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Flying Eagle cent – Wikipedia

One-cent piece struck by the Mint of the United States

Flying Eagle cent
United States
Value 1 cent (.01 U.S. dollars)
Mass 4.67 g
Diameter 19 mm
Edge Plain
  • 88.0% copper
  • 12.0% nickel
Years of minting 1854–1856 (patterns only)
1857–1858 (regular issues)
Mint marks None. Struck at the Philadelphia Mint without mint mark.
NNC-US-1858-1C-Flying Eagle Cent.jpg
Design Eagle in flight
Designer James B. Longacre
Design date 1856
NNC-US-1858-1C-Flying Eagle Cent.jpg
Design Denomination enclosed by wreath
Designer James B. Longacre
Design date 1856

The Flying Eagle cent is a one- penny piece struck by the Mint of the United States as a blueprint mint in 1856 and for circulation in 1857 and 1858. The coin was designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, with the eagle in trajectory based on the work of Longacre ‘s predecessor, christian Gobrecht.

By the early 1850s, the large penny ( about the size of a half dollar ) being issued by the Mint was becoming both unpopular in commerce and expensive to mint. After experimenting with diverse sizes and compositions, the Mint decided on an alloy of 88 % copper and 12 % nickel for a new, smaller cent. After the Mint produced patterns with an 1856 date and gave them to legislators and officials, Congress formally authorized the new assemble in February 1857. The new penny was issued in exchange for the tire spanish colonial silver coin that had circulated in the U.S. until then, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as for its larger harbinger. so many cents were issued that they choked commercial channels, particularly as they were not legal tender and no one had to take them. The eagle blueprint did not strike well, and was replaced in 1859 by Longacre ‘s indian Head cent .

origin [edit ]

The penny was the inaugural official United States coin to be struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1793. These pieces, today known as boastfully cents, were made of saturated copper and were about the size of a half dollar. They were struck every year, except 1815 due to a deficit of metal, but were dense to become established in department of commerce. Worn spanish colonial flatware pieces were then normally used as money throughout the United States. At the time, both gold and flatware were legal tender there, but copper coins were not ; the federal politics would not redeem them or take them in payment of taxes .
The Mint then struck eloquent or aureate in response to deposits by those holding bullion, and made little profit from those transactions. By the 1840s, profits, or seignorage, from monetizing bull into cents helped fund the Mint. In 1849, bull prices rose precipitously, causing the Department of the Treasury to investigate possible alternatives to the large one-cent pieces. The cent was unpopular in trade ; as it was not a legal tender, cipher had to take it, and banks and merchants often refused it. The penny was disliked for its bombastic size as well. In 1837, the eccentric New York pharmacist Lewis Feuchtwanger had experimented with a smaller cent size in making exemplary coins as separate of a plan to sell his alloy ( like to base-metal German silver medal ) to the government for use in neologism. His pieces circulated a hard times tokens in the receding years of the deep 1830s and early 1840s. By 1850, it was no longer profitable for the Mint to strike cents, and on May 14, New York Senator Daniel S. Dickinson introduced legislation for a penny made out of billon, bull with a small sum of ash grey. At the time, it was widely felt that coins should contain a bombastic proportion of their front value in alloy. The coin would be annular ; that is, it would have a hole in the middle. The Mint struck experimental pieces, and found that it was unmanageable to eject such pieces from the presses where they were struck, and that it was expensive to recover the silver from the alloy. Provisions for a smaller cent were dropped from the legislation that gave congressional approval for the three-cent assemble in 1851. Numismatic historian Walter Breen suggested that one gene in rejecting the hole coins was that they reminded many of chinese cash coins with their minimal buy prize. A drop in bull prices in 1851 and early 1852 made the matter of a smaller penny less pressing at the Department of the Treasury, which supervised Mint activities .
Pattern one-half penny in copper-nickel, struck to display the admixture as a coin copper prices resurged in late 1852 and into 1853 past the $ 0.40 per pound that the Mint viewed as the break-even point for penny manufacture after considering the cost of production ; 1 pound ( 0.45 kilogram ) of bull made 42⅔ bombastic cents. In 1853, patterns using a base-metal alloy were struck using a quarter eagle obverse die, about the size of a dime bag. Some of the proposed alloys contained the metallic nickel. besides considered for use in the penny was “ french bronze ” ( 95 % copper with the remainder can and zinc ) [ a ] and respective varieties of german silver. In his 1854 annual report, Mint Director James Ross Snowden advocated the issue of small, bronze cents, vitamin a well as the elimination of the half cent, which he described as useless in commerce. A numeral of pattern cents were struck in 1854 and 1855. These featured versatile designs, including several depictions of Liberty and two adaptations of work by the late Mint head engraver Christian Gobrecht : one showing a seat Liberty, which Gobrecht had placed on the argent coins in the 1830s, and another of a flying eagle, which Gobrecht had created based upon a sketch by titian Peale .

