American Bank Note Company

Sample Bank Note

American Bank Note Company became a very good customer for Crane in the late 19th century. This advertising specimen is likely from very early on as the relationship was developing before these two companies had a strong partnership for decades producing foreign currency paper.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing took over all printing of U.S. bank notes (1877) and stamps (1894) from commercial printers and so companies like American Bank Note Company had to turn to international markets to continue producing currency. This specimen likely dates to about 1850 shortly after Crane developed bank note paper in the 1840s.  The paper appears to be very thin (notice the rips and very “bright” look from back-lighting suggesting thin-ness.  Bank note paper was developed to be more durable and heavier in weight, so this is likely a very early version of bank note paper from Crane.  The 2 threads were an early form of anti-counterfeiting technology.  You can see the fray from the threads on the edge of the note.