on the Allied Military Currency, BOTH series

Due to pressure of war time circumstances (the proximity of the Normandy landings, lack of time and proper equipment), the United States Bureau of Engraving an Printing, unable to meet certain deadlines in printing the Allied currencies, (currencies to be used in France and other occupied territories), contracted some of this printing to outside providers. Forbes Lithograph Co. of Boston was one of these external providers.


But the U.S Bureau of Engraving and Printing had not thought to protect these military banknotes. Accordingly, the bureau gave permission to the Forbes Co. to include in the scroll work of these notes, their printer’s mark with a stylized "F" hidden in the display of the front of the note.


A second security feature was also incorporated on all banknotes, only it is much more difficult to detect. This is a transparent printing ink having the three words "MILITARY ALLIED CURRENCY" printed directly on the paper surface. Exposing the note grazing light, you can distinguish one or more text reflective strips running horizontally along the length of the note (see photo below).


The typical Forbes numbering system

Furthermore, the numbering machines had eight wheels and a series of runs of each denomination were made with notes being numbered from 00000001 to 99999999 in each run. The banknotes bearing the indication large "X" or small "x" were inserted whenever imperfect notes were removed in the number sequence and for the 100 000 000th note. All except the first run carries a run number near the serial number. Both types printed by Forbes: banknotes with "French flag" or banknotes with "France" on back.


June 21, 2014. Yann-Noël Hénon




La version française de cet article a été publiée au format PDF dans le Bulletin Numismatique N°135 de : lire