Crane & Co.

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Crane & Co., Inc.
Industry Paper
Founded Dalton, Massachusetts, U.S.
(1801; 216 years ago (1801))
Founder Zenas Crane, Henry Wiswall and John Willard
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Key people
Charles Kittredge, Chairman; Stephen DeFalco, CEO
Products Currency paper and security features
Revenue 450 Million + USD (2012)
Number of employees
Subsidiaries Crane Currency
Website Crane Currency

Crane & Co., now known as Crane Currency, is a manufacturer of cotton-based paper products used in the printing of national currencies, passports and banknotes. Crane remains the predominant supplier of paper for use in U.S. currency (Federal Reserve Notes).


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. Crane developed a method to embed parallel silk threads in banknote paper to denominate notes and deter counterfeiting in 1844.

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. 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.[2]


Crane’s Motion[3] 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[4] reveals 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)[3] in the $100 bill design released on October 8, 2013.[5]

In September 2008, Crane initiated purchase negotiations with Visual Physics, a subsidiary of Nanoventions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. This purchase gave Crane exclusive control of Motion.


According to the Times Of Malta, the Boston-based currency printer will open a "state-of-the-art" $100 million facility in Malta, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced Wednesday, September 21.[6]


  • 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–present)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]