Here's one private coiner still in business after going on 200 years.
This video and story from a local Cincinnati television station covers Osborne Coinage, the oldest private mint in the U.S.
There aren't many businesses that have been around since Andrew Jackson was President, but Cincinnati is home to one of them. Osborne Coinage has been minting coins, medallions and tokens for nearly 180 years, and they're still cranking them out today. They are the oldest private mint in America and they showed Local 12 News reporter Joe Webb today why they are a place that is truly "So Cincinnati."
If you like the sound of coins jingling, Osborne Coinage's Camp Washington shop is your kind of place. Hundreds of millions of brass tokens, medallions and coins clink out of there each year. Most for the amusement industry. "Somewhat still for the casino industry but in the amusement side it's really any place where you have a placeholder....worth one play... like at the batting cage.. we do millions and millions of tokens for that industry."
More than 700 car wash tokens a minute were getting stamped by one machine this morning. If you've ever been to Chuck E. Cheese, every one of those tokens was made at Osborne Coinage. "Every Chuck E. Cheese. That's correct."
In 177 years, they've had more high brow clients including several Presidents. Before there were bumpers for bumper stickers, candidates handed out campaign coins. Osborne made them. "For all the Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan who he ran against in 1864, we did tokens for both of them which they used at stops, railroad stops during the campaign."
Today, miles of brass coil is cut, washed and dried into blanks that are eventually stamped with precision machines. Despite the advent of computer controls and computer designs, there's still a lot of artistry in sculpting the dies. All of it is done at Osborne's Coinage.
In 1864, there was a controversy over whether President Lincoln should shave his beard or keep it. Osborne coinage wasn't sure if their campaign coin should have him bearded or clean shaven, so they made one of each.
To read the complete article, see:
So Cincinnati: Osborne Coinage
Wayne Homren, Editor
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