When I was with the BEP from 1979 to 1988, I was privy to many banknote printers that printed paper currency for beleaguered countries. Hey, I like the word "beleaguered," that has to stand for shunned countries. Government, quasi-government and commercial printers often printed banknotes for countries not in the good graces of the U.N. or the United States.
As I traveled to foreign countries I was often invited to visit their banknote printing operations. At times I would see a roped-off area where a tarp of some sorts would cover the half-finished or finished product. As I was trained by BEP printers, I could actually look at the rapidly turning press and actually see what was being printed. I often spied such banknotes. We all knew that the banknotes had to come from somewhere.
I remember that savant of western banknote history, Ed Rochette, regaling me about the war with Mexico c 1915. The U.S. forces allowed a train from Mexico to travel from El Paso to Pueblo, CO, to pick up an order of Mexican banknotes from a banknote printer located there.
It actually was a couple of BEP offset printers that taught me the art of focusing on a stamp whirling by. They did this to check registration. Try that on a slot machine!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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