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Arti-Facts: Check Protector, circa 1904
The Green County Historical Museum has a couple of vintage check protectors.

The "Defiance Check Protector" shown here was manufactured by the Defiance Machine Company of Rochester, N.Y. On the side of the machine is inscribed several patent dates: "April 13, 1897; Nov. 29, 1898; July 28, 1903; Jan 12, 1904 other patents pending."

The protector was used by Earl Clark's music store in Monroe and was given to the Museum in 1967 by Dale Alexander, his grandson.

The first mechanical check protector was marketed in 1870. Check protectors were used to prevent alteration of the monetary figures on checks and other financial documents. In some cases, early check protectors also were used to prevent alteration of the payee, signature and date.

Check protectors print checks in a manner that makes it difficult to alter; many different techniques were used to prevent modification.

A common method employed was to produce checks using perforated numerals which create bumps on an otherwise smooth paper. Check protectors continue to be sold today.