The United States Treasury's processing and issuance of paper currency began in 1861 with workers signing, separating, and trimming sheets of Demand Notes in the Treasury building. Gradually, the separating and trimming of currency sheets became mechanized, and, on August 29, 1862, a separate note processing operation was set up in the basement of the Treasury building. This new workshop eventually took on the new engraving and printing duties entrusted to the Treasury, becoming the basis of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Within a short time, the BEP was producing currency, revenue stamps, government obligations, and other security documents. In 1877, the BEP became the sole producer of all United States currency. The addition of postage stamp production to its workload in 1894 established the BEP as the nation's security printer, responding to the needs of the United States Government in times of both peace and war. Today, the BEP is the largest producer of United States Government security documents with production facilities in Washington, DC, and in Fort Worth, Texas.