William Kneass was the second Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1824 until his death in 1840. Kneass is credited with designing the "Classic Head" motif, which appeared on numerous denominations of American currency, including the gold Quarter Eagle and Half Eagle gold pieces from 1834-1839, he modified John Reich's "Capped Bust" design for use on the half dime through half-dollar from the years 1829-1837. William Kneass was born in September 1781 in Pennsylvania, he served in the War of 1812 as a volunteer associate of the field engineers, helped construct fortifications on the western front of Philadelphia. He ran an engraving office on Fourth above Chestnut Street, a popular meeting place for "leading wits and men of culture". Kneass worked as an engraver of plates for bookwork. Although he worked in line engraving, he was known for producing aquatints, he worked in two other engraving firms that bore his name: Kneass & Dellaker, Young & Kneass & Co. On January 29, 1824, Kneass was appointed Chief Engraver of the United States Mint.
During his tenure as Chief Engraver, he oversaw production of gold coinage, circulating coinage. In 1830, Kneass redesigned the quarter, in 1834, redesigned the gold coinage, he introduced a new Liberty head on the half dollar, a design, modified several times over the next two years. In 1835 Mint director Samuel Moore wrote of him: "Mr. Kneass, our present engraver... is an acceptable and useful Officer one of the most rapid in execution in the U. States. I do not know whether another could be found, whose celerity in his profession could have sufficed to furnish all the dies we have employed within the last five years."On August 27, 1835, Kneass suffered a debilitating stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side. Once second engraver Christian Gobrecht was hired, he did most pattern and die work until Kneass died in office on August 27, 1840. Kneass was succeeded by Gobrecht as Chief Engraver on December 21 of that year. Kneass was married to Mary Turner Honeyman Kneass. One of their 6 children, Samuel Honeyman Kneass, was a notable civil engineer and architect, based in Philadelphia.
Another, Strickland Kneass, was an engineer. Kneass was remembered as "a warm gentleman of the old-school, who had the rare quality of engaging and winning the esteem and affection of children and youth" Taxay, Don; the U. S. Mint and Coinage. New York, N. Y.: Sanford J. Durst Numismatic Publications. ISBN 0-915262-68-1
Benjamin Harrison was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd president of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He was a grandson of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison, creating the only grandfather–grandson duo to have held the office, he was a great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, a founding father. Before ascending to the presidency, Harrison had established himself as a prominent local attorney, Presbyterian church leader, politician in Indianapolis, Indiana. During the American Civil War, he served in the Union Army as a colonel, was confirmed by the U. S. Senate as a brevet brigadier general of volunteers in 1865. Harrison unsuccessfully ran for governor of Indiana in 1876; the Indiana General Assembly elected Harrison to a six-year term in the U. S. Senate, where he served from 1881 to 1887. A Republican, Harrison was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Grover Cleveland. Hallmarks of Harrison's administration included unprecedented economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff, which imposed historic protective trade rates, the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Harrison facilitated the creation of the national forest reserves through an amendment to the Land Revision Act of 1891. During his administration six western states were admitted to the Union. In addition, Harrison strengthened and modernized the U. S. Navy and conducted an active foreign policy, but his proposals to secure federal education funding as well as voting rights enforcement for African Americans were unsuccessful. Due in large part to surplus revenues from the tariffs, federal spending reached one billion dollars for the first time during his term; the spending issue in part led to the defeat of the Republicans in the 1890 mid-term elections. Cleveland defeated Harrison for re-election in 1892, due to the growing unpopularity of the high tariff and high federal spending. Harrison returned to his law practice in Indianapolis. In 1899 Harrison represented the Republic of Venezuela in their British Guiana boundary dispute against the United Kingdom. Harrison traveled to the court of Paris as part of the case and after a brief stay returned to Indianapolis.
He died at his home in Indianapolis in 1901 of complications from influenza. Although many have praised Harrison's commitment to African Americans' voting rights and historians regard his administration as below-average, rank him in the bottom half among U. S. presidents. Historians, have not questioned Harrison's commitment to personal and official integrity. Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, the second of Elizabeth Ramsey and John Scott Harrison's ten children, his paternal ancestors were the Harrison family of Virginia, whose immigrant ancestor, Benjamin Harrison I, arrived in Jamestown, circa 1630 from England. Harrison was of English ancestry, all of his ancestors having emigrated to America during the early colonial period; the future President was a grandson of U. S. President William Henry Harrison and a great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, a Virginia planter who signed the Declaration of Independence and succeeded Thomas Jefferson as governor of Virginia.
