The Denver Mint: 100 Years of Gangsters, Gold, and Ghosts

Overview

This book takes readers from the days when gold dust was legal tender in the dusty frontier town of Denver to the present when the Mint is a world-class facility that makes most of our coins. History buffs will love the book's historical highlights while casual readers will enjoy seeing how the cultural events and trends influenced money and life at the Mint.The book provides a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the Mint-entertaining stories of colorful characters, controversial coins, and the creative artists ...
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Overview

This book takes readers from the days when gold dust was legal tender in the dusty frontier town of Denver to the present when the Mint is a world-class facility that makes most of our coins. History buffs will love the book's historical highlights while casual readers will enjoy seeing how the cultural events and trends influenced money and life at the Mint.The book provides a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the Mint-entertaining stories of colorful characters, controversial coins, and the creative artists behind the nation's coinage. It covers everything from workday life at the Mint to tales of gangsters and dramatic gold transfers. It goes beyond the basics, with well-researched slices of information, photos and interviews. Even money-oriented recipes are included (mint brownies, anyone?).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600651021
  • Publisher: WindRiver Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/7/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,377,349
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Ray Turner has a bachelor's degree in education and received her master's degree in music. She teaches writing at Lighthouse Writers in Denver, and humanities at the University of Phoenix.Long-time Coloradoan Kimberly Field holds a bachelor's degree in archaeology and a master's in Journalism. Kim has written on western water issues, earthquake prediction, and impressionist art.
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Read an Excerpt

The Denver Mint. Thousands of tourists visit each year and watch, fascinated, as shiny copper pennies roll off the presses. Generations of school children have toured it and Denverites have been taking out-of-town guests to the Mint for a century. They proudly show off this Florentine money palace, a gorgeous building inspired by a Medici villa.

Many locals drive by the Mint on West Colfax every day with only a vague notion of what goes on inside. Along with Philadelphia, Denver shares the task of making all of the United States' circulation coinage. Denver produces more than half of all U.S. pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollar coins. All are branded with a "D."

During its first 100 years, many changes have rocked the Mint, but it has adjusted with the times. It expanded as Denver grew from a frontier mining supply town to a major metropolitan area. It adjusted coinage demands through two world wars, the Great Depression, and eighteen U.S. presidents. It survived a robbery attempt in the gangster-happy 1920s and changed the nation's coinage in response to the silver shortage of the 1960s.

Among the coins that have rolled off its presses are the beloved Lincoln penny and the Kennedy half-dollar, honoring two assassinated presidents. The 1964 Peace Dollar, the last true solver dollar, was produced in Denver and never circulated, one of the many strange stories in this book. Susan B. Anthony dollars were the first coins to bear a woman's image. In our own time, a new series of quarters tells each state's story in the embodiment of E Pluribus Unum, or "from many, one."

The city of Denver almost lost the Mint to the suburbs during the 1970s. Tightened security in the wake of the homegrown terrorism of the Oklahoma City bombing temporarily dismayed visitors who could no longer view the gold bars. Tours were abandoned after September 11, 2001, but once again are booming and easier than ever to arrange, with phone and online reservations. . . . The grand old landmark has been spruced up and modernized. As they have for a century, Denverites run the money-making machines, mop the floors, polish the coins, and keep the country in change.

In "The Denver Mint: 100 Years of Gangsters, Gold, and Ghosts," Kimberly Field and Lisa Ray Turner will take you through the Mint's first century with a lively look at one of Denver's most enduring treasures.

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Table of Contents

xi Foreword

xiii Acknowledgements

xv Introduction: Money Makes the Ming Go 'Round

1 Chapter One - The City Beautiful, 2906 -1920

17 Chapter Two - Crime and Punishment at the Denver Mint, 1920 - 1930

41 Chapter Three - Show Me the Gold, 1930 - 1940

55 Chapter Four - The Winds of War, 1940 - 1960

73 Chapter Five - Scantily clad Coins, 1960 - 1970

91 Chapter Six - Decades of Dubious Developments, 1970 - 1990

109 Chapter Seven - New, New, New for the Nineties, 1990 - 2000

135 Chapter Eight - The New Millennium at the Mint, 2000 and Beyond

157 Glossary

163 Bibliography and Resources

169 Index

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