Coining dollars in the (almost) dark

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RogerB
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Coining dollars in the (almost) dark

Post by RogerB » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:28 pm

We seldom realize that the Philadelphia Mint not only stuck coins and produced dies for the other mints, but was an active testing location for new technology. The first commercial use of electric lighting in Philadelphia was at Wannamaker’s Grand Depot in city center on December 25, 1878. These were carbon arc lights perfected by Philadelphian Charles F. Brush.

Electric lights and motors were tested at the Mint in late 1881-1882. The letter below shows an inventory of electric lights in use in 1884. Arc lights were bright but blue-white and very harsh. Incandescent lights were warmer in color and equivalent to about a 40 watt modern tungsten filament lamp. There was limited commercial electric service, so the Mint had its own dynamo to generate electricity.
18840714 Reports number of electric lights_Page_1.jpg
18840714 Reports number of electric lights_Page_1.jpg (79.41 KiB) Viewed 269 times
Imagine operating a high speed coin press under dim gas lights, or trying to adjust dollar blanks - especially during short winter days. Little wonder that many adjusters complained of vision problems.

For more information about electrification of Philadelphia City, see::
https://hiddencityphila.org/2012/06/fro ... e-of-light

vamnuke
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Re: Coining dollars in the (almost) dark

Post by vamnuke » Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:44 pm

:o

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PacificWR
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Re: Coining dollars in the (almost) dark

Post by PacificWR » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:46 am

Plus, the first gas furnace was not installed in the New Orleans Mint Until 1900.

RogerB
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Re: Coining dollars in the (almost) dark

Post by RogerB » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:25 am

Electricity, gas annealing, gas melting, electrolytic refining, electric presses, etc., etc. all were introduced at the Philadelphia Mint first, and not to the other mints until thoroughly tested. For example, plans for the Denver Mint changed several times as better technology was approved, and building plans had to be revised.

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PacificWR
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Re: Coining dollars in the (almost) dark

Post by PacificWR » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:39 am

RogerB wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:25 am
Electricity, gas annealing, gas melting, electrolytic refining, electric presses, etc., etc. all were introduced at the Philadelphia Mint first, and not to the other mints until thoroughly tested. For example, plans for the Denver Mint changed several times as better technology was approved, and building plans had to be revised.
A real eye opener for sure. I have read some of the mint records on this working on my 1900-S Die study.

Tekkie1
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Re: Coining dollars in the (almost) dark

Post by Tekkie1 » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:16 am

That's really cool to know Roger, thanks for the info. :D

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