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Coining The Silver Dollars

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[From Appletpns' Journal for June] It was founded very nearly 100 yenrs ago, and in it was coined the flrst money used in the United States. Until 181G, nll the work waB done by hand orhorsepower ; the building was guarded by watch-dogs, and the artisans were supplied with pleatiful quantities of liquor as a - the aneient and simple-minded citizons looking upon them with especial favor. The earliest Director was appointed by Washington. The original copper cents were made in 1703, the pilver dollars in 1794, and the gold eaglcs in 1795. Eoth the metal and machinery were imported ; but in coining, as in many other tliings, the American has made sucli progress within the eentury that tho implements of liis own construction are now superior to the models after which they are pattemed. Tho casual visitor is weleomed from 9 a. m. until uoon, and is taken in hand by polite and garralous ushers, who, in common with all the other employés, bear themselves with tho dignity that beñts persons living in such close contar t with enonnous wealth. " I've seen $550,000,000 go in and out of thisplace," said ono of the employés, as he led ns into a dinily-lighted vaiüt, where the pale bricks of silver were piled from roof to ceiling- "$560, 000,000 in twenty-cight years," he repeated, with particular gusto ; and at the statement onr fnncy immediately took a wild flight among the enchanting possibilities of such treasure, for when Mammon mounts Pegnsus no adolescent muse can careerthrough realrns so luminous and varicolored as this metallio deity, who is worshiped and despised, courted and roviled, by the best and worst of men. The very contemplation of so immense a sum was dazzling to the iniugi nation. It was the aggregate fortune of 500 millionaires, the income of scores of thrones and the value of a state ! What a protean influence it must have exercised ! - cörrupting and sustaiüiug hov many lives; paying the scant wages of the ten-hóur laborcr, and sufficing for tlie extravagance of a priucely spendthrift; carrying happiness with it now, and then capriciously destroying the benefleiary; seducing the virtuous and breeding sedition among tho honest - forever doing good and harm by fickle strokes; forever indispen sable and forever alluring. In one of his clever essays, Junius Henri Browne says with Emersonian (ententiousness: " Cash is the cause and consequence of civilization, the measure of itsbreadth, and the plummet of its profundity. Every truo ideal must rest on the real, and the real to day is tho coinage of tho mint." The contenta of the little vault had probably left deepcr marks on the world than all the books written and the sermona preached during the twentyeigbt years of the custodian's service. . In passing through the doposit-room all the metal is carefully weiglied. The largest scale, with a ponderous beam and huge trays, combines extreme delicacy with its strengt}), and balances from 6,000 ounces to the l-100th part of an ounce; another scale tells 3,000 ounces at a time, and a third tolla 300 ounces. Thoy are adjusted several times a week, erected on solid masonry, and are true to a grain. Having been weigbed, the silver is carried to the melting-room, where it is mixed with copper, in order to givo it sufficient hardness to endure the friotion of constant handling, and melted in stone crucibles, heatcd to 1,800 deg. by charcoal fires. This heat is so intense that the workmen niustprotect their hands and arms by gloves and gauntlets. The stone crncibles are placed within othera of plumbago, in order to insure them against breuking. Eedueed to a molten fluid, the metal is now poured into iron molds, whence it emerges in the form of ingots, which are transferred to rolling-milis which shapc tliem by a rapid procese of attenuation into long, narrow slips. The coining-presB is a massive engine of mirror-like steel and brass. It íb fed with the blanks through a vertical brass tube in the same way that the milling-machine is fed, and a very charming young lady satisües its appetite, which demands eighty blanks a minute. lts power is that of thé togglejoint, and it. moves with the sonifcrous rock of a baby-giant's eradle. As the blanks reaoh the bottom of the tube they are seized singly by a pair of steel feeders similar in motion to human flngers and thumbs, and "carried forward and lodged in the collar between the upper and lower dies. At the same moment the lever is descending, and, by the time the planchet is in position, the toggle-joint, brought into a vertical position, imparts to the piece a pressure whioh, within the narrow limite of its motion, is almost incalculable. The immediate relaxation of the joint canses the upper die to be lifted, when the feeders, coming up with a socond planchet, push away the one already coined. The planchet, before being struck, is slightly less in diameter than the steel ring or collar into which it drops; but tho pressure upon the dies causes the piece to expand into the coK lar, and takes from it tho reeding or II ut ing of its edge." Edison's Theory of Eatiug. " You see, Jeromo," said Edison to me, after ordering his pastry triplets, "1 have a theory of eating. Variety - that is the seoret of wise eating. The nations that eat the most kinds of foort are tho greatest nations. They always have been, too, and always will be." The waiter brought tho strawberry shortcake, the strawberries and cream and the apple dumpling, nnd arranged them in a semi-circlo around bis píate, and received his negative to the laughing question if there was anything more. As we proceeded with onr lunch, Edison proceeded : "The rice-eating nations never progresa ; they never think or act anything but rice, rico forever. Look at the potato and black-bread eaters of Ireland ; though natarally bright, the Irish in Ireland are enervated by the uniformity of their food. Look at tho semi-savages who inhabit the Black Forest. On the other hand, what is, take it all in all, the most highly enlightened nation, the most thrifty, gracef ui, cultured and acconiplished ? Why, Franco, of courso, where tho euinine bas infinite variety. Wlien the Koman empire was at its height the table was a marvel of diversity - they fed on nightingaliis' tongues, and all sorts of dainty dishes. Bo when Carthage was in her glory." j Wf.l. IHO "You think, then, do you, as the Phoenicians are said to havo taught, that the stomaoh is the seat of wisdom ?" "Yes. Some say I get the oart before the horse, and that the diversified food is the result of a high civilization rather than its cause ; but I think I nm right about it. A nation begins to decay, philosophically and morally, as soon as cooking is degraded from an art i uto au occupation." "You try not to repeat the same dishes ?" " Oh, I don't live up to my theory, but I would like to live so that I could ohange my dieta thouBand times ayoar." - Netv Yar'c letter to the öincinnati Commercial, fflexican Signs. In Mexico every business house has a fanciful name. Instead of putting the name of the firm on tho sign, they put up its designation. For a shoe store the " Blue Boot" seems to be a favorito mimo. Frcqiu ntly a dry-goods store is called " The Daughtcrs of Eve." "El Borrego" (the ehoep) seeras to be n lavorite sign for a oigar store, The pulque Bhops havo the most {auoiful sames, "The Koses of Spring," and "The Three Graces" are common namcs, while other proprietors, with shocking candor, cali their places "The Heil," "The Little Heil," " The Devil's Tail," " The Devil'B School," etc.


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