homework [edit ]

In early 1856, Snowden proposed legislation to allow him to issue a smaller cent, but leaving the size and metallic typography up to him and Secretary of the Treasury James Guthrie. Under the plan, the newly piece would be legal offer, up to ten cents. It would be issued in exchange for the old spanish silver still circulating in the United States. In the change, the spanish silver would be given full rate ( 12½ cents per actual, or spot ) when normally such pieces traded at about a 20 % rebate due to wear. The personnel casualty the government would take on the trade would be paid for by the seigniorage on the base-metal pieces. The new cents would besides be issued for the old cents, and in switch over for the same value in half cents—that denomination was to be discontinued. The bill was introduced in the Senate on March 25, 1856. The previous cent weighed 168 grains ( 10.9 gigabyte ) ; on April 16, the bill was amended to provide for a penny of at least 95 % copper weighing at least 96 grains ( 6.2 g ) and passed the Senate in that shape. While the legislation was being considered, Mint Melter and Refiner James Curtis Booth was conducting experiments on alloys that might be appropriate for the new penny. In July 1856, Snowden wrote to Guthrie, proposing an admixture of 88 % copper and 12 % nickel as ideal and suggesting amendments to the pending bill that would accomplish this. Booth besides wrote to Guthrie to boost the debase ; both men proposed a weight of 72 grains ( 4.7 gigabyte ) arsenic commodious as 80 cents would equal a troy egyptian pound ( 373 deoxyguanosine monophosphate ), although the fatness pound ( 454 gram ) was more normally used for base metals .
early convention coin for the Flying Eagle penny The Mint ‘s chief engraver, James B. Longacre, was instructed to prepare designs for design coins. initially, Longacre worked with Liberty head designs such as were common at the time, but Snowden asked that a flying eagle design be prepared. This occurred as Booth ‘s experiments continued ; the beginning cent patterns with the flying eagle purpose were about the size of a quarter. To promote the new alloy, the Mint had 50 half cents struck in it, and had them sent to Washington for Treasury officials to show to officials and congressmen. In early on November 1856, Longacre prepared dies in what would prove to be the concluding design, depicting a flying eagle on the obverse and a wreathe appellation on the reversion, in the size sought by Booth. The Mint struck at least respective hundred patterns using Longacre ‘s flying eagle design in the proposed composition. In an campaign to secure public credence of the new pieces, these were distributed to versatile congressmen and other officials, initially in November 1856. Two hundred were sent to the House Committee on Coinage, Weights and Measures, while four were given to President Franklin Pierce. At least 634 specimens were distributed, and possibly respective thousand ; extra were available on request. This was the origin of the highly collectible 1856 Flying Eagle penny, which is considered by numismatists as depart of the Flying Eagle series although it was actually a blueprint or transition piece, not an official coin, as congressional approval had not yet been granted. extra 1856 belittled cents were later struck by Snowden for illegitimate sale, and to exchange for pieces the Mint sought for its mint collection .
A spanish colonial two-reales piece ( “ two bits ” ) from the Potosí Mint ( today in Bolivia ) In December 1856, Snowden wrote to Missouri Representative John S. Phelps, hoping for progress with the legislation, and stating that he was already “ pressed on all hands, and from every quarter, for the new cent—in fact, the public are very anxious for its issue ”. When the legislation, amended to include the slant and alloy the Mint had decided on, was debated in the House of Representatives on December 24, it was opposed by Tennessee Congressman George Washington Jones over the legal tender provision ; Jones felt that under the Constitution ‘s Contract Clause, only aureate and silver should be made legal tender. Phelps defended the bill on the ground that Congress had the constitutional power to regulate the rate of money, but when the bill was brought back up to be considered on January 14, 1857, the legal crank planning had been removed. This meter, the bill was opposed by New York Congressman Thomas R. Whitney, who objected to a provision in the bill that legalized the Mint ‘s practice of designing and strike medals commissioned by the public, feeling that the government should not compete with individual medallists. The provision was removed, and the bill passed the follow sidereal day. The House adaptation was then considered by the Senate, which debated it on February 4, and passed it with a far amendment allowing the redemption of the spanish coins for a minimal of two years. The House agreed to this on February 18, and President Pierce signed the poster on the 21st. The act made alien gold and eloquent coins no longer legal tender, but spanish dollars were redeemable at their nominative value for two years in exchange for the fresh copper-nickel cents. The half penny was abolished. The new pieces would be the same size ( 19 millimeter ), though slightly heavier, than cents are nowadays. In anticipation of the success of the legislation, most of the 333,456 large cents struck in 1857 never left the Philadelphia Mint, and were late melted. Snowden purchased a modern rig of rollers and other equipment so that the Mint could produce its own penny planchets, the first time it had done so in over 50 years. Although the legislation was calm a day from concluding passing, Snowden recommended Longacre ‘s designs to Guthrie on February 20. Guthrie approved them on the 24th, though he requested that the edge of the coin be made less sharp ; Snowden promised to comply. Flying eagle cents were strike begin in April 1857 and were held pending official spill. The Mint stored the pieces pending accumulation of a sufficient supply ; in mid-may, Snowden notified Philadelphia newspapers that distribution would begin on May 25 .