Harrison was seven years old when his grandfather was elected U. S. president, but he did not attend the inauguration. Although Harrison's family was distinguished, his parents were not wealthy. John Scott Harrison, a two-term U. S. congressman from Ohio, spent much of his farm income on his children's education. Despite the family's modest resources, Harrison's boyhood was enjoyable, much of it spent outdoors fishing or hunting. Benjamin Harrison's early schooling took place in a log cabin near his home, but his parents arranged for a tutor to help him with college preparatory studies. Fourteen-year-old Harrison and his older brother, enrolled in Farmer's College near Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1847, he attended the college for two years and while there met his future wife, Caroline "Carrie" Lavinia Scott, a daughter of John Witherspoon Scott, the school's science professor, a Presbyterian minister. In 1850, Harrison transferred to Miami University in Oxford and graduated in 1852, he joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
He was a member of Delta Chi, a law fraternity which permitted dual membership. Classmates included John Alexander Anderson, who became a six-term U. S. congressman, Whitelaw Reid, Harrison's vice presidential running mate in 1892. At Miami, Harrison was influenced by history and political economy professor Robert Hamilton Bishop. Harrison joined a Presbyterian church at college and, like his mother, became a lifelong Presbyterian. After his college graduation in 1852, Harrison studied law with Judge Bellamy Storer of Cincinnati, but before he completed his studies, he returned to Oxford, Ohio, to marry Caroline Scott on October 20, 1853. Caroline's father, a Presbyterian minister, performed the ceremony; the Harrisons had Russell Benjamin Harrison and Mary "Mamie" Scott Harrison. Harrison and his wife returned to live at The Point, his father's farm in southwestern Ohio, while he finished his law studies. Harrison was admitted to the Ohio bar in early 1854, the same year he sold property that he had inherited after the death of an aunt for $800, used the funds to move with Caroline to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Harrison began practicing law in the office of John H. Ray in 1854 and became a crier for the federal court in Indianapolis, for which he was paid $2.50 per day. He served as a Commissioner for the U. S. Court of Claims. Harrison bec
Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition
The Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition also known as the Lewis and Clark Exposition, known as the Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair, was a worldwide exposition held in Portland, United States in 1905 to celebrate the centennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. While not considered a World's Fair by the Bureau of International Expositions, it is informally described as such. During the exposition's four-month run, it attracted over 1.6 million visitors, featured exhibits from 21 countries. Portland grew from 161,000 to 270,000 residents between 1905 and 1910, a spurt, attributed to the exposition. Since its founding in 1845, Portland had evolved into a major economic center fueled by the arrival of the railroads. Three transcontinental railroads used Portland as their Pacific coast terminus – the Northern and Union Pacific Railroads. Meanwhile, Portland's wheat and flour industries were growing at an amazing rate, Portland held "the largest flour mill on the Pacific coast."
The unparalleled timber industry continued to grow, as "Oregon is second, with 54,300 square miles" and "in quantity of standing lumber, Oregon leads the Union, with 300 billion feet..." Oregon's shipping was growing, fueled by a $1.5 million project to dike and dredge the Columbia River. During this time, Oregon's population grew from 13,294 in 1850 to 413,536 in 1900, a 3,000-percent growth, compared to the 1000-percent growth of the nation as a whole. Despite all these positive factors, Oregon was not unaffected by the nationwide Long Depression, which had particular effect in 1893. Jobs were lost across the country as railroads grew too fast on a weak banking system and agricultural values fell; the state's elite business leaders all attempted to devise plans to boost the economy. Dan McAllen, a dry goods merchant, suggested in 1895 "that Portland mark the new century and pull itself out of its economic slump by holding some sort of international fair." Since the area's focus was on other issues, his proposal went unnoticed for a few years.
