Benjamin Tanner was born in New York City on March 27, 1775. At an early age he manifested a talent for drawing and designing, and after receiving his education he began to learn the art of engraving. Tanner's master is unknown, but he engraved in New York in 1792 and was possibly one of the pupils of Peter R. Maverick. In 1805, he moved to Philadelphia. In 1811, with his brother Henry S. Tanner he commenced business as a general engraver and map publisher. From 1816-1824 he was a member of the bank-note engraving firm of Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co.. In 183 established a blank check note and draft publishing office - known as his stereography business, which he abandoned in 1845 to Charles H. Butts.
His engravings include portraits of Washington, after Savage; Benjamin Franklin, after Charles N. Cochin (1822); "Apotheosis of Washington," after J. J. Barralet (1802) ; "Perry's Victory on Lake Erie, 10 September, 1813," and " The Launch of the Steam Frigate Fulton," after the same artist (1815); "Maedonough's Victory on Lake Champlain, and Defeat of the British Army at Plattsburg by General McComb, 11 September, 1814," after Hugh Reinagle (1816); "The Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown," after J. F. Renaulty; and "America. Guided by Wisdom," after J. J. Barralet.
His brother, Henry S., geographer, born in New York in 1786; died in New York city in 1858. In early life he removed to Philadelphia, where he resided until 1850, when he returned to New York city. He engraved and published many atlases and separate maps, contributed geographical and statistical articles to various periodicals, and was a member of the geographical societies of London and Paris. He collected a fine cabinet of shells. (From Appleton's Encyclopedia).
In 1830 at a meeting of the Franklin Institute, the committee presented a report on Benjamin Tanner's improvement for preventing alterations in bank checks styled Stereograph Plates.
An 1831 Journal of Health advertisement by Tanner stated he sold checks on all banks in the city and elsewhere; cashier's drafts, with or without bank names; drafts on inland bills; foreign bills of exchange; promissory notes; western notes; also for sale large state map with canals and rail roads.
Some prints by Tanner.