The 560-page work examines the technology, equipment and operations of the United States Mints from opening of the second Philadelphia Mint in 1833 to the institution of operational reforms in 1937.
The first uses of steam powered presses are explained, and the evolution from steam and coal to electricity and natural gas is described along with the impact on coinage.
Illustrating the book are descriptions, photos and floor plans of U.S. Mints and assay offices and descriptions of their operations.
The first three chapters present an orientation to the basics of refining gold and silver and the coinage process. Responsibilities of Mint Bureau officers are described from official sources and from internal documents that address practical duties in addition to statutory duties. The third chapter describes mint and assay office buildings including floor plans and room uses.
The next chapters describe minting operations in greater detail including variations in use at different mints and at different dates.
Once branch mints were opened in the late 1830s, uniformity began to decline. It was not until nearly seventy years later, with opening of new mints in Philadelphia and Denver, that equipment and business processes began to reconverge.
Included in the book is an extensive bibliography. The book is accompanied by a free CD-ROM containing the complete searchable text and also a version suitable for eReaders and other portable text devices.
Historically minded collectors will find that the CD also includes copies of U.S. Mint laws and annotated summaries up to the 20th century. The CD is not sold separately.
Price of the 6X9-inch black and white book with CD is $39.95. It is available from Wizard Coin Supply.