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Those pesky VDB initials on Cents...

 
 
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Pillar of the Community
United States
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 Posted 04/15/2018  08:53 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add jpsned to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The story goes that folks in 1909 didn't like the fact that Victor David Brenner had the audacity to slap his initials at the bottom of his design's reverse. Bad Victor! So the initials came off. Then, they were put back on the obverse in 1918 in incuse at the bottom of Honest Abe's shoulder.

Does anyone know the story behind the story here? Why would people get their undies in a bunch about initials? And why did the initials go back again nine years later?
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United Kingdom
1388 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2018  09:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kena to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
From what I recall, is that public did not like the initials being so prominent on the coin. So all I think the Mint did wait until things settled down and put back on the coin in a more discreet location.
CCF member Member Since: 07/27/2008
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 Posted 04/15/2018  09:58 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is the same public that later decided that the initials JS on the Roosevelt dime stood for Joseph Stalin, and had been placed on the dies secretly by Russian agents.
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 Posted 04/15/2018  10:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jpsned to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It seems almost like revisionist history. I mean, did they have a letter-writing campaign to get the initials removed? Did the people storm the mint with torches? Riots in the streets? It's really difficult to believe that enough people became that up in arms to warrant the retooling and replacing of dies over such a petty thing. Why would anyone really care at all?

Or perhaps a politician or two who had a beef with the mint quietly got the initials removed. That seems more likely.
Edited by jpsned
04/15/2018 10:27 am
Pillar of the Community
United States
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 Posted 04/15/2018  10:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jpsned to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I just had a thought--it was, after all, a first-year-of-issue coin, and it commemorated Abe's 100th birthday. Perhaps the fact that the initials were so readable, people felt that Brenner was almost stealing some of Abe's thunder.
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United States
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 Posted 04/15/2018  1:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add acloco to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Believe it was Mint officials who were uptight with the designer initials being placed in such a prominent area of a coin.
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 Posted 04/15/2018  1:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Crazyb0 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The story I heard was more related to Barber and his "pals" losing the contest on design. Brenner was the outsider, sound familiar? Same poop, different day, same gubmint, and the same way! Why are folks so surprised at gubmint corruption and cronyism as if some new invention?
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there is a picture with a quote next to it"
Abraham Lincoln
Edited by Crazyb0
04/15/2018 1:51 pm
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 Posted 04/15/2018  1:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
https://pastandpresent.com/2015/08/...controversy/ "no one really knows for sure what happened". I would tend to believe the Barber-Brenner jealousy/rivalry more than public outcry, since the public was eagerly awaiting the coin and who cares what the public thinks anyway.
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 Posted 04/16/2018  01:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jpsned to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Precisely.
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 Posted 04/16/2018  08:58 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
This is the same public that later decided that the initials JS on the Roosevelt dime stood for Joseph Stalin, and had been placed on the dies secretly by Russian agents.
Seems plausible. Some People. Jeez.
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 Posted 04/17/2018  11:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Quote:
This is the same public that later decided that the initials JS on the Roosevelt dime stood for Joseph Stalin, and had been placed on the dies secretly by Russian agents.

And here I always thought it was Stalin that designed that coin.

Quote:
Does anyone know the story behind the story here? Why would people get their undies in a bunch about initials? And why did the initials go back again nine years later?

People at the Mint are probably still laughing about all this.
just carl
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10908 Posts
 Posted 04/17/2018  11:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It seems almost like revisionist history. I mean, did they have a letter-writing campaign to get the initials removed? Did the people storm the mint with torches? Riots in the streets? It's really difficult to believe that enough people became that up in arms to warrant the retooling and replacing of dies over such a petty thing. Why would anyone really care at all?


Admittedly I've never really researched the issue, but that's my feeling. I'm sure the mint officials had a problem hence the change, but I need to see real evidence that the public cared before I will ever believe that. I seriously doubt they cared at all and it was anyone but the mint officials who had a problem.
Edited by basebal21
04/17/2018 11:24 pm
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 Posted 04/17/2018  11:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
And why did the initials go back again nine years later?
Maybe because Barber died.
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 Posted 04/21/2018  11:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Centsei to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And don't forget the "hammer and sickle" on the Kennedy half. Red phobia had no limit for some people.
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United States
1351 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2018  10:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jpsned to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
And here I always thought it was Stalin that designed that coin.


And I always thought that it was Stalin on the coin!
Pillar of the Community
United States
9973 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2018  10:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Crazyb0 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I thought it was the one person none of us seem to know...*** Edited by Staff | The bad word filter is in place for a reason. Bypassing the filter and making the intended word obvious anyway is completely unacceptable. ***
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there is a picture with a quote next to it"
Abraham Lincoln
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