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The Anacostia Community Museum’s indoor gallery will be closed March 2 through May 18 as we bring our next exhibition to life. Even though our gallery is closed, join us at any of the dynamic upcoming events planned during this time. More information about our events is available at: We look forward to seeing you soon!

Todd Protectograph Personal Check Writer

Object Details

early 20th Century
metal, felt, rubber, ink
4 5/16 × 5 13/16 × 3 5/8 in. (10.9 × 14.8 × 9.2 cm)
This check writing machine manufactured by the G. W. Todd Company of Rochester, N.Y., served to emboss and ink a number value in the payment field on a check, so as to make it difficult to alter. Using a rotating device mounted on the machine, the operator would select the digits, then position the check so that the print heads aligned with the correct field, and pull down the lever on the left side of the machine to print-emboss the amount on the check. The numbers were marked on the check with ink and a series of small shreds in the paper.
This device is in poor shape as it is missing the rotating device for selecting digits, the ink reservoir, and the lid. It was owned by the linguist Dr. Lorenzo Dow Turner, and may have been used for his business, the newspaper Washington Sun, which he published briefly in 1928.
Accession Number
check writer
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
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