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The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 52, December 17, 2000, Article 7


Dick Johnson writes:

"I support an NBS-sponsored project of compiling a 19th century Numismatic Bibliography. And I have an unreported candidate for inclusion.

This is a 3-part series of articles which ran in the weekly newspaper "Philadelphia Dispatch" January 23 and 30, 1853 and February 6, 1853. Headlined "The Way Coins Are Made, A Rare Visit to The United States Mint," it is outstanding for reporting the technology in use by the Mint at that time.

The articles are unsigned, and nowhere is the author's identity revealed. I suspect he was either an Englishman, or one who was trained in England. Seven words are spelled in British English (yet color was not spelled in British English, "colour").

I have visited the National Archives in Philadelphia twice and have examined the Philadelphia Mint Visitors Registers for January and February 1853 and the year prior to learn the author's name, but without luck. I found no useful notation.

The author's scenario goes through the Mint a department at a time -- he calls them rooms -- and describes what goes on in 14 such rooms. There is no mention of a Director or Superintendent, but the author gives credit to Edward C. Dale, the Mint treasurer, who, I suspect, was his guide."

Wayne Homren, Editor

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