The idea of a fair came up again but no concentrated effort was made for various reasons. It was not until mid-1900 that this sort of action began, when "J. M. Long of the Portland Board of Trade put together a provisional committee" to begin planning some sort of fair. Soon, a permanent board was conceived, the head of the Portland General Electric Company, Henry W. Goode, became the president of the Board of Directors. Others included First Vice-President; these were some of Portland's most wealthy and powerful men, working together to create an event of unmatched grandeur and power. Although the true motivation for the fair came from an economic and business standpoint, it was still crucial to have a theme for publicity and décor; the theme for the Portland fair came from the advice of the Oregon Historical Society. They suggested that the centennial anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition's stay in Oregon would be a perfect event to commemorate; as the directors wanted to include their dreams of economic growth as well, they combined the two ideas into a title that "summed up the dual goals of historic commemoration and regional boosterism:'The Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair.'"
In addition, a motto was decided on, to focus the festivities and bolster publicity: "Westward The Course of Empire Takes Its Way." Once a theme was set, the men began getting support for their investments. Getting government backing was crucial due to the personal investments made: "The Ladd and Tilton Bank $20,000, the Northern Pacific Railroad another $20,000, brewer Henry Weinhard $10,000." Many of the substantial investments were from hotels, streetcar companies, retailers – all groups with much to gain from the success of the fair and the economic prosperity it could provide. In addition 3,000 average citizens purchased stock certificates both as investment opportunities and to support what they viewed as a worthwhile venture; these individual investments paid off greatly. Seeing the potential benefits of the fair's success, the state legislature began planning appropriations for the fair. Although they "had interest in the historical heroes and their 2,000-mile trek... they the vision of Pacific trade that had motivated the exploration and settlement of the Oregon Country."
Thus, the Legislature passed "An Act Celebrating the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Exploration of the Oregon Country," which appropriated a sum of $500,000 for the fair. After the Fair's completion, it was reported that The money expended by the two departments amounted to about four hundred thousand dollars each, the State appropriating that expended by the Commission, while the stockholders of the Corporation subscribed about an equal amount; the proceeds from the Exposition were expended under the direction of the Corporation. The government of the United States appropriated $475,000 and about an equal value in exhibits, the exact amounts of which I am unable to give, thus the fair received funding to hold the exposition. The bill that appropriated the funds created a special commission to oversee the organization of the fair; as this Commission reported: "The Lewis and Clark Exposition was held jointly, under the aut
George E. Roberts
George Evan Roberts was Director of the United States Mint from 1898 to 1907, again from 1910 to 1914. George E. Roberts was born in the son of David and Mary Roberts, he was raised in Dubuque County, Manchester and Fort Dodge, Iowa. At age, Roberts began a career in the newspaper industry by working as a printer's apprentice at the Fort Dodge Times, the Fort Dodge Messenger, he was city editor of the Sioux City Journal. In 1878, he served as its editor. Roberts was active in the Republican Party of Iowa and, in 1883, was elected State Printer of Iowa, holding this office until 1889. In 1902, he and a partner purchased the Iowa State Register and the Des Moines Leader, which they merged to form the Des Moines Register and Leader; as a newspaper editor, Roberts was interested in economic and monetary policy. He was an opponent of free silver. In 1894, he published a response to William Hope Harvey's Coin's Financial School, entitled Coin at School in Finance, he followed this up with Money and Prices and Iowa and the Silver Question.
Both of these works were important parts of the campaign that defeated William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 U. S. presidential election. In 1902, Roberts authored the Iowa Republican Party's platform on tariffs, which criticized protectionism and supported reciprocity. In 1898, United States Secretary of the Treasury Lyman J. Gage recommended that President of the United States William McKinley appoint Roberts Director of the United States Mint, Roberts held that office from February 1898 to July 1907, he became president of the Commercial National Bank in Chicago. In 1910, President William Howard Taft appointed Roberts to a third term as Director of the U. S. Mint, with Roberts holding office from July 1910 to November 1914. Upon leaving government service in 1914, Roberts became assistant to the president of the National City Bank in New York City. In 1916 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, he became a vice president of the bank in 1919, a position he held until 1931, when he became one of the bank's economic advisers, a position he held until his death.
