David Hill of the American Numismatic Society writes:
It was great to see the still image of mint engraver Adam Pietz from the film on the Philadelphia Mint, 1940. Pietz designed one coin, the Iowa Statehood Centennial half dollar, and he also did
the ANS's Medal of Merit. The ANS has a small collection of his drawings and other items and I wrote about him for ANS Magazine a few years ago.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
VIDEO: 1940S PHILADELPHIA MINT (http://www.coinbooks.org/v21/esylum_v21n09a36.html)
Thanks. Here's what the ANS Archives database says. -Editor
Adam Pietz (1873-1961) was a sculptor, medalist engraver, and etcher. He was born in Offenbach, Germany, and moved to the U.S. in 1889 where he studied at the Chicago Art Institute (1892-1893),
Drexel Institute (1894-1898), and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1899-1903). By 1897 he was an established engraver and die sinker operating out of a private studio on Chestnut Street in
Philadelphia. He also served as assistant chief engraver at the Philadelphia Mint from 1927 to 1946. In 1917 he designed a World War I good luck medal for the United States. This So-Called Dollar is
remembered for having a swastika, an ancient good-luck symbol, on its obverse. He designed the American Numismatic Association's Medal of Merit. His only coin design to be minted was the Iowa
Statehood Centennial Commemorative Half Dollar (1946). After retiring, he continued his work on medals for the Treasury Department, producing designs that included the Meritorious Service Award Medal
(1949), Alexander Hamilton Medal (reverse, 1955), and the Distinguished Service Award (bestowed after his death, 1963).
Scope and Content Note
Contains the following artwork by Pietz: four pencil sketches of an eagle and the reverse of a 1932 commemorative quarter dollar; a sketch of the design for the 1925 presidential inaugural medal; an
undated sketch of an obverse and reverse of a medal for the Pennsylvania Railroad; a large watercolor of a proposed commemorative half dollar depicting Davy Crocket, James Bowie, and William Barrett
Travis, probably for the Texas centennial of 1936; and a photographic print of a design for the tercentenary of the Pine Tree shilling in 1952. There are also assorted images likely used by Pietz in
the development of his designs, such as rubbings of mostly German medals, photographs of ancient and modern coins and medals, and photographs of proposed designs for the obverse and reverse of the
1932 George Washington quarter and the 1938 Thomas Jefferson nickel. Also includes a photograph of Pietz overseeing a transfer engraving machine at the United States Mint, Philadelphia, and an empty
envelope from the Iowa Centennial Committee.
I reached out to American Numismatic Association Curator and Museum Director Doug Mudd who confirmed my recollection that the ANA has a large collection of Pietz material
including drawings and plasters. Great material for researchers. -Editor
David Hill adds:
Ed Rochette wrote that Pietz designed the tokens of film stars given away as Popsicle premiums. I figured he based that on something at the ANA, but I was never able to prove the connection,
though Pietz did make similar medals. I talk about this in my article.
To read the complete ANS ARCHER Archives entry, see:
Adam Pietz artwork, photographs, and rubbings, 1932 - 1952 (http://numismatics.org/archives/ark:/53695/nnan0089)
To read David's earlier ANS Magazine article, see:
David Hill, "The Smiling, Genial German: U.S. Mint Engraver Adam Pietz," ANS Magazine 13:1, 2014, 46-51.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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