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Numismatic Detective -- 1891 US Patent Centennial Medal



I should incorporate the words "Numismatic Detective" in a parody song in the style of the original song by Elvis Costello "Watching the Detectives"

Earlier last week I submitted paperwork to my lawyer for a US Patent filing. Within days, I was contacted with news that a US Provisional Patent application was officially filed under my name with my invention at the US Patent & Trademark Office in Washington DC. This was my second ever US patent filing.

Curious in tying my work (I'm an engineer by trade) with one many my hobbies that I take pleasure in (numismatics in this case), I began to search for any numismatic material relating to the US Patent Office.

I found a few modern tokens. Then a rather interesting item caught my eye, a holed example of the 1891 US Patent Office Centennial medal in aluminum. I found a few example pictures on the internet. One example was in the Harry Bass Collection. A few sold at various auctions. Unfortunately, each had a hole to suspend it for wear or display.

I located an 1892 publication titled Celebration of the beginning of the second century of the American patent system at Washington City, D. C., April 8, 9, 10, 1891. A plethora of Washington politicians and inventors are identified as attending. The more noteworthy inventors include: Alexander Graham Bell, Samuel Morse, Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, etc...



Page 36 states that the medal is pure aluminum and was provided as a souvenir.

A website identified the medal as 48 mm in diameter and 4 mm thick. It was also designed by C. L. Chapelle. The initials CLC can be seen on the obverse.

I did locate an unholed specimen in uncirculated condition with wonderful eye appeal. This is the only unholed example I have seen and immediately purchased it (I'm awaiting for its arrival). I believe this is a presentation specimen.

The text is from the 1892 publication and the picture is the medal I purchased.


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