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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 53, December 24, 2000, Article 4

JACOB PERKINS' COINING PRESS 

   Dave Bowers writes: "I read with great interest (as always) the 
   latest "issue" of The E-Sylum.  Concerning Jacob Perkins, one 
   might stop to consider if Perkins, who had extensive ties to 
   England and at one later time lived there, might have had some 
   sort of high-speed coining press from Boulton & Watt (Soho 
   Manufactory, Birmingham, England).   As has been published, 
   by the 1790s B&W had high-speed steam-driven coining 
   presses that could be operated by a boy. These presses 
   produced high-quality coins, tokens, etc., including lettering or 
   engrailing the edge. 

   Before discounting Perkins' claim as exaggeration, this possibility 
   might be explored. Moreover, as Newburyport was a rather 
   interactive community -- that is, most of the merchants knew 
   each other, news was shared, etc. -- if Perkins, who seems to 
   have been highly esteemed in the town, made such a claim, it 
   could be checked out easily by anyone visiting his premises. 

   I wonder if anyone has visited Newburyport and used a 
   numismatic eye to look through old papers, etc.?  It is a nice 
   town about an hour and a half drive from here -- and every time 
   I drive through I think of Perkins (also of Lord Timothy Dexter, 
   memorialized by John P. Marquand; Dexter's mansion is still 
   prominent on High Street).  I am not a candidate to do this 
   research, but I imagine that with the great interest in history in the 
   town and also the comprehensive archives of the Mass. Historical 
   Society and the American Antiquarian Association in the same 
   state, a few interesting things could be found." 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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