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Promissory Note with Embossed Revenue

Inv# AM1559
Promissory Note with Embossed Revenue
State(s): Massachusetts
Years: 1799

Promissory note with 4 cents embossed revenue stamp (in upper left corner) of Massachusetts. Pittsfield, Mass.

Embossing and debossing are the processes of creating either raised or recessed relief images and designs in paper and other materials. An embossed pattern is raised against the background, while a debossed pattern is sunken into the surface of the material but might protrude somewhat on the reverse side.

Often used in combination with foil stamping, embossing alters the surface of paper stock or other substrates by providing a three-dimensional or raised effect on selected areas. The procedure requires the use of two dies: one that is raised and one that is recessed. The dies fit into each other so that when the paper is pressed between them, the raised die forces the stock into the recessed die and creates the embossed impression. A specific level of pressure is applied to the dies in order to squeeze the fibers of the paper, which results in a permanently raised area in the paper. When the dies are produced, a die maker engraves the desired image into several metal plates, which are the embossing dies for use on an embossing press. A thorough understanding of the process will enable a more successful result. Generally, embossing is the process most often employed to attract attention or convey a high quality textural contrast in relation to the surrounding area of the paper stock.

“Debossing” is similar to embossing, but recesses the design rather than raising it. Rather than the paper being raised in specific areas, it is indented. The process involves applying pressure to the front side of a substrate and forcing the material down from the surface. Although it is not as common as embossing, it is occasionally used to provide a different effect or appearance that fits a particular theme. Embossing and debossing on digitally printed applications is an off-line process, which may add a significant cost to the job.

Embossing is basically used to create a distinctive effect. The greatest concern and emphasis on the client’s behalf should be placed on the outcome of the embossed effect. In order to achieve the best possible effect, it is important to understand the embossing process and the types of dies that are used for embossing. The three factors that need to be controlled during the embossing process are:

  1. Pressure: the intensity of the impact on the weight of the stock being embossed.
  2. Heat: the ability to maintain a consistent heat level for the best impression.
  3. Die depth: the client's artwork or the engraver's efforts will initially determine the die depth, however, if by looking at the artwork it appears that an adjustment of the die depth may be necessary, the die may need to be retooled to achieve a greater depth. Most types of paper can be embossed, and size is not normally a consideration. Embossing without ink, so that the image is raised but not colored, is called “blind embossing”. Embossing used in conjunction with ink, so that the raised area is coloured, is called “colour register embossing”. Embossing used in conjunction with foil stamping is called “combination stamping” or “combo stamping”.

Embossing involves a separate stage in the production process, after any varnishing and laminating. It requires a separate press run, and is priced accordingly. In addition to being used as a design element, embossing can be used to improve the performance of paper products like napkins, diapers, and tissue paper.

The metals most often used for die construction are zinc, magnesium, copper, and brass. The material used for a specific application depends upon a number of factors.

Blind embossing does not include the use of ink or foil to highlight the embossed area. The change in the dimensional appearance of the material is the only noticeable difference resulting from the embossing. The blind embossing process provides a clean and distinctive or subtle image on paper stock. It is best used to create a subtle impression or low level of attention to the piece, yet provide some slight form of differentiation for the finished work.

Registered embossing is a process that places the embossed image in alignment with another element created with ink, foil, punching, or with a second embossed image.

Embossed in register (EIR) simulates the natural appearance of hardwood flooring by adding depth and texture in alignment with a print on the material.

Combination embossing is the process of embossing and foil stamping the same image. It involves imprinting and aligning foil over an embossed image to create a foil emboss. A sculptured die, generally made of brass is used for this procedure. The process requires close registration that must be controlled to keep the image and foil matched precisely. The process of embossing and foil stamping is accomplished in one operation with the use of a combination die. The combination die has a cutting edge around the perimeter to cleanly break the excess foil away from the embossed area.

Pastelling is also referred to as tint leaf embossing. It involves the process of using a combination die to provide a subtle antique appearance to a substrate that is embossed and foil stamped. Pearl finishes, clear gloss, or similar pastel foil finishes can be selected that provide a soft two-color antique look (without scorching) to the embossed image. Lighter colored stocks work best to provide this soft contrasting effect.

Glazing refers to an embossed area that has a shiny or polished appearance. Most often this process is accomplished with heat that is applied with pressure in order to create a shiny impression on the stock. Dark colored heavy weight stocks generally work best with glazing because the polished effect is much more noticeable and the dark color of the stock helps to eliminate or soften any burned appearance that may result from the application of the heat. When used in conjunction with foil, the process can provide the foil with a slightly brighter appearance.

