Only 1 batch of 1909 VDB proof cents made
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14 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

December 9, 1909

From: Andrew

To: Giles R. Anderson, Waterbury, Connecticut

     Your letter of the 1st instant addressed to Mr. Fred W. Carpenter, Secretary to the President, has been referred to this Bureau by the Secretary of the Treasury. In reply you are respectfully informed that your former letter was referred to this Bureau by the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia and it was supposed that officer would reply to you. Upon examination it appears that he returned your letter with the statement that there were no proof Lincoln cent with the initials “V.D.B.” on hand. The Superintendent states that there was only one lot of proof Lincoln cents with the initials made, as the coinage of these pieces was stopped five days after the first issue. He also states that orders were filled as received and the stock was soon exhausted. Having been directed to discontinue the coinage of the Lincoln one-cent pieces bearing the initials “V. D. B.” there was no alternative but to stop coining both the ordinary and the proof pieces.

     It is not considered a part of the duty of the Superintendent of the Mint to notify coin collectors when proof coins can be had. I regret that your did not file your application in time with the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia to obtain proofs of the Lincoln one-cent piece with initials.

     In the examination of the letter of the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia returning your former letter to the Bureau the 25 cents forwarded by you was found enclosed and is returned herewith.

Edited by RWB
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For coins, it began with the first collector and remains firmly entrenched in the hobby.

On 5/13/2022 at 12:42 PM, Moxie15 said:

And I thought that public whining was a phenomena of the last half of the 20th century. 

 

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[To @RWB Whether on official engraved government letterhead, or not, who addresses a private citizen with the familiar and less than formal, "From: Andrew"? And even if this matter were addressed using official U.S. Government Memorandum stationery, the overall effect is still one of exaggerated posturing and use of stilted tone and language.  I pray that your good offices will  investigate this matter and look forward to receiving your reply.] 🐓 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2022 at 5:34 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

[To @RWB Whether on official engraved government letterhead, or not, who addresses a private citizen with the familiar and less than formal, "From: Andrew"? And even if this matter were addressed using official U.S. Government Memorandum stationery, the overall effect is still one of exaggerated posturing and use of stilted tone and language.  I pray that your good offices will  investigate this matter and look forward to receiving your reply.] 🐓 

That refers to mint director A. Piatt Andrew, and it is my shorthand reference for filing purposes, not an official statement.

PS: It was not a "memo." It was a reply to a letter forwarded by the White House to Director Andrew for an official response

Edited by RWB
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On 5/29/2022 at 6:39 PM, RWB said:

That refers to mint director A. Piatt Andrew, and it is my shorthand reference for filing purposes, not an official statement.

Thank you. I surmised as much after reading several more posts.

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On 5/29/2022 at 8:52 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

Thank you. I surmised as much after reading several more posts.

At the time the information was collected (20+ years ago), NARA did not allow cameras and prevented copying of letterpress books on their photocopiers. I had to transcribe everything so I use abbreviations and code words the I later cleaned up.

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On 5/12/2022 at 12:13 PM, RWB said:

  It is not considered a part of the duty of the Superintendent of the Mint to notify coin collectors when proof coins can be had. I regret that your did not file your application in time with the Superintendent of the Mint at Philadelphia to obtain proofs of the Lincoln one-cent piece with initials.

This comment from Dir Andrew deserves clarification. The Philadelphia Mint routinely announced to clubs, newspapers and hobby publications the date proof sets would be available and the price. This practice continued through the term of Dir. George Roberts and erratically through Frank Leach's term. At various times previous mail-order purchasers were also sent a notice. Some of the confusion exists because most proof sets were sold at the mint in person to visitors or local coin dealers. Thus, there was never a comprehensive mailing list available.

Dir Andrew comes across as excessively demanding and one who assumed that new technology would work from the beginning. When he bought some auto adjusting balances, he almost immediately fired all the gold blank adjusters. The ladies had to be rehired a few months later when the machines did not perform as well as Andrew expected. He was also a "tight-arse" in more ways than one. He was also one of the smartest people in all of government service.

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Posted (edited)

[This was a turn-of-the-century "memo," and remarkably your confidence level in the historical records is so high, you speak of him as though you knew him personally! How do you know he was so smart? What did you see that you just don't have the time to share with us? Just a snippet to satisfy enquiring minds like mine would be most gratifying...thanks!]

Edited by Quintus Arrius
Die polishing (grammar)
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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2022 at 11:41 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

[This was a turn-of-the-century "memo," and remarkably your confidence level in the historical records is so high, you speak of him as though you knew him personally! How do you know he was so smart? What did you see that you just don't have the time to share with us? Just a snippet to satisfy enquiring minds like mine would be most gratifying...thanks!]

I did extensive research on Dr. Andrew, including working with family bebmers, to establish his roles in development of the National Monetary Commission (resulting in Federal Reserve System), US Mint, US Treasury (Asst. Sec Treas), American Field Ambulance Service (AFS), work with friends and others to get Ford ambulances to France, American Legion foundation, member of Congress from Mass, relationship with Cecilia Beaux, and other points of influence. His written materials demonstrate depth of research knowledge well beyond that shown by any US Government contemporary in finance and related fields. He was also one of the wealthy "Boston Brahmans" who hosted exotic weekend parties, and described in contemporary terms as "a bachelor who lived alone."

See Renaissance of American Coinage 1909-1915 and particularly Chapter 5 "Novus Ordo Seclorum."

Edited by RWB
edited for clarity
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Sounds quasi-Gatsbyesque. 

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

One day I'll prove that my great grandfather was successful!

Just kidding...no relation.

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