John Linhoss submitted this well-illustrated article on coin press maker Ferracute Machine Company and some of its demonstration pieces. Thanks!
The Ferracute Machine Company in Bridgeton, New Jersey was founded by Oberlin Smith in 1863. In its beginning as a machine shop it went on to making metal forming presses. The presses first were made to produce cans. When the automobile industry took root the presses were designed to make car parts for Ford, Packard, Cadillac and others.
Oberlin Smith was always creative in what his machines could expand upon. He often traveled to Europe to explore new opportunities. With an idea that he could design a coin press he began to make demonstration pieces. Shortly afterwards the United States Mint became a customer purchasing some of his coin presses. In 1898 the company sold three coin presses to the Imperial Chinese Mint.
During the Great Depression, The Ferracute Machine Company was sold. George Bass purchased the company with hopes of becoming a major producer of presses that would make machine tools and airplane parts. On the brink of World War II, the U.S. Government became the largest customer. The Soviet Union along with Great Britain also purchased presses to help with their war needs. After the war, the company went into decline closing their doors in 1968.
Ferracute Machine Company check
Check back: a Philadelphia training course diploma
In the Numismatic News March 25th, 2003 edition an unusual check, never used, was intended for The Ferracute Machine Co. of Bridgeton, N.J. drawn on Cumberland National Bank, and printed in brown ink on the back of a Philadelphia training course diploma. Vignettes include a locomotive and arm-in-hammer. The specimen has it's right edge cut off. Originally from the Robert Ulrich collection who lived in Bridgeton, N.J. was acquired by James Henderson in 2002. It has now been in the John Linhoss collection since 2004.
These three examples of demonstration pieces are in the John Linhoss collection.
The largest example of the tokens are of two pug dogs on the obverse and the coin press on the reverse. It is listed in Rulau, NJ-Brg-6. Circa 1900. 38mm, Brass.
The Chinese example is of a coin that was never issued or found in Krause. 23mm, Brass.
The Paris Exposition Internationale, dated 1900 has the U.S. pavilion on the obverse and the coin press on the reverse. It is listed in Rulau, NJ-Brg-4. 19mm, Nickel.
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