From Rags to Riches—Money-Paper Maker Crane Accepts First Investment

7/10/08

Could anything be a more secure investment than buying into the very paper that dollars and a bunch of other currencies are printed on? The over-200-year-old Crane & Co paper mill in Dalton, MA, has manufactured paper for U.S. dollar bills since 1879. Up until now, the company has been family-owned. But in order to accommodate family members who want to liquidate their stock, the company “will sell a 20 percent minority ownership stake to an affiliate of New York-based investment firm Lindsay Goldberg for an undisclosed sum,” the Berkshire Eagle reports.

The Crane mill makes paper from “recovered cotton fibers”—in other words, rags. Though you might think that your dollar bills have a tendency to just disappear into thin air, the long cotton fibers makes the currency paper extremely resistant to wear and tear. Today’s currency paper also includes a number of advanced security features, like embedded metal threads, watermarks, fluororescent markings, and other special additives.

Erik Mellgren is a Swedish journalist who worked for Xconomy Boston in 2008 as part of the Stanford Innovation Journalism Fellowship program. His real job is with Ny Teknik, a leading technology and innovation magazine in Sweden, but he loved seeing the Red Sox at Fenway. Follow @

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