The American Bank Note Company (1795 - present), known today simply as ABCorp, is an American corporation that provides secure payment, retail and ID cards, vital record and transaction documents, systems and services to governments and financial institutions, and is one of the largest producers of plastic transaction cards in the world. Founded in 1795 by Robert Scot, the first official engraver of the U.S. Mint, as Murray, Draper, Fairman and Company, the firm produced paper currency for the nation's thousands of state-chartered banks, superior quality stock and bond certificates, postage stamps (form 1879 - 1894), and other engraved and printed items, including maps. After the Panic of 1857, seven of the United States' most prominent securities printers merged to form the American Bank Note Company on April 29, 1858 and founded its headquarters in New York City. Less than two years later, the remaining independent bank note printers merged to form the National Bank Note Company. When the US Treasury Department decided to circulate the first national paper currency at the outbreak of the Civil War, the American and National Bank Note Companies received the contract, and, by the end of the war, had printed 7.25 million 'greenbacks'. Ironically, American and National were also producing paper money for the Confederacy at the same time. Following this first contract to print paper currency, American sought other contracts abroad, and eventually supplied security paper and bank notes to 115 countries. In 1877, Congress passed a law making the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing the sole producer of U.S. currency. This forced a second shake up in the security printing industry, and American absorbed both the National Bank Note and Continental Bank Note companies in 1879. Continental at the time held the contract to print U.S. postage stamps, which continued under the American aegis. American completed the final contract for the private printing of postage stamps in 1894, just after printing its most popular postage stamps for the 1892-93 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, for which it also printed the admission tickets, after which printing of postage stamps transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The American Bank Note Company began printing a new currency for longtime client in 1891: the American Express 'Travelers Cheque'. American printed $9,120 worth of Travelers Cheques that first year, but by the year 2000, printed $24.6 billion that year.