An alert E-Sylum reader spotted this article in a Watertown, Wisconsin newspaper which notes the mention of as local business in Roger Burdette's Renaissance of American Coinage books. -EditorIn recent weeks we received a copy of an interesting and unusual book which contains a number of references to the old Brandt Automatic Cashier Company, one of Watertown's premiere businesses which is today known as De La Rue Cash Systems and is located on South Twelfth Street.
The business for many years was owned by the Brandt-Quirk families in Watertown and through the families and the employees much has been given to the Watertown community in many ways.
The book is titled .Renaissance of American Coinage, 1916-1921. and it was written by Roger W. Burdette.
The book traces the complete redesign of America's coins by the United States Mint.
It's a detailed accounting of the origin, creation and ultimately the production of these coins starting back in 1916. In this era all of the coins, from the Peace Dollar down to the nickel were redesigned.
So, where does Brandt Automatic Cashier Company come in? Well, back in that era the company was manufacturing thousands of its trademark coin counting, sorting and wrapping equipment and it was known throughout the country for its quality work.
These new coin designs simply had to work well in the Brandt machines because they were used throughout the country. Any tampering with coins that would render the Brandt equipment ineffective could be a disastrous situation, from incorrect counting to jammed and broken machines.
Brandt was one of only three companies in the country that was given some of the newly designed coins for test purposes. The coins had not gone into full production but rather just a few were minted to determine if they would work well in equipment like Brandt manufactured and in such equipment as pay telephones.
Burdette wrote to us and said he noticed an article by Steve Sharp of our news staff which chronicled the decision that the Edward J. Brandt House in Watertown was being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
That led him to decide to write about his book. He said, .Brandt was a leading Watertown businessman and founder of the Brandt Cashier Company, a major industry in Watertown in the early 20th century. What you might not be aware of is that Mr. Brandt's company played an important national role in evaluating the new coinage design of the United States in 1916, and determining their suitability for coin-operated devices. While researching historical documents for my book I contacted Brandt, Inc., and obtained a copy of the biography, .Edward J. Brandt, Inventor,' by former company vice president Charles J. Wallman. Neither Mr. Wallman's book mentions, nor company officials knew, of the company's connection with the U.S. Mint. I was told that most company records before 1920 had been destroyed..
To read the complete article, see: BRANDT MENTIONED IN BOOK (http://www.wdtimes.com/articles/2008/08/02/in_times_square/times01.txt)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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