>: Does anyone know if these dollar bills are an error or not?
>: It is of the 1988 series, and the back plate number is on the upper
>: right hand corner instead of the usual lower right hand corner.
>I am glad somebody has brought this up. I have been collecting a number
>of these "funny" bills here in Kentucky. They are all Series 1988 A and
>there are distinct oddities of these bills.
diagnostic marks used for notes printed on the Bureau of Engraving and
Printing's *web press.* Most notes from the BEP are printed on sheet-fed
presses, where the paper is inserted into the press in sheets (for 32
notes per sheet). The backs are printed, the sheets are stacked and dried,
then the face and overprintings are printed.
The first web-press production notes were delivered to the New York
Federal Reserve Bank in June 1992. The web press differs from sheet
presses in that the paper is one long piece that comes off a roll. The
back and face printings are done in the same pass. The paper is wetted,
printed, dried, wetted again, printed and dried and then cut for feeding
into the overprinting stage. It is this wetting and drying that causes the
ink to appear smudgy.
To accommodate the web press, the back plate position numbers have been
moved, as you noticed. On the back, it should be above the E in "ONE" and
to the right of "IN GOD WE TRUST." The face plate position number is
eliminated altogether, and the face check letter is removed.
The BEP expects to print Series 1993 notes sometime this year. COIN WORLD
published detailed stories about the web press in the Aug. 15, 1994,
Curiously, I happened to have one of these web press notes in my pocket as
I was reading your post. It, too, is a Series 1988 A Atlanta note (all
Atlanta seal notes will begin with prefix letter F), and ends in U. It is
number F 53454547 U, and doesn't look too bad, actually. Since the serial
numbers and other overprinted devices are added using the same equipment
as the sheet-fed presses, it would not be unusual to find near serial
numbers in web and sheet notes. The sheets are usually fed into the COPE
machinery in 10,000-sheet blocks, so it would be rather difficult to track
web/sheet differences based on serial numbers alone.