The New Era Check Protector was created for the New Era Manufacturing Company. Check protectors, check writers and check punches were used by businessmen during the early part of the 19th century. Banking wasn’t what it is today and there was a lot of mistrust when depositing checks. There was a fear that checks written could be modified by the payee, someone else or the bank.
To make checks more secure devices were created to punch out the amount of the check or to stamp an ink amount below the written check value. By doing this, it made changing the check amount much more difficult without it being very obvious. By doing this, it put the onus on the banks to make sure the checks were written for the correct value. Some check protectors even had an insurance policy that would guarantee a check writer, if the check was processed for an incorrect amount, that the user would be covered for the overage amount, up to the insurance limit.
The inventor for the New Era Check Protector was Benjamen O Fanslow of new york. The filing date of the patent was June 26, 1912 and probably because of WW1 it took 6 years to finally get a patent. The New Era Check Protector was finally patented on March 19, 1918 (1260170).
Patent number: 1260170
Filing date: Jun 26, 1912
Issue date: Mar 19, 1918
Here is a great website that shows the New Era Check Protector and many others.
Here are some rather cool ones including the Wesley Check Protector and the Abbot Check Protector. Both of these are much much larger than the New Era Check Protector.