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Volume 5, Issue 9

Page 7

J. Harold Cobb's George Washington Inaugural Button Collection   
By John Markley as taken from information on the web site: http://mosc95.pld.com/kirk/CobbGW/index.html

(Continued from page 6)

Pennsylvania obtained their copper items from England, North Carolina from Switzerland, and South Carolina from London. There were no copper coining businesses record in the states of Pennsylvania , North or South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Delaware or New Hampshire. Copper "hardware" was made in the states of New Jersey, Vermont, and Connecticut during the years 1785 to 1789. The various differences in shade, weight, metal content, strikes, borders and the obvious deterioration of dies used discredit any assumption of quantity shipments of imported product for public consumption.
The copper sources were few in number --- Machin' Mills, Orange Lake, New Grange-Ulster County (now City of Newburgh, New York) procured metal by smelting old brass cannon and mortars, relics of the Revolution. The zinc being parted from the brass by the action of the furnace, the copper which came through the fire was worked into shape for making planchets or blanks
Wetherle & Co., Kirby Street, Boston, Mass., obtained metal from the smelting of old brass racks from machines for boring cannon from the old cannon factory at Bridgewater.
Broome & Platte, Morris Cove and Westville, Conn. and Mark Leavenworth, New Haven, Conn. obtained metal from John Higley at Granby-Simsbury copper mines. Walter Mould, New Jersey obtained metal from Machin & Co.
KM- Michael J. Hodder states however "The source of the metal used in colonial era buttons, coins, medals, and tokens is tough to discover. Melted cannon and mortars are usually assumed to be a prime source for bronze and brass and there are written records of some actually being used for coins. On the other hand, the federal government had on hand tons of raw copper, which it made available to a contractor in New Haven who made 1787 Fugio Cents. The guys who made New Jersey's copper coins 1786-88 bought their copper from local mines and imported more from England (which got it from Sweden at the time)."
The coining of planchets or blanks was done at:
Thomas Machin & Co. New Grange, New York State.
Harmon & Buel, Town of Rupert, Vermont.
Weatherlee & Co. Boston,  Mass.   Broome & Platt  Conn.
Walter Mould, New Jersey (furnished blanks for the coiners of Vermont and Connecticut as well in 1789)
The dies were made of steel and the rollers of wrought iron.
Color variations noted on GWs---
Brass - blue, verd antique, green and red.
Bronze - rich gold, blue, green, red, black and brown.

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