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V15 2012 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 22, May 27, 2012, Article 21

THE GILBERT PAPER CO $1 FEDERAL RESERVE NOTES, SERIES 1963

On Wednesday I listened to a piece on National Public Radio where a reporter visited the Crane Paper Company, stating that "The paper for U.S. currency, the substrate of everyday commerce, has been made here since 1879 by the Crane family." Well, that's not quite true, according to an article in the May/June issue of Paper Money, the journal of the Society of Paper Money Collectors. Editor Fred Reed kindly forwarded me the text and images for "Federal Reserve Notes Printed on Gilbert Paper" by Steven DeGennaro. Here's an excerpt. Thanks! -Editor

Gilbert Paper

Last year Whitman Publishing put out Robert Azpiazu's book Collector's Guide to Modern Federal Reserve Notes, Series 1963-2009. On the very first page of the catalog listing (Page 1), that author writes regarding $1 Federal Reserve Notes, Series 1963: "CA [Block] C60800001A - C61440000A [Serial Numbers] Gilbert Unknown."

I believe my recent discovery of a Gilbert Paper Co. presentation folder containing the story of these notes and in addition an actual note, is historic and will help fill in some of that information. I posted images of my historic find on www.cointalk.com last November, and also want to share it with readers of Paper Money.

I also attempted to research my find. I wrote an email to the mayor of Menasha, Wisconsin asking for history of the mill, and he forwarded my email to one of the new owners of the mill and property. He, (Tom) had an interesting story how he, and his two partners bought the mill and land back in 2002.

Tom is a lawyer. He told me that after purchasing the abandoned mill, he was in the basement of the mill office building and discovered a large safe. He contacted a local locksmith and had the safe opened. There in the bottom of the safe were 1,100 new, banded $1 bills....nothing else. Neither Tom nor his two partners knew anything about the history of the mill, or the possible significance of the money.

The Crane Company has been the sole supplier of paper used in the printing of U.S. currency for more than 130 years, and back in the early 60's, the BEP sent out invitations to six different paper companies to find out if another paper company could manufacture a qualified paper, and if they could be competitive with Crane. The Gilbert Paper Company was the only company that wanted to participate, and was able to provide qualified paper to the BEP. Unfortunately, the Gilbert Paper Company was unable to supply paper at a reasonable price, so Crane remains the sole supplier of paper used to manufacture U.S. Currency.

Gilbert was contracted to provide the BEP with approximately 150,000 lbs. of distinctive paper at a total cost of $111,750. The estimated number of sheets Gilbert was to deliver was 2,167,316. They were awarded [the] only item in the total contract. There is an undated amendment notice (most likely for June of 1965) for this contract which states that the contract is considered complete with only 1,235,396 sheets having been delivered.

Gilbert Paper


Wayne Homren, Editor

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