Scorching is similar to glazing except that it is not used to polish the stock. Instead, scorching does what it implies: as the temperature of the die heating plate is increased beyond a normal temperature range, a scorched effect is created in the embossed image, which results in an antique or shaded appearance. It is best to use a lighter colored stock for this procedure in order to provide a unique two-toned appearance. Caution should be used in requesting this effect, since it is easy to burn the stock if too much heat is used. If scorching occurs too close to the printed copy, it can interfere with the clarity of the printed copy; however, this may be the effect that is desired for a particular application.

A notary public may use an embossed seal to mark legal papers, either in the form of an adhesive seal, or using a clamp-like embossing device, to certify a signature on a document, contract, etc., or cause to become certified through a notary public or bill. Registered professional engineers also use embossing seals to certify drawings, thereby guaranteeing to the recipient that due diligence has been exercised in the design. Government agencies use embossed seals to certify that an important document, such as a birth certificate, court order, etc., is an authentic, original copy, rather than a photocopy that could be altered in the copying process.

Embossing has been used regularly on postage and other types of stamps. The embossed paper of a letter sheet or stamped envelope is called an indicium. Notable early examples include some of the earliest stamps of Italy, Natal, and Switzerland, as well as the early high values of Great Britain (1847–54). Modern stamps still sometimes use embossing as a design element.

Pittsfield is the largest city and the county seat of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is the principal city of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Berkshire County. The population was 43,927 at the 2020 census. Although the population has declined in recent decades, Pittsfield remains the third largest municipality in Western Massachusetts, behind only Springfield and Chicopee. In 2006, Forbes ranked Pittsfield as number 61 in its list of Best Small Places for Business. In 2008, Country Home magazine ranked Pittsfield as #24 in a listing of "green cities" east of the Mississippi. In 2009, the City of Pittsfield was chosen to receive a 2009 Commonwealth Award, Massachusetts' highest award in the arts, humanities, and sciences. In 2010, the Financial Times proclaimed Pittsfield the "Brooklyn of the Berkshires" in an article covering its renaissance at that time.

In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places for single people to retire in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report, due to the high number of single older residents and higher likelihood of finding companionship or a partner.

In 2017, the Arts Vibrancy Index compiled by the National Center for Arts Research ranked Pittsfield and Berkshire County as the No. 1 medium-sized community in the nation for the arts.

The Mohicans, an Algonquian people, inhabited Pittsfield and the surrounding area until the early 1700s, when the population was greatly reduced by war and disease, many migrated westward or lived quietly on the fringes of society.

In 1738, a wealthy Bostonian named Col. Jacob Wendell bought 24,000 acres (97 km2) of lands known originally as Pontoosuck, a Mohican word meaning "a field or haven for winter deer", as a speculative investment. He planned to subdivide and resell to others who would settle there. He formed a partnership with Philip Livingston, a wealthy kinsman from Albany, New York, and Col. John Stoddard of Northampton, who had claim to 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) here.

A group of young men came and began to clear the land in 1743, but the threat of Indian raids around the time of King George's War soon forced them to leave, and the land remained unoccupied by Englishmen for several more years.

Soon, many others arrived from Westfield, Massachusetts, and a village began to grow, which was incorporated as Pontoosuck Plantation in 1753 by Solomon Deming, Simeon Crofoot, Stephen Crofoot, Charles Goodrich, Jacob Ensign, Samuel Taylor, and Elias Woodward. Mrs. Deming was the first and the last of the original settlers, dying in March 1818 at the age of 92. Solomon Deming died in 1815 at the age of 96.

Pittsfield was incorporated in 1761. Royal Governor Sir Francis Bernard named Pittsfield after British nobleman and politician William Pitt. By 1761 there were 200 residents and the plantation became the Township of Pittsfield.

By the end of the Revolutionary War, Pittsfield had grown to nearly 2,000 residents, including Colonel John Brown, who in 1776 began accusing Benedict Arnold of being a traitor, several years before Arnold defected to the British. Brown wrote in his winter 1776-77 handbill, "Money is this man's God, and to get enough of it he would sacrifice his country."

Pittsfield was primarily an agricultural area because of the many brooks that flowed into the Housatonic River; the landscape was dotted with mills that produced lumber, grist, paper, and textiles. With the introduction of Merino sheep from Spain in 1807, the area became the center of woolen manufacturing in the United States, an industry that would dominate the community's economy for almost a century.

