RN B10, Type B printed in red, was the first American Phototype design
and color known to have been used on checks. The first regular monthly
deliveries of imprinted checks began in July of 1865 (although some
receipts bearing black imprints were delivered in April of that year.)
Judging on the evidence of ones remaining to us, these bore a red
imprint and were used by various customers of the American Exchange
The earliest known imprinted checks were used on August 3, 1865. The
check shown below is not numbered, but the check that was just below
it on the pad, also dated August 3, is numbered “2.” Therefore it
has the status of being the earliest known use of a revenue imprinted
check in the United States.
The checks with B10 imprints are interesting in that they span the
period from the time when American Phototype printed both the check
and imprint in the same color and gave a discount for doing it to
the time after they had chosen to retain the imprint contract and
give up check printing. Most of the checks that use them are from
New York, but the list includes accounts in Connecticut, Pennsylvania
and Vermont, as well as ones altered for use in Virginia.
Most of the B0 imprints are a vivid red color, but those of several
users are lighter and have more blue in them, resulting a pinkish
color much like that of the “red” C’s.
Connecticut check with an RN B10 imprint.
A previously unlisted unused check bearing an RN B10 imprint.
To see the B10 list, go back to the RN Inventories page using the link below.