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The Story Of Peter, The US Mint Eagle

 
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1411 Posts
 Posted 07/29/2020  5:28 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
PCGS - Many folks know Peter, the Mint Eagle to be the friendly avian mascot of the United States Mint. But perhaps far fewer people realize that Peter isn't just a fictional, anthropomorphic bird. He was also once a live bald eagle who resided at the Philadelphia Mint. Peter was one of reportedly several bald eagles that still graced the skies of Philadelphia during the early years of the 19th century. Legend has it that, by day, Peter stalked the skies over the city and by night flew into the building through an open window and took up residence inside the facility.



The mint employees, who named him "Peter," loved him dearly and those living in the surrounding neighborhood did, too, including the many children on the block. The friendly eagle soon became the mint's unofficial mascot. Peter's time at the Philadelphia Mint lasted years, by most accounts six, and likely from around 1830 through 1836, though others suggest his stint at the mint may have occurred as late as the 1850s.

While these - and other details about Peter - are largely unanswered in documentation the end of his life sadly and unequivocally came while he was perched on a flywheel that suddenly lurched into operation. Mint employees stopped the coin press immediately but unfortunately Peter's wing was caught up in the apparatus. The staff did all they could to save their beloved Peter, but he succumbed to his injuries within a few days. He was mounted by an expert taxidermist and still resides at the United States Mint today.

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16633 Posts
 Posted 07/29/2020  9:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just in case anyone is wondering what he looks like, here is a pic from roadsideamerica.com:


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 Posted 07/29/2020  9:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TNG to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Been a long time since I heard that story. Thanks
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 Posted 07/29/2020  9:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The friendly eagle soon became the mint's unofficial mascot. Peter's time at the Philadelphia Mint lasted years, by most accounts six, and likely from around 1830 through 1836, though others suggest his stint at the mint may have occurred as late as the 1850s.

Most likely Peters' residency at the mint was in the early 1830's. There is a document in the archives from April 9, 1836 discussing the design for the reverse of the dollar that includes


Quote:
. The drawing is true to nature, for it is taken from the eagle itself, - a bird, recently killed, having been prepared and placed in the attitude which we had selected. The eagle is flying, and, like the country of which it is the emblem, it's course is onward and upward.
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