The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 15, April 12, 2020, Article 7


Roland Rollins has published a new book on banknote company promotional sheets and test notes. -Editor

Promotional Sheet & Test Notes book cover North American Printers Promotional Sheet & Test Notes - American Bank Note Company to E.A. Wright Bank Note Company

Covers all test, advertising, promotional, color samples and house notes for firms involved in the production of bank notes. Spiral bound book, 198 pages, 113 known printers, 1000+ images, 1071 test notes from 1820 to date.

This catalog is a specialized book form of The Catalog of Printers' Test Notes, an eBook that covers all known printers of test notes worldwide. Bank note printing firms issuing test notes now include, printers, paper and substrate suppliers, ink suppliers, central banks, currency designers, and security foiling (holograms, Kinegrams, stamping foils) suppliers. There is a companion eBook catalog, covering what is called ATM test notes. Such cash management firms will appear in The Catalog of ATM Test Notes.

Promotional Sheet & Test Notes sample page 4 crane Cash management system firms issuing test notes now include ATM manufacturers, currency counters, banks and virtual banks providing ATMs, banknote readers, banknote counters, dispensing machine manufacturers, system integrators, ATM service firms, ATM safe manufacturers, secure electronic financial transaction providers, ATM resellers, counterfeit detection equipment manufacturers, currency strappers and currency disintegrator machine manufacturers and timed access cash controller equipment manufacturers.

This catalog covers material produced by bank note, bond, and share companies. This includes the ancillary firms that produce security features or substrate material for the bank notes. Also included are design firms that may be used to create the bank notes.

The material included in the catalog includes the following.

  • Test notes produced for large, international gatherings of currency collectors, dealers, and bank note issuing authorities. Often the latest test note from a firm is shown and given away at currency related conferences throughout the year, including:
    • Intergraf 2015 - Stockholm, Sweden
    • Currency Industry Suppliers Exhibition (CIS). Their events are called Currency Conferences. 2015 Currency Conference – Vancouver, Canada
    • High Security Printing Conference (Asia, Latin America, & Europe) – Reconnaissance
    • Reconnaissance 2016 Mexico City, Mexico
    • The Banknote Conference
    • Interpol Conference
    • International Bank Note Society annual meetings
    • International Monetary Fund
    • Watermark Conference
    • Security Design Intaglio Printing Note Exhibition
  • Color samples or color charts for prospective buyers. These are often originally bound together in booklet form, but often separated to be sold individually in the collectors' market.
  • Advertising notes, printers' samples or salesman samples of banknotes, stocks, or bonds used to generate business by engravers, lithographers, and ink producers in the security printing industry. This includes sheets, usually called broadsides for "vintage" notes. If a firm was attempting to enter the banknote printing market, it is included. Vignette sheets with the firm's name are also included, this they are promotional in nature, vying for business. There are so many printers and advertising notes in the 1800s in North America due to every bank having the ability to produce its own bank notes.
  • Calendars with vignettes and firm information are given to customers. Some have a new vignette each month; some have a cover vignette only.
  • Demonstration notes and experimental notes are used as examples, sometimes for patents. They can also be used to test wear in different conditions.
  • House notes are made for internal use to devise the proper mix of security elements. These are often also used as test notes at international gatherings.
  • Promotional greeting cards are included when the company mentions their name. These can be with vignette or theme each month, bi- monthly, or only on the cover page.
  • Promotional checks are included when the company lists the firm name.
Promotional Sheet & Test Notes sample page 1 Promotional Sheet & Test Notes sample page 2

Note like material NOT covered in this catalog includes the following.

  • Souvenir and Proof Cards, made by printing firms for marketing purposes and specifically for collectors. Examples include the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing and American Bank Note Company print cards for ANA meetings. This group is not included here since they are not test notes for the following reasons:
    • Printed on cardstock, not paper.
    • Souvenir Cards have engraved "note" only part of a larger cardstock.
    • Often say "Souvenir Card" or "Souvenir Sheet" on the card.
    • The engraving is a reproduction of an existing note or the reuse of the original plates.

The Souvenir Card Collectors Society has a thorough vetting of all North American cards.

  • Advertising notes or promotional notes to market goods or services NOT related to bank note production. There already exists a catalog of American advertising notes – banknote look like paper ads for goods and services - "An Illustrated Catalog of Early North American Advertising Notes", by Robert A. Vlack. Only 15 of the hundreds of bank note printer, engraver, and lithographic advertising notes are listed in this 2001 catalog. The Vlack catalog does list 6,225 advertising notes of North America.
  • Advertising stamps.
  • Business cards are certainly promotional. These are small, usually with not vignettes. There does exist a need for a resource to attribute these, but are not included in this catalog.
  • Single vignettes or vignette sheets without the producer's name are not included, even if the engraver is known. A set of these are promotional in nature, but without the firm's name cannot stand as an advertising sheet by itself.
  • Local notes used for an event or place produced by a bank note printer. While these show the capabilities of the printer, they are not made as an advertisement for the printer.
  • Trial or color trial notes are versions of actual notes, whether the sample was eventually used or not.
  • Fantasy, essays, private printer, and most training notes.
Promotional Sheet & Test Notes sample page 3

For more information, or to order, see:
Book - North American Printers Promotional Sheets & Test Notes, 198 pages, 2020 (


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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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