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1934A $10 FRNs

Late-Finished Plate #169

Ten-dollar Series of 1934A New York face plate 169 is one of four late-finished Federal Reserve Note faces. It originally was a 1934 $10 FRN master face plate that in 1938 the BEP altered to a 1934A master face plate, and then in 1944 finished as a production face plate and used for sheet printings. 


The process of making intaglio printing plates involved masters, bassos and altos. Masters served as templates for producing altos, which were intermediaries lifted from masters, and had designs in relief as opposed to the incuse designs on masters. Bassos were plates lifted from altos after depositing metal onto them, and were exact replicas of the master plates used to make the altos. Most bassos were cleaned, polished, etched with plate serials and logged into the plate vault for use as production plates. Some instead were reserved as master plates.

$10 1934A New York Plate #169 Proof

Image courtesy of Jamie Yakes

Face 169 started life as $10 New York Series of 1934 face 9 in August 1934, when the BEP prepared eight $10 steel intaglio faces for New York at the onset of Series of 1934 production. They designated plate 1 as the master and lifted from it four electrolytic altos in September. They started making electrolytic bassos in October, beginning with faces 9 and 10 on October 3. They made face 9 a master, and for the next three years altos from faces 1 and 9 would spawn all the $10 1934 New York production faces, ending with face 168 in June 1937.


In January 1938 the BEP began etching macro serial numbers on finished face and back plates and designated those FRN faces the Series of 1934A. Series of 1934 faces had micro plate serials; otherwise 1934 and 1934A faces had identical designs. Because of this on February 8 the BEP altered face 9 to a 1934A by etching an “A” after each “SERIES OF 1934” located on all 12 subjects. They reassigned it plate serial 169, which was the first serial for $10 New York faces, and designated it the 1934A master.


Over the next six years, the BEP lifted ten altos from 169, which directly and indirectly spawned all the 1934A production faces made through April 1945 inclusive of serials 170 to 478. The indirect faces were a small batch made in March 1944 from altos lifted from face 418, which itself was derived from face 169 on February 22, 1944. The BEP had designated face 418 the new master for $10 1934A New York faces, and finished face 169 as a production plate on March 15.


Face 169 became part of the large rotation of $10 faces the BEP had been sending to press since the late 1930s. They initially sent it to press on March 21, and used it for six press runs until November 21, 1944. They canceled it the next day. Face 169 sheets moved through the numbering division to receive serial numbers from the high B-C and low B-D blocks.


Written by Jamie Yakes

1934A $10 New York B-C Block LFP #169

1934A $10 New York B-D Block LFP #169

Related SPMC "Paper Money"Journal Articles

"$10 New York Late-Finished Face 169 Varieties" (requires SPMC membership)

July/Aug 2018 - Whole #316; pgs 272-273; Jamie Yakes

"Altered 1934A $5 & $10 FRN Master Plates"

Jan/Feb 2017 - Whole #307; pgs 54-56; Jamie Yakes

"Series of 1934A Late-Finished $5 and $10 FRNs"

Jan/Feb 2016 - Whole #301; pgs 42-43; Jamie Yakes

Other articles covering Late-Finished Plates

The Census Report

Updated 03/11/2024

3 New Notes

Notes Included:

1934A New York LFP #169

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