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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 3, January 16, 2000, Article 8

ANOTHER SENSELESS COIN MUTILATION  

   Chuck Shepherd's syndicated "News of the Weird" column 
   describes this eyewitness account from the Oaklahoman 
   newspaper:  "Cowboy Pat Ratliff, age 78, won $1,700 from 
   three marks in Ardmore, Okla., by tearing a quarter in half. 
   To erase skepticism, Ratliff also took two quarters from the 
   reporter and tore those in half, each in less than 30 seconds." 
   Can any of you manly bibliophiles top that feat?  (Tearing 
   books in half doesn't count - besides it's frowned upon in 
   our circles).  

   Speaking of mutilated coins, the Carnegie Museum in 
   Pittsburgh has an 1878 medal issued by the Western 
   Pennsylvania Numismatic Society.   The medal appears 
   to have been shot through the center with a bullet, leaving 
   only the outer rim intact.  

   The key to why on earth this piece came to rest in the 
   museum may be found in the following item, taken from the 
   history of the WPNS.   Sometimes the oddest things can 
   be explained with a little library research...  

   The medal was struck in the founding year of the society, 
   and commemorates the 1878 Pittsburg  Exposition.   An 
   advertisement for the event in the August 24, 1878 
   Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette notes:  

   "In addition to a vast display in the provinces of Art, 
   Mechanics, Agriculture, Floriculture, Inventions, &c,  There 
   will be the following SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS, Which 
   have been secured by the management without regard to 
   expense:  

   Dr. W. F. Carver, will exhibit his prodigious skill as a rifleman 
   daily, illustrating his marvelous powers by breaking glass balls 
   in the air, cutting coins, lead pencils &c., using a Winchester 
   Rifle." 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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