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Ten Fun Facts About Crane & Co.

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Crane & Co.Who are Crane & Co. and why would we want to know ten fun facts about them? Open up your wallet or your purse, wherever you put your money, and pull out a bill. Crane & Co. manufactures the paper the money is printed on. In fact, Crane & Co. prints money for Sweden, Saudi Arabia, India, several African countries, India, and Paraguay. While they’re also a high end stationary provider, three quarters of their revenues are from currency business accounts.

Here are a few more fun facts about Crane & Co.:

  1. They were founded in 1801. They’ve been printing paper for U.S. currency for over 130 years, since 1879, and one of the company legends is that the company used to print paper for Paul Revere to print Colonial currency.
  2. The paper-making legacy precedes the founding of Crane & Co. Zenas Crane co-founded the company in 1801 but his father, Stephen Crane, took over one of the first paper mills in Massachusetts in 1770. He named it the Liberty Paper Mill.
  3. Their US facility is located in Dalton, Massachusetts. Dalton is named after Tristam Dalton, speaker of of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and was incorporated in 1784. It’s largest industry became papermaking, in large part because of its largest employer in Crane.
  4. They are the sole provider of currency paper for the U.S. Treasury. The paper they supply contains all of the security features in the final bill from threads to watermarks to the special embedded fibers. The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing does the actual printing of the bills themselves.
  5. There are only three companies that print currency, manufacture the paper, and the security features – they are one of them. One of the others i English and the other is German.
  6. Crane produces 100% cotton stationery made from 100% recovered cotton fibers. They don’t cut down any trees and instead rely on recovered cotton.
  7. Winthrop M. Crane, one of the CEOs of Crane & Co., became a politician. He was the 40th Governor of Massachusetts (1900-1903) and as a Senator from Massachusetts from 1904 until 1913.
  8. There is a Crane Museum of Papermaking. The museum is located in what was once the Rag Room of the Crane’s 1844 Old Stone Mill and was opened in 1930. It’s free, open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 p.m. from early June through mid-October.
  9. As is the case with many government contracts, Crane & Co. won the initial currency contract by being the lowest bidder. According to CNN Money, they discovered the lowest bid and submitted one that was much lower. The other bidders tried to lock him in his room but he snuck out and was able to submit the lower bid. They’ve been producing US currency paper ever since!
  10. Before Crane & Co. became the sole supplier of currency paper, the job was contracted to the American Bank Note Company and the National Bank Note Company during the Civil War. Both companies also supplied paper money for the Confederacy at the same time.

Their main site deals with premium cotton stationary but I had fun poking around their Crane Currency website and looking at their various brochures. The new Motion technology looks very cool and certainly would add another layer of security to our currency (it’s currently used in the new Costa Rican 20,000 Colónes note).

{ 5 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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5 Responses to “Ten Fun Facts About Crane & Co.”

  1. MB says:

    Wow, cool read. I am a fan of Crane paper and always try to use their products for resumes and thank you cards, even though I don’t have the kind of jobs that demand that.

    Part of my sadness at switching to online applications is the loss of high quality paper, an affordable luxury, if there ever was one.

  2. Chris says:

    Just a random thought but if its all cotton based, let alone recycled, then there’s no trees harmed because cotton isn’t made from trees. Its a plant, a shrub

  3. zapeta says:

    I think its interesting how many countries they print currency for. I never gave much thought to the paper that money is printed on.

  4. Shelly says:

    Crane paper is LOVELY to hand write upon. As a calligraphy, I can absolutely attest that traditional ink and pen nibs love to write on Crane paper and make the calligrapher look even better. It’s pricey, but worth it for special occasions. Love notes. Thank yous. Weddings.

    Also, it is acid free, so it will stand up to time better than most ephemera.

  5. moljacks says:

    Interesting article. I never really thought about the paper too much so this was a good read. I do love my Crane note cards!

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