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Got Feuchtwanger'd in Baltimore posted by RichH

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

Got Feuchtwanger'd in Baltimore


At the Whitman Baltimore Show I was finally able to locate a well struck 1837 MS63 Feuchtwanger Composition Token as a "got to have" addition to my Flying Eagle / Indian Cent collection. According to Rick Snow's Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Book published 1992, Dr Lewis Feuchtwanger was a self proclaimed doctor of many talents including Dentistry, Metallurgy and the "selling of snake oil remedies". At the time, the price of copper in the circulating large cent coinage was exceeding the price of the coin. Enter the good Dr who proposed that the mint use his nickel, copper, zinc "billon" composition in a reduced small cent size as substitute. The mint rejected the composition on grounds that it could not be uniformly made in quantity to satisy demand - Feuctwanger said it could. Frustrated, he then gave up efforts and finally produced his tokens and sold them to the public for profit. Fast forward to 1850, a bill was finally passed for congress to study the use of billon as an alternative to the copper cent. The mint thus began testing patterns between 1850-1855 with the end result the 1856 Flying Eagle design introduced with mass production in 1857 and final Large Cent production ending that year. In holding the Feuchtwanger coin you are immediately struck by the similarity of the toning as compared to the flying eagles and copper nickels which were composed of .880 copper and .120 nickel. I also really like the aggressive eagle design with claws wrapped on a snake. Finally, I am able to post the coin to my inventory but NGC does not have a competitive registry set for Hard Times Tokens, this is very dissapointing as Hard Times Tokens , issued 1832-44 are an interesting set to collect and study.



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Beautiful token,I have always wanted one of those,but they are a little out of my price range.maybe when the kids grow up and move out,but I am in no rush for that to happen.Until then I guess I will have to enjoy your picture. Thanks for sharing!!!!

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