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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 13, March 26, 2006, Article 9

ARTICLE RECALLS SAN FRANCISCO MINT'S 1906 EARTHQUAKE ORDEAL

Werner G. Mayer writes: "I believe I am one of the original
members of our organization.  I'm a member of the Token and
Medal Society (TAMS) and Civil War Token Society (CWTS), and
have had numerous articles published by them in the past.
My book collecting interests are now in the Germanic area.

The reason for this note is to alert everyone to the fine
article in the April 2006 issue of Smithsonian magazine about
the San Francisco earthquake and the effort it took to save
the San Francisco Mint."

Dave Kellogg writes: "Next month is the 100th anniversary of
the great San Francisco earthquake and resulting conflagration.
The Smithsonian article describes the successful efforts, mainly
by mint employees, to save the mint.  Some interesting edited
excerpts:

"Led by a political appointee with no experience in fighting
fires, they fought back against an inferno that melted the glass
in the windows, burned the clothes off their backs and exploded
the granite stone in the walls, which sounded like the thunderous
detonations of 13 inch shells."

Another: "The 'Granite Lady' was producing 60% of U.S. gold and
silver coins and held fully a third [$300 million] of the country's
gold reserves."  Moreover, "It was the most beautiful building west
of Denver."

And: "With the glass melted out of so many windows, great tongues
of flame darted into the building, setting the interior woodwork
aflame.  The men dashed into the rooms to play water on the flames
for as long as they could hold their breaths and  then came out to
be relieved by another crew of willing fighters."

The author, Michael Castleman, makes the point that had the mint
been lost, the U.S. economy would have been thrown into turmoil."

To read the full article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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