Graphic of the BEP Seal

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Pictured below: Currency exhibit display panels at Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, TX.
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Research: Treasury Securities 

Overview:

 

From 1863 to 1986, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced the various debt obligations of the U.S. Government: bonds, savings bonds, notes, bills, certificates of indebtedness, etc.  In fact, bonds were the first items ever produced inside the Treasury building by the nascent BEP.  Security production ended when the adoption of electronic methods for issuing and redeeming securities made paper ones obsolete.

 

For further information on this topic, specific questions may be addressed to the Historical Resource Center.


HRC / BEP Papers

 

"The Beginning of Treasury Security Production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 1863," BEP Communicator, April 2005

A brief description of how the BEP started printing securities.

 

"The Beginning of Treasury Security Production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 1863" in BEP History: Origins

A detailed examination of how and why the Treasury began printing its own securities.

 

"The Bonds That Won the War: The Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Funding of World War II," BEP Communicator, July 2005

A short article on War Savings Bonds and other securities.

 

Civil War Security Processing Flowchart

A diagram of how securities were issued during the Civil War.

 

"Distinctive Paper and the Design of United States Treasury Notes," BEP Communicator, Jan/Feb 2002

Looks at anticounterfeiting measures in the 1890s.

 

The Evolution of the Treasury Note

Examines the early history of this security.

 

Greenbacks That Never Were

Reports on the discovery of small denomination notes that were prepared but never issued in 1861.

 

The High Cost of Debt: Very-High-Denomination Treasury Notes and U.S. Treasury Debt Management, 1955-1969

A paper delivered at the Economic History Society in April 2005.

 

 

Procedures of the Register's Office

A brief description of the Register's role in issuing securities.

 

The Production of Treasury Securities, July 1, 1862 to October 1, 1864: The Reconstruction of BEP Quarterly Production Figures

An attempt to estimate how many securities were produced in the chaotic first years of the BEP.

 

 "The Treasury Bill," BEP Communicator, November 2004

An introduction to the Treasury bill.

 

Treasury Organizational Chart, 1861-65: Offices involved in Processing Securities and Currency

A chart showing who was involved in issuing securities.

 

 

HRC / BEP Books & Articles

 

A Guide to Government Obligations Printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 1861-1980, 10 vols. (Washington, DC: Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 2002-06)

 

History of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 1862-1962 (Washington, DC: Treasury Department, 1962)

A full-length official history of the BEP.

 


External Links

 

Bureau of the Public Debt : Home Page

The site contains information on types of securities as well as current and past levels of the public debt.

 

EH.Net Encyclopedia: The United States Public Debt, 1861 to 1975

A brief history of the U.S. public debt.

 

Financial Management Service: A Bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury

This site contains current and past reports on Treasury issues.

 

The United States National Debt, 1787-1900 | Book Reviews | EH.Net

A book review of a document collection on the early debt.

 

U.S. Public Debt Issues, 1775-1976 | EH.Net

A chronological listing of securities issued by the Government.