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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 17, April 23, 2006, Article 24

MORE ON THE MARBURG REPORT ON SCOVILL

Dick Johnson writes: "I am so glad John and Nancy Wilson found
the Marburg report and included research from this for their recent
ANA Atlanta exhibit. Actually there are two publications by Theodore
F. Marburg: "Brass Button Making" differs from his doctorial thesis,
both of 1946.

While the former discusses button making in the first half of the
19th century, it is his Ph.D. thesis that is far more comprehensive
and really gets into the technology that is so close to that of coin,
token and medal making (in fact one section, "The Mint at Waterbury"
pages 397 to 417, actually discusses this very technology).

Example: for years I credited Rogers Brothers, the silverware
manufacturer, as bringing silverplate technology to America in 1849
(for manufacturing tableware). Marburg reports, however, that Scovill
had this technology in 1844 and was using it to plate copper, silver,
nickel, and zinc.

Marburg also reveals that Scovill was using coin and medal technology
in their metalworking activity:  annealing (p 213), burnishing (p 82-83),
chasing (p 105-106), diesinking (p 55-67), edgemaking (p 75-77),
finishing (p 80-108), milling edge (p 177). They, of course, had
been rolling metal strips and blanking since their beginning (1802).

Scovill not only was the leading metal fabricating firm in America
it was staying on top of the technology by importing this as soon as
it appeared in Europe.

I was allowed to photocopy only a portion of the Marburg thesis at
the Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury. Even so it was a photocopy of a
third carbon. It has never been published. It was prepared for the
author's Ph.D. requirement at Clark University.  Its title:
"Management Problems and Procedures of a Manufacturing Enterprise,
1802-1852; A Case Study of the Origin of the Scovill Manufacturing
Company."

Marburg undoubtedly had access to the firm's archives. Five years
later, Scovill hired an author, P.W. Bishop, to compile the firm's
official history. By 1952 Bishop had written a complete manuscript,
"History of Scovill Manufacturing Company."  It must not have met the
company officials' approval. He left under questionable circumstances
and showed up working in Europe. That manuscript also remains
unpublished.

The chore is left yet for the Scovill story to be told, and for our
field, the many connections Scovill had manufacturing coins, tokens
and medals for more than 150 years.  John, Nancy, why don't you write
this book?"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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