By the late 1850's the
American Bank Note Company (ABNC) had become the leading security printer in
the USA. At that time ABNC was producing large quantities of high quality
notes for the many private banks in the USA (obsolete banknotes). Although
usually printed in one color, the designs were many times spectacular.
expanded its market penetration into foreign governments and private banks
overseas. In 1862, large orders for Greece and Colombia began a rise by ABNC
to international prominence in high quality, multicolored bank note
printing. In the 1860's and 1870's notes were usually printed in colors, and
because of the outstanding quality, the notes were some of the highest
quality and most beautiful ever made.
The majority of
currency produced at that time was for Latin American governments and banks.
By that time it was not unusual to see the same or similar vignettes on
notes of several countries. In the twentieth century, ABNC produced notes
for more countries, although the main market seemed to be Latin America.
One large market in
which ABNC was the dominant force was China, where they supplied notes for
the many issuing authorities all over China. A new marketplace emerged in
the 1930's and 1940's with the beginning of World War II. New countries
ordering notes from ABNC in that period included Belgian Congo, French West
Africa, Israel, Martinique, Morocco, The Netherlands and the Antilles,
Surinam and Turkey.
In the 1970's
many other security firms from overseas, and intense nationalism served to
decrease the market of ABNC. Many countries built their own security
printing facilities. The period of foreign collector interest in the
marvelous products of ABNC is 1862 to 1970.