In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, North American businesses were facing a growing problem of the skilled-alteration and outright forgery of their hand-written checks. Mechanical checkwriters work by protecting a check from unauthorized alteration of either the amount or the authorizing signature. They use several methods to do so. These methods may include any combination of: perforation (or ‘punching’), embossing and debossing, and the imprint of hard to alter coloured-ink filled fields being utilized on the financial instrument.
The company was founded by Chicagoan George M. Willis in 1917 as the Checkometer Sales Company, based out of the historic Manhattan Building in downtown Chicago. The further improved “Paymaster” line was first introduced in 1932, and was a marketing success throughout the 1930s and afterward. The “Paymaster Check Writer and Protector” financially carried the company through the depression. Paymaster check writers are still in regular use in 2021, they are used to prepare money orders and cashier’s checks, by such entities as the United States Postal Service, convenience stores, and by financial institutions such as banks, checking exchanges, and savings and loans, although the company was closed by 2000.
Paymaster check writer also referred to as check protector, check printer, check machine, and check signer. This hefty machine was commonly used for payroll to print the amount to protect against check fraud or alteration.
Good vintage condition, some marks to the outer shell and some minor scuffs, all to be expected from a working machine. Not tested, but inner workings are in easy reach through the access hatches.
Product code: 6026/F274