The town was a bustling metropolis by the late 19th century. In 1891, the City of Pittsfield was incorporated and William Stanley Jr., who had recently relocated his Electric Manufacturing Company to Pittsfield from Great Barrington, produced the first electric transformer. Stanley's enterprise was the forerunner of the internationally known corporate giant, General Electric (GE). Thanks to the success of GE, Pittsfield's population in 1930 had grown to more than 50,000. While GE Advanced Materials (now owned by SABIC-Innovative Plastics, a subsidiary of the Riyadh-based Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) continues to be one of the city's largest employers, a workforce that once topped 13,000 was reduced to less than 700 with the demise and/or relocation of General Electric's transformer and aerospace portions. On October 8, 2015, SABIC announced it would relocate its headquarters from Pittsfield to Houston, Texas.

In 1985, Bernard Baran became the first person convicted in the day-care sex-abuse hysteria for alleged crimes at the Early Childhood Development Center in Pittsfield. Always maintaining his innocence, he was freed in 2006 and died in 2014.

General Dynamics occupies many of the old GE buildings and its workforce is expanding. Much of General Dynamics' local success is based on the awarding of government contracts related to its advanced information systems. In September 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and other Baker administration officials attended the groundbreaking of a $13.7 million project to build a life sciences and advanced manufacturing center in the city.

On September 3, 1902, at 10:15 AM, during a two-week tour through New England campaigning for Republican congressmen, the barouche transporting President Theodore Roosevelt from downtown Pittsfield to the Pittsfield Country Club collided head-on with a trolley. Roosevelt, Massachusetts Governor Winthrop Murray Crane, secretary to the president George Bruce Cortelyou, and bodyguard William Craig were thrown into the street. Craig was killed; he was the first Secret Service agent killed while on a presidential protection detail. Roosevelt, whose face and left shin were badly bruised, nearly came to blows with the trolley motorman, Euclid Madden. Madden was later charged with manslaughter to which he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to six months in jail and a heavy fine.

In 2004, historian John Thorn discovered a reference to a 1791 by-law prohibiting anyone from playing "baseball" within 80 yards (73 m) of the new meeting house in Pittsfield. A reference librarian, AnnMarie Harris, found the actual by-law in the Berkshire Athenaeum library and its age was verified by researchers at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. If authentic and if actually referring to a recognizable version of the modern game, the 1791 document, would be, as of 2004, the earliest known reference to the game in America. (See Origins of baseball.) The document is available on the Pittsfield Library's web site.

A finding that baseball was invented in 1839 by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York provided the rationale for baseball centennial celebrations in 1939 including the opening of a National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in that city. Few historians ever believed it and even the Hall's vice president, Jeff Idelson, has stated that "Baseball wasn't really born anywhere."

In 1859, the first intercollegiate baseball game was played in Pittsfield. Amherst defeated Williams College, 73–32.

Ulysses Frank Grant, born August 1, 1865, in Pittsfield (died May 27, 1937), was an African American baseball player in the 19th century who played in the International League and for various independent teams.

Professional baseball was played in Pittsfield's Wahconah Park from 1919 through 2003. Teams included the Pittsfield Electrics of the 1940s, the Pittsfield Red Sox from 1965–1969 with such then A-league players and future major leaguers as George Scott, Carlton Fisk, and Reggie Smith, the Pittsfield Senators (later Rangers) of the 1970s, and the 1985–1988 AA Pittsfield Cubs featuring future stars Mark Grace and Rafael Palmeiro. From 1989 to 2001, the Pittsfield Mets and Pittsfield Astros (2001 only) represented the city in the New York–Penn League. The Astros have since moved to Troy, New York, and are now known as the Tri-City ValleyCats.

In 2005, Wahconah Park became the home stadium of the Pittsfield Dukes, a summer collegiate baseball franchise of the New England Collegiate Baseball League owned by Dan Duquette, former Boston Red Sox general manager. The Dukes had played the 2004 season in Hinsdale, Massachusetts, as the Berkshire Dukes. In 2009, the franchise changed its name to the Pittsfield American Defenders. The American Defenders' name refers to both the United States military and a line of baseball gloves produced by Nocona Athletic Goods Company. Duquette's ownership group also owned the American Defenders of New Hampshire, members of the independent Can-Am League.

Since 2012, Wahconah Park has been the home of the Pittsfield Suns of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

Mark Belanger, eight-time Gold Glove winning shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles, Turk Wendell, relief pitcher for the New York Mets, and Tom Grieve, outfielder for the Texas Rangers, were all from Pittsfield.

Condition: Excellent
Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.
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