Chris Crane, a member of the sixth generation of the Crane family to work at Crane & Co., retired in 2001 after 44 years. In his early days, Chris made his mark on the century-old relationship with the American Banknote Company, managing sales of currency papers, travelers check papers, stock and bond papers, and safety paper. It was in this position that he was exposed to the intricacies of intaglio printing and a life long love affair began. Soon after, he began to travel to Europe, Asia and Latin America to support the sale of banknote papers.
Following his international success, Chris took on the responsibility of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. In those days, all denominations of US currency were printed on a single type of paper, but this was not to last. With advancing new reprographic technologies, changes were soon planned to US banknote designs that had been the same since the 1920’s.
He worked on projects for Joh.Enschede the printer of Dutch banknotes, including the recognition of intaglio printing that led to the Intaglio Scanning and Recognition Device(ISARD),as well as the development of watermark barcode recognition in Dutch Guilder banknotes.
Chris recognized that the company’s future lay in developing new security solutions within the banknote paper, and that to be successful, these new offerings must be compatible the printing processes. He became a strong advocate at the company for making significant investments in anticipation of the BEP’s needs – essentially betting the company’s future on meeting the customer’s requirements.
In a significant step forward, a team of technologists and production veterans developed currency paper that incorporated a de-metalized security thread that would not reproduce on a color copier. Crane & Co. invented and commercialized a novel security thread concept requiring custom-built film printing and slitting equipment, new methods for producing paper with embedded threads, and cutting edge vision systems. The company also developed novel sheet-forming technology for durable, watermarked papers for the international markets. The company worked with suppliers to develop full-sheet inspection technology on the sheeters and a new, automated solution for finishing watermarked banknote papers in high volumes. Crane & Co. revamped a mill to incorporate a cylinder mold machine, significantly increasing its presence on the world currency stage. Throughout, Chris’s steadfast commitment to the highest quality was never far from his mind as he drove Crane & Co. to be the first paper company in North America to become ISO certified.
When he retired in 2001, Chris led a dedicated, highly functioning team that had transformed the company from a paper business to a high-technology security products manufacturer. Chris Crane’s guidance, conviction, and vision set Crane & Co. on a path of innovation joined with dedication to quality that it continues to build on today.