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The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 53, December 24, 2000, Article 4


Dave Bowers writes:

"I read with great interest (as always) the latest "issue" of The E-Sylum. Concerning Jacob Perkins, one might stop to consider if Perkins, who had extensive ties to England and at one later time lived there, might have had some sort of high–speed coining press from Boulton & Watt (Soho Manufactory, Birmingham, England). As has been published, by the 1790s B&W had high-speed steam-driven coining presses that could be operated by a boy. These presses produced high-quality coins, tokens, etc., including lettering or engrailing the edge.

Before discounting Perkins' claim as exaggeration, this possibility might be explored. Moreover, as Newburyport was a rather interactive community –– that is, most of the merchants knew each other, news was shared, etc. -- if Perkins, who seems to have been highly esteemed in the town, made such a claim, it could be checked out easily by anyone visiting his premises.

I wonder if anyone has visited Newburyport and used a numismatic eye to look through old papers, etc.? It is a nice town about an hour and a half drive from here -- and every time I drive through I think of Perkins (also of Lord Timothy Dexter, memorialized by John P. Marquand; Dexter's mansion is still prominent on High Street). I am not a candidate to do this research, but I imagine that with the great interest in history in the town and also the comprehensive archives of the Mass. Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Association in the same state, a few interesting things could be found."

Wayne Homren, Editor

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