In February, we will hear from author and winner of multiple Numismatic Literary Guild awards Roger Burdett. Roger is the author of the three volume Renaissance of American Coinage books, all three NLG winners. Roger’s ground breaking research has changed what has been considered conventional wisdom in numismatic history. This month Roger brings us new insight on Benjamin Franklin Peale:
Most collectors recognize Benjamin Franklin Peale as inventor of the steam powered press introduced at the Mint in 1836. What few are aware of is the extent to which Peale’s work changed the Mint, its coining capacity and the basic nature of U.S. coins. With help from Joseph Saxton and Adam Eckfeldt, and a wealth of detailed knowledge brought back from his European mission, Peale’s inventions converted the Mint from a backward haphazard operation into a technology-leading mint. By the early 1850s, the Philadelphia Mint could produce more good coins per day than any mint in the world, and these were made at labor and equipment costs far below the best European mints.
Peale’s “magic” was a combination of insightful use of technology, and simplification. For him, the best solution to a problem was not technology alone, it was an amalgamation of human capabilities with basic mechanical principles that produced the greatest return for the least amount of money, time and energy.
If you have not paid, it is also time to pay your 2014 MCCC dues. Membership is still the very low $8 per year and $2 for Young Numismatists, a price that has not changed in many years. MCCC dues help support our education and outreach programs. At 66-cents per meeting, it is the best deal in town! To pay your dues, download our dues form from our Digital Document Library and you can either pay dues at the next meeting or mail your dues to the address on the form.
Doors will open at 7:00 PM and the meeting will start at 7:15 PM SHARP.