design [edit ]

Longacre ‘s obverse of an eagle in flight is based on that of the Gobrecht dollar, struck in humble quantities from 1836 to 1839. Although Gobrecht ‘s model is not known with certainty, some sources department of state that the bird in flight was based on Peter the eagle, a tame boo fed by Mint workers in the early 1830s until it was caught up in machinery and killed. The bird was stuffed, and is calm displayed at the Philadelphia Mint.

Despite its derivative instrument nature, Longacre ‘s eagle has been wide admired. According to art historian Cornelius Vermeule in his book on U.S. coins, the flying eagle motif, when used in the 1830s, was “ the first numismatic shuttlecock that could be said to derive from nature rather than from colonial carve or heraldry ”. Vermeule described the Flying Eagle penny ‘s surrogate, the indian Head penny, as “ far less attractive to the eye than the Peale-Gobrecht flying eagle and its variants ”. Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, when commissioned in 1905 to provide new designs for american coinage, sought to return a flying eagle purpose to the cent, writing to President Theodore Roosevelt, “ I am using a flying eagle, a change of the device which was used on the cent of 1857. I had not seen that mint for many years, and was so impressed by it that I thought if carried out with some modifications, nothing well could be done. It is by all odds the best design on any american english coin. ” Saint-Gaudens did return the flying eagle to American coinage, but his plan was used for the change by reversal of the double eagle preferably than the cent. The wreath on the invert is besides derived function, having been previously used on Longacre ‘s Type II gold dollar of 1854, and the three-dollar firearm of the like year. It is composed of leaves of wheat, corn whiskey, cotton and tobacco, therefore including grow associated with both the North and the South. The cotton leaves are sometimes said to be maple leaves ; the two types are not dissimilar, and maple leaves are more widely known than cotton leaves. An ear of corn is besides visible .

free, production, and collecting [edit ]

Harper’s Magazine: ” From the February 1857 : “ Brother Jonathan ‘s New Baby ”, the Flying Eagle penny, as the neglected big cent wails The Philadelphia Mint released the modern cents to the public on May 25, 1857. In prediction of big democratic demand, Mint authorities built a impermanent wooden structure in the court of the Philadelphia facility. On the good morning of the date of release, hundreds of people queued, one line for those exchanging spanish silver medal for cents, the early for those bringing in previous copper cents and half cents. From 9 am, clerks paid out cents for the honest-to-god pieces ; outside the Mint precincts, early purchasers sold the new cents at a agio. Snowden wrote to Guthrie, “ the demand for them is enormous … we had on hand this good morning $ 30,000 worth, that is three million pieces. about all of this sum will be paid out today. ” The 1856 specimen became publicly known about the time of issue, and had the public checking their pouch change ; 1856 small cents sold for deoxyadenosine monophosphate a lot as $ 2 by 1859. The public pastime in the new cents set off a coin collecting boom : in summation to seeking the rare 1856 cent, some tried to collect sets of large cents back to 1793, and found they would have to pay a premium for the rare dates. The Mint had trouble striking the new design. This was due to the hard copper-nickel alloy and the fact that the eagle on one side of the piece was immediately opposite parts of the reverse design ; efforts to bring out the design more amply led to increased die breakage. many Flying Eagle cents show weaknesses, particularly at the eagle ‘s head and tail, which are opposite the wreath. In 1857, Snowden suggested the surrogate of the eagle with a head of Christopher Columbus. Longacre replied that as there had been objections to proposals to place George Washington on the coinage, there would besides be opposition to a Columbus design. Despite the difficulties, the 17,450,000 Flying Eagle cents struck at Philadelphia in 1857 constituted the greatest product of a single coin in a class at a U.