Ladies, Save Your Rags!

With these stirring words, Zenas Crane announced that his paper mill was open for business in 1801. And well over 200 years later, Crane is still making paper on its original site in Dalton, Massachusetts.

On Saturday, October 27, Douglas Crane, a 4th generation descendant of Zenas, shared the history of his family’s enterprise with a receptive audience at Noble Horizons. Crane has long been known for its fine writing paper. But what makes the company unique is that it has been the sole supplier of currency paper for the US Treasury since 1879.   

Durability is an important factor in currency paper and to meet that requirement, Crane uses a combination of cotton (see the above plea for rags) and linen. It’s not just any rag/linen paper, however. In recent years, ever more ingenious security features to foil counterfeiters have been incorporated into the paper making process, helping to ensure that that $20 bill in your wallet is legit.

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