTION images appear to move in a fascinating and counter-intuitive way, as if floating on a liquid surface. This striking effect is caused by a micro-lens array interacting with a … Continue reading

Crane & Co Timeline

1770 Stephen Crane buys Liberty Paper Mill 1773 Cartridge paper for colonial militia and later for Continental Army 1776 Paper for Paul Revere’s colonial currency 1801 Crane founded by Zenas Crane, Henry Wiswall, John Willard 1806 Begins printing currency on cotton paper for local and regional banks 1844 Introduces method of embedding silk threads in … Continue reading

Early Currency Security Tech

In 1842, Zenas turned management of the company over to two of his sons, Zenas Marshall Crane and James Brewer Crane. Two years later, Zenas Marshall developed a paper that significantly deterred the altering of banknotes. He was able to imbed silk threads vertically into the paper to indicate the note’s denomination: one silk thread … Continue reading

Crane & Co.

Crane & Co. is a privately held, family-owned company that is based out of Dalton, MA with an international facility in Tumba, Sweden. It is the sole provider of special currency paper for the US Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Crane also plays a role in the international security printing industry, providing paper, printing, and … Continue reading

Privately Held Companies

In our research on currency and securities printers, we’ve come across many privately held companies. As a brief review: Crane & Co. – privately held, still family-owned (non-family CEO) ABnote – privately held De La Rue – publicly traded, listed on the London Stock Market (DLAR) Giesecke & Devrient – privately held, still family-owned (non-family … Continue reading