For all intents and purposes, a Web Note is just like any other modern $1 note, but with one key difference. Printed from May 1992 to November 1996, Web Notes are distinguishable from normal $1 notes by the modified position of the front and back plate numbers. Although subtle, the quickest way to discern a Web Note is by the presence of a plate number on the reverse to the right of “In God we Trust” and the removal of the check letter-number on the face which was substituted with a single plate number.
This change in design was precipitated by the introduction of the experimental Web Process by the Bureau of Engraving & Printing to streamline the production of $1 notes. Using printers reminiscent of those used in the production of newspapers, the hope was to reduce the time for printing $1s, which at the time constituted just over half of the Bureau’s workload. In theory, the Web Process would have eliminated the need for four intaglio sheet-fed presses and the labor requirements of the old process.
However, the introduction of the Web Process was beset with a variety of problems including issues with the tensile strength of the paper, technical difficulties, poor production outputs, and dissatisfaction from printers and technicians employed by the Bureau. The Web Process was consigned to history shortly after its introduction in 1992.
Today Web Notes represent a fascinating yet obscure chapter in the history of U.S. paper money. Popular with small-size specialists, Web Notes are collected in a variety of ways. From collecting a set based on Friedberg Numbers to block combinations and even plate combinations these notes provide multiple avenues for assembling a set, depending on how in-depth one wants to delve into this fascinating numismatic footnote.
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