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Crane Currency is a manufacturer cotton based paper products used in printing of national currencies, passports and banknotes.

Crane Currency
FoundedDalton, Massachusetts, U.S.
(1801; 218 years ago (1801))
FounderZenas Crane, Henry Wiswall and John Willard
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Key people
Annemarie Watson, President
ProductsCurrency paper and security features
RevenueUS$450 million+ (2017)
Number of employees
ParentCrane Co.



Stephen Crane was the first in the Crane family to become a papermaker, buying his first mill, "The Liberty Paper Mill", in 1770.[1] He sold currency-type paper to engraver Paul Revere, who printed the American Colonies' first paper money. In 1801, Crane was founded by Zenas Crane, Henry Wiswall and John Willard. The company's original mill had a daily output of 20 posts (1 post = 125 sheets). Shortly after, in 1806, Crane began printing currency on cotton paper for local, as well as regional, banks, before officially printing for the government. In 1844 Crane developed a method to embed parallel silk threads in banknote paper to denominate notes and deter counterfeiting.

In 1879, Crane grew when Winthrop M. Crane won a contract to deliver U.S. currency paper to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C. To shore up resources for this contract, Crane expanded its capacity with four new mills engineered by world-renowned mill architect David H. Tower. Tower, a native of Dalton would remain connected to the development of the company throughout his career, having gotten his first start in mill architecture working as an apprentice to rebuild Zena Crane's Red Mill in 1846.[2] Crane produced both the yellow (issued in 1883–1884) and the white (1884–1894) watermarked security papers for the nation's Postal Notes. These early money orders were produced for sale throughout the postal system by the Homer Lee Bank Note Company (1883–1887), the American Bank Note Company (1887–1891), and Dunlap & Clarke (1891–1894). In 1922, Crane & Co. incorporated, with Frederick G. Crane elected as president.

In 2002, Crane purchased the company Tumba Bruk from the Central Bank of Sweden (Riksbank) and operates this today as Crane AB.

In 2015, Crane announced that it would be turning over its stationery division to employees via a "management buyout" by the end of December.[3]

In 2016, Crane announced plans to build a new banknote printing facility and customer experience center in the country of Malta. The facility will be 15,000 square meters in size and will have space for three print lines. The "state-of-the-art" $100 million facility was announced on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 by Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.[4]

In 2017 Crane Currency was sold to Crane Company.[5]


Crane’s MOTION®[6] security technology is being introduced into high denomination banknotes worldwide. The design involves a micro-lens array interacting with graphics far smaller than any microprinting.

Sweden’s 1000 kronor banknote, released in 2006, was the first banknote to use Crane's MOTION technology. A 2007 AP article[7] revealed that the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing will use a new security thread containing "650,000 tiny lenses" (now believed to be over 1 million lenses per inch of thread)[6]. It is currently being used on the $100 bill design released on October 8, 2013.[8]

In 2008, Crane acquired Visual Physics, a subsidiary of Nanoventions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. This purchase gave Crane exclusive control of MOTION micro-optic security technology that is used for the protection of banknotes.


  • Frederick G. Crane (1922–1922)
  • Winthrop M. Crane, Jr. (1923–1951)
  • Bruce Crane (1951–1975)
  • Benjamin J. Sullivan (1975–1986)
  • Thomas A. White (1986–1995)
  • Lansing Crane (1995–2007)
  • Charles Kittredge (2007–2011)
  • Stephen DeFalco (2011–2017)
  • Annemarie Watson (2018–present)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Crane's - History". Archived from the original on 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
  2. ^ Lockwood, John H.; Bagg, Ernest Newton; Carson, Walter S.; Riley, Herbert E.; Boltwood, Edward; Clark, Will L., eds. (1926). "Tower, David Horatio". Western Massachusetts, A History 1636-1925. IV. New York & Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing, Inc. OCLC 988211712. [A]t the age of thirteen years [he] became an apprentice of a local millwright. In 1846 he was employed on work being done in connection with the rebuilding of the old Red Mill, erected at Zenas Crane...Among the mills designed by Mr. Tower are the four Crane paper mills at Dalton, in which all the money paper for the United States Government has been made for over forty years.
  3. ^ Dobrowolski, Tony (December 10, 2015). "Crane stationery division to break off from currency operations". The Berkshire Eagle. Pittsfield, MA. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  4. ^ "Currency printer to open $100m facility in Malta, Prime Minister announces". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  5. ^ Dobrowolski, Tony (December 5, 2017). "Crane Currency to be sold for $800 million". The Berkshire Eagle. Pittsfield, MA. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  6. ^ a b "Crane Currency Technology". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
  7. ^ "$100 bill getting a high-tech face lift". Associated Press. August 27, 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
  8. ^ "Federal Reserve Announces Day of Issue of Redesigned $100 Note". April 24, 2013. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-23.

External linksEdit