From 1914 to 1940, Roberts edited the bank's Monthly Economic Letter, an investment bulletin dealing with world events, economic affairs, national and international finances. In 1929, he headed a delegation of financiers to Panama to study that country's finances, he was a member of the Gold Delegation of the Financial Committee of the League of Nations from 1930 to 1932. Roberts died at his home in Larchmont, New York on June 6, 1948
Gilroy Roberts was an American sculptor. He served as the ninth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1948 until 1964, is most famous for the designing the obverse of the Kennedy Half Dollar
The Barber coinage consists of a dime and half dollar designed by United States Bureau of the Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, they were minted between 1892 and 1916, though no half dollars were struck in the final year of the series. By the late 1880s, there were increasing calls for the replacement of the Seated Liberty design, used since the 1830s on most denominations of silver coins. In 1891, Mint Director Edward O. Leech, having been authorized by Congress to approve coin redesigns, ordered a competition, seeking a new look for the silver coins; as only the winner would receive a cash prize, invited artists refused to participate and no entry from the public proved suitable. Leech instructed Barber to prepare new designs for the dime and half dollar, after the chief engraver made changes to secure Leech's endorsement, they were approved by President Benjamin Harrison in November 1891. Striking of the new coins began the following January. Public and artistic opinion of the new pieces was, remains, mixed.
In 1915, Mint officials began plans to replace them once the design's minimum term expired in 1916. The Mint issued Barber dimes and quarters in 1916 to meet commercial demand, but before the end of the year, the Mercury dime, Standing Liberty quarter, Walking Liberty half dollar had begun production. Most dates in the Barber coin series are not difficult to obtain, but the 1894 dime struck at the San Francisco Mint, with a mintage of 24, is a great rarity. Charles E. Barber was born in London in 1840, his grandfather, John Barber, led the family to America in the early 1850s. Both John and his son William were Charles followed in their footsteps; the Barber family lived in Boston upon their arrival to the United States, though they moved to Providence to allow William to work for the Gorham Manufacturing Company. William Barber's skills came to the attention of Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, who hired him as an assistant engraver in 1865. William Barber died on August 31, 1879, of an illness contracted after swimming at Atlantic City, New Jersey.
His son applied for the position of chief engraver, as did George T. Morgan, another British-born engraver hired by the Mint. In early December 1879, Treasury Secretary John Sherman, Mint Director Horatio Burchard, Philadelphia Mint Superintendent A. Loudon Snowden met to determine the issue, they decided to recommend the appointment of Barber, subsequently nominated by President Rutherford B. Hayes and in February 1880, was confirmed by the Senate. Barber would serve nine presidents in the position, remaining until his death in 1917, when Morgan would succeed him. Coinage redesign was being considered during Barber's early years as chief engraver. Superintendent Snowden believed that the base-metal coins being struck should have uniform designs, as did many of the silver pieces, some gold coins, he had Barber create experimental pattern coins. In spite of Snowden's desires, the only design modified was that of nickel; the new coin had its denomination designated by a Roman numeral "V" on the reverse.
Enterprising fraudsters soon realized that the nickel and half eagle were close in size, plated the base metal coins to pass to the unwary. Amid public ridicule of the Mint, production came to a halt until Barber hastily added the word "cents" to the reverse of his design. For much of the second half of the 19th century, most U. S. silver coins bore a design of a seated Liberty. This design had been created by Christian Gobrecht, an engraver at the United States Mint in Philadelphia, after a sketch by artist Thomas Sully, introduced to U. S. coins in the late 1830s. The design reflected an English influence, as artistic tastes changed over time, was disliked in the United States. In 1876, The Galaxy magazine said of the current silver coins: Why is it we have the ugliest money of all civilized nations? The design is poor, tasteless and the execution is like thereunto, they have rather the appearance of mean medals. One reason for this is that the design is so inartistic, so insignificant; that young woman sitting on nothing in particular, wearing nothing to speak of, looking over her shoulder at nothing imaginable, bearing in her left hand something that looks like a broomstick with a woolen nightcap on it—what is she doing there?
Public dissatisfaction with the newly-issued Morgan dollar led the Mint's engravers to submit designs for the smaller silver coins in 1879. Among those who called for new coinage was editor Richard Watson Gilder of The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. Sometime in the early 1880s, he, along with one of his reporters and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens visited Mint Director Burchard to argue for the creation of new designs, they brought along classic Greek and Roman coins in an attempt to persuade Burchard that the coinage could be made more beautiful. The visitors left disappointed, after learning that Burchard considered the much-criticized Morgan dollar as beautiful as any of them. In 1885, Burchard was succeeded as Mint director by James Kimball; the new director was more receptive to Gilder's ideas and in 1887 announced a competition for new designs for the non-gold coinage. These plans were scuttled when Vermont Senator Justin Morrill questioned the Mint's authority to produce new designs.
The Mint had claimed authority under the Coinage Act of 1873 in issuing the Mor
Panama–Pacific International Exposition
The Panama–Pacific International Exposition was a world's fair held in San Francisco, California, U. S. from February 20 to December 4, 1915. Its stated purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery from the 1906 earthquake; the fair was constructed on a 636 acre site along the northern shore, between the Presidio and Fort Mason, now known as the Marina District. Among the exhibits at the Exposition was the C. P. Huntington, the first steam locomotive purchased by Southern Pacific Railroad. A telephone line was established to New York City so people across the continent could hear the Pacific Ocean; the Liberty Bell traveled by train on a nationwide tour from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to attend the exposition. The 1915 American Grand Prize and Vanderbilt Cup auto races were held February 27 and March 6 on a 3.84-mile circuit set up around the Exposition grounds. The Smithsonian Institution had an exhibition at the Exposition.
Yumian, meaning fish-noodle in Chinese, is a noodle made with flour and fish from the Fu River in Yunmeng, China. Yunmeng Yumian was awarded silver medal of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition; the centerpiece was the Tower of Jewels, which rose to 435 feet and was covered with over 100,000 cut glass Novagems. The 3⁄4 to 2 inch colored "gems" sparkled in sunlight throughout the day and were illuminated by over 50 powerful electrical searchlights at night. In front of the Tower, the Fountain of Energy flowed at the center of the South Gardens, flanked by the Palace of Horticulture on the west and the Festival Hall to the east; the arch of the Tower served as the gateway to the Court of the Universe, leading to the Court of the Four Seasons to the west and the Court of Abundance to the east. These courts formed the primary exhibit area for the fair, which included the Food Products Palace, the Education and Social Economy Palace, the Agriculture Palace, the Liberal Arts Palace, the Transportation Palace, the Manufacturers Palace, the Mines and Metallurgy Palace, the Varied Industries Palace.
The Machinery Palace, the largest hall, dominated the east end of the central court. At the west end of central court group was the Palace of Fine Arts. Further west toward the bay down The Avenue of the Nations were national and states' buildings, displaying customs and products unique to the area represented. At the opposite end of the Fair, near Fort Mason was "The Zone", an avenue of popular amusements and concessions stands. Constructed from temporary materials all the fair's various buildings and attractions were pulled down in late 1915. Intended to fall into pieces at the close of the fair, the only surviving building on the Exposition grounds, Bernard Maybeck's Palace of Fine Arts, remained in place falling into disrepair; the Palace, including the colonnade with its signature weeping women and rotunda dome, was reconstructed in the 1960s and a seismic retrofit was completed in early 2009. The Exploratorium, an interactive science museum, occupied the northern 2/3 of the Palace from 1969 to 2013.
Buildings from the Exposition that still stand today include what is now called the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium at Civic Center Plaza and the Japanese Tea house, barged down the Bay to Belmont and operates as a restaurant. Surviving are the one-third scale steam locomotives of the Overfair Railroad that operated at the Exposition, they are maintained in working order at the Swanton Pacific Railroad Society located on Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Swanton Ranch just north of Santa Cruz. The Legion of Honor Museum, in Lincoln Park, was the gift of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, wife of the sugar magnate and thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder Adolph B. Spreckels; the building is a full-scale replica of the French Pavilion from the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, which in turn was a three-quarter-scale version of the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur known as the Hôtel de Salm in Paris by George Applegarth and H. Guillaume. At the close of the exposition, the French government granted Spreckels permission to construct a permanent replica of the French Pavilion, but World War I delayed the groundbreaking until 1921.
The US Post Office issued a set of four postage stamps to commemorate the exposition, with designs depicting a profile of Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the Pedro Miguel Locks of the Panama Canal, the Golden Gate, the discovery of San Francisco Bay. The stamps were first put on sale in 1913, to promote the coming event, perforated 12, reissued in 1914 and 1915, perforated 10, their prices today range widely. The United States Congress authorized the San Francisco Mint to issue a series of five commemorative coins. Said coins were four gold coins; the denominations of the gold coins were $1, $2 1⁄2 and $50. The Panama-Pacific coins have the distinction of being the first commemorative coins to bear the