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When Did The US Stop Using Screw Presses To Mint Coins?

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 Posted 01/30/2022  12:49 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add SamCoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I know that at least through some time in the 1830s the mint was still using screw presses, but I've been unable to find an exact date or series that was the demarcation point for when they switched to modern minting technology. I would be very grateful for as much of a history lesson as people are willing to give on minting technology, since I know very little about classic US coins and would like to learn more.
My best finds:
1996 DDO-001/FS-101: http://goccf.com/t/372066
1995 DDO-001/FS-101: http://goccf.com/t/376071#3225244
1972-P DDO-008/FS-108: http://goccf.com/t/405558
2000-D Maryland Quarter Rotated Die http://goccf.com/t/394553
1988-P "Reverse of '89": http://goccf.com/t/399390
Massive strike through error on 1957-P Jefferson nickel http://goccf.com/t/402781
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United States
405 Posts
 Posted 01/30/2022  1:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sharkman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
SamCoin
I have wondered about this as well. Recognized types exist because in 1828-1830 the mint began using "collars" on silver Capped Bust dimes and quarters. These provided more uniformity in diameters and reduced the physical size of the quarter.
Corresponding addition of the steam press in about 1837, allowing production of Christian Gobrecht's new designs for every coin from Half Cent through $10, to be minted more quickly and uniformly.
I don't know how US coins were made before these advancements. I would expect that it was more modern than 5 strokes from a sledge hammer on an anvil.
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 Posted 01/30/2022  5:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SamCoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Sharkman thank you! The information on collars is much appreciated. I didn't know that, and very interesting!
My best finds:
1996 DDO-001/FS-101: http://goccf.com/t/372066
1995 DDO-001/FS-101: http://goccf.com/t/376071#3225244
1972-P DDO-008/FS-108: http://goccf.com/t/405558
2000-D Maryland Quarter Rotated Die http://goccf.com/t/394553
1988-P "Reverse of '89": http://goccf.com/t/399390
Massive strike through error on 1957-P Jefferson nickel http://goccf.com/t/402781
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 Posted 01/30/2022  5:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Don't quote me, but if I remember it was in the 1836-38 window. Certainly no later given the switchover to the reeded edge bust halves in 1838 1836, though I'm not sure of an exact date on the switch over to steam without doing a little digging.

Edit: 1838 typo for reeded edge
Edited by Ty2020b
01/30/2022 9:35 pm
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 Posted 01/30/2022  5:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Earle42 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry I do not know the answer, but thought you might like a picture of the original US coin press as displayed at the 1914 PPIE in SanFrancisco.
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 Posted 01/30/2022  5:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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 Posted 01/30/2022  6:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
But I heard they were making screw press coins in 1834, such as the set presented to Rama III of Thailand. Commercially not until 1836 though I guess.

The UK got it earlier in November 1816 for all coins, but the Soho Pennies and Twopences from 1797, along with more copper from 1799 to 1807 were the first followed by the Bank Token coinage of 1811/16.

Some private copper tokens of 1790 onwards also seem to have been made with these machines, my oldest is the one with the Coolbrookdale bridge and Keigley plane dated 1792, although its collar is not perfect.

France seems to have been using it from about 1800 as I have Napoleonic coins that are perfectly round and collared.
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 Posted 01/30/2022  7:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DBM to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I had always believed that the first steam powered presses at the mint were screw presses.
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Edited by DBM
01/30/2022 8:23 pm
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 Posted 01/30/2022  9:10 pm  Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would think 1836 because that is when bust halves started to get their reeded edge.
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 Posted 01/30/2022  10:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Adding a couple images of the first press mentioned in the link NS posted. Took these shots at the ANA museum while on display there. And a cropped image of the placard.



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2471 Posts
 Posted 01/30/2022  11:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SamCoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for all the great information everybody!
My best finds:
1996 DDO-001/FS-101: http://goccf.com/t/372066
1995 DDO-001/FS-101: http://goccf.com/t/376071#3225244
1972-P DDO-008/FS-108: http://goccf.com/t/405558
2000-D Maryland Quarter Rotated Die http://goccf.com/t/394553
1988-P "Reverse of '89": http://goccf.com/t/399390
Massive strike through error on 1957-P Jefferson nickel http://goccf.com/t/402781
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 Posted 01/31/2022  1:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sharkman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Can anyone tell me about screw presses which I know nothing about. How did they work? Did the mint use them from 1792 to 1836? How were the screws driven? Hard to imagine human power for this. Mules on a treadmill?
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 Posted 01/31/2022  9:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A bit of info in the link. Smaller scale by the time the US put the man powered screw press to use. I believe the presses used for US coinage were operated by 3 men, including the coin setter.
https://medalblog.wordpress.com/201...ing-presses/
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 Posted 01/31/2022  9:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
According to Mr. Roger Burdette's diligent records searching, the screw press was retired in 1893. Proof, specimen, master coins and medals were all struck using one of several until replaced with hydraulic presses that year.
For those interested in this sort of stuff, I highly recommend his book From Mine to Mint (2013).
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Edited by Ballyhoo
01/31/2022 9:27 pm
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17710 Posts
 Posted 02/01/2022  09:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As mentioned the first coinage was March 23, 1836. It was supposed to be Feb 22, Washingtons Birthday, but some technical problems delayed the start. They even struck a token to mark the event and on the originals you can see where the Feb 22 date has been changed to Mar 23. (Originals are scarce but there are prenty of restike pieces that don't show the corrected date)

Not all the coinage immediately switched over to the steam press. The started with Large Cents and half dollars but by 1837 all the circulation coins were being struck on steam presses. As Ballyhoo points out the screw press continued to be used for proof and pattern coin production until 1893.
Gary Schmidt
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