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A Story That Should Be Told, Part III

By Harvey G. Stack, Senior Numismatic Consultant

Author: Harvey G. Stack / Wednesday, June 20, 2012 / Categories: Harvey G. Stack Remembers
"Numismatics and America's Bicentennial Celebration - 1776 - 1976"

In this final segment, Harvey Stack remembers his part in creating a memorable exhibit at the United States Mint in Philadelphia as part of our nation’s 1976 Bicentennial Celebration.

The Exhibit

In the following days dignitaries and special visitors viewed the new edifice and the prized collection of United States coins on display. I was asked to stay in Philadelphia for a few days in order to answer any special questions from these elite visitors. For me it was very exciting and a great event in my life!

The Collection remained on display for some two years, and millions of visitors, in Philadelphia to celebrate our Bicentennial, had the special opportunity to view the most complete collection of United States gold, silver, copper and nickel coins ever assembled.

It is sad to report that Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., because of health problems, never got to visit this exhibit of his great accomplishment or see the place of honor in which it stood. He did receive daily reports, saw the newspaper and press stories of the exhibit, and could feel the sense of accomplishment that he had not only assembled his magnificent collection of the coinage of the United States but shared a place of honor in the Bicentennial.

I should add that the entire U.S. Mint exhibit included a tour of the new facilities of the mammoth new Mint building, which housed fantastic machinery, including rolling mills to roll out the metal, special multiple cutting machines to produce planchets, and the fantastic multiple die striking machinery that could strike as many as four coins at a time. This would improve the ability of the Mint to strike the quantities of coins needed to meet the ever-demanding requirements of the economy, which was growing by leaps and bounds.

The entire presentation by the U.S Mint was a joy and a point of pride for those who came to see it.

The Numismatic Division of the Smithsonian Institution at the Museum of American History in Washington, DC, was also able to make an extremely historical and extensive display of the collections of American coinage they originally planned to present in honor of the Bicentennial Celebration.