Vintage Cards Depict Papermaking

Vintage Cards Depict Papermaking

25 Days of Paper 2015, Day 7


Crane & Co., based in Dalton, MA, has been manufacturing cotton-based paper products used in the printing of national currencies, passports and banknotes as well as for social stationery since the late 1700’s. Crane remains the predominant supplier of paper for use in U.S. currency. The Crane Museum of Papermaking recently opened The Garage Center for the Paper Arts – a makers’ and enablers’ space for papermakers, artists and educators.

I’ve taken a tour of Crane & Co. and saw piles (actually mountains) of rags in one room and workers hand gilding the edges of fine stationery with gold leaf and pigment in another. 

Check out (and purchase) this set of five cards depicting papermaking scenes at Crane & Co. during World War II. Note that the ladies in the rag room are elderly and would not normally be in the workforce. The guys are at war, the young women are doing the Rosie the Riveter thing and Grandmoms came back to Crane to do what they did as young women. Another rare image is that of the beater engineer “panning stock” from the beater. By diluting the stock and pouring from one pan to another, the engineer could determine if any knots or clumps remained and get a good idea of fiber length. These images are believed to have been created by the artist Nat White.

Purchase a set of 5 papermaker’s cards for $10. These cards are printed on 90# Crane’s Ivory Woven and come with 32# Crane’s Ecru Kid Finish envelopes.  

Here’s a beautiful and informative video about the company. Watch to the end to hear Crane & Co. historian Peter Hopkins talk about how the company’s products are central to long lasting relationships.


About Our Sponsor: The Crane Museum of Papermaking recently opened about 3,500 square feet of space for The Garage Center for the Paper Arts – a makers’ and enablers’ space for papermakers, artists and educators. For information, email


About the 25 Days of Paper 2015: It’s a great time to celebrate paper, and I’m delighted to share my ideas for using this amazing material with you. Throughout December, I’ll be posting a paper tutorial on even days, and every odd day will bring news about paper artists, stores, distributors and more! Receive updates via e-mail by adding your address in the upper right hand corner of this page. Enjoy the season, and feel free to leave a comment below and check out what people are making in the 25 Days of Paper FB Group!

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