Carl Honore is correct in his comment on this subject in last week's E-Sylum that "One person cannot do it alone." He sites the people who assisted Mathew Boulton in expanding his button factory into one of coin and token manufacturing and assisted him in improving minting technology. I cited Boulton alone like we mention Henry Ford here in America for his genius in manufacturing autos. We do not mention the hundreds of people who assisted him; it is always Henry Ford's name alone.
Thus we honor Mathew Boulton for his genius in bringing together all the factors that made his Soho Mint and his minting technology so successful. On the bicentennial of Boulton's death next year scholars, historians and numismatists from around the world will hold a Conference in his honor planned for July 2009 in Birmingham England. It is sponsored by the University of Birmingham and the University Central England. An extensive exhibit of all the coins, tokens and medals struck by Boulton will be on exhibit at the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. (See E-Sylum, Volume 11, Number 3, January 20, 2008, Article 9: MATTHEW BOULTON CONFERENCE PLANNED FOR JULY 2009 )
On the numismatic aspect of button manufacturers: I could site dozens more examples here in America (in addition to the obvious one of Scovill mentioned previously in E-Sylum). For example the J.R. Gaunt & Son firm (founded 1725), a London firm, established a branch in New York (Rouse's Point) about 1910. It replicated Washington's Button (Baker 1003S), and struck a Dahlia Society of New Jersey Medal (I once sold one of these), in addition to numerous sports award medals. Gaunt was striking these medals along side buttons. The New York branch was sold to the Waterbury Companies prior to World War II.
Again, another example of the close relationship of buttons and numismatic items. Similar technology, Carl. Thanks for your comments.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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