More than 200 years ago, Stephen Crane decided to make a statement. And it wasn’t with his fashion forward breeches or well-groomed mutton chops. It was, rather, with the name of a paper mill he opened in 1770. He called it the Liberty Paper Mill and, for purveyors of our American heritage, was named so just two years after the British occupied Boston – and just five miles away.
Always the extrovert, Stephen, along with friends, family and customers, were Revolution tastemakers, expressing their fiery patriotism whenever the opportunity presented itself (a little event called the Boston Tea Party, if you will).
From patriotic newspapers to Colonial Currency, Stephen’s 100 percent cotton paper was material of choice for all the Boston activist elite, including one Paul Revere, whose engraved banknotes on Crane paper helped finance the Revolution. He would also pasture his horses at the Liberty Paper Mill – just in case he needed to make a midnight ride (wink, wink).
Welcome to Dalton
Luckily, paper was in the Crane blood (but you knew that), and in 1799 Stephen’s son Zenas found a lovely location for a new mill along the banks of the Housatonic River in Dalton, Massachusetts. Even then, the mill was known for producing paper of the finest quality, and, without the help of a Twitter feed, became the go-to paper for banks, government proclamations, and stocks and bonds.
Maybe it’s our charm and confidence, or perhaps it’s our impeccable style, but Washington D.C. has always had a fondness for Crane & Co. U.S. currency? Crane & Co. paper. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s national affairs? We’re blushing.
Crane & Co., Je t’aime
In the mid-1800s, carrier pigeons everywhere wept, as the envelope and postage stamp became Europe’s fashionable way to correspond. The luxurious new delivery method led to the beginning a passionate across-the-pond love affair with Crane & Co.’s social stationery papers.
And speaking of Europe, we offer this delightful tidbit: the Queen Mum announced the celebration of her 100th birthday on Crane & Co. paper.
Centuries later, Crane & Co. still calls Dalton home, our 100 percent cotton paper still incites swoons, and we’re still making bold statements. Still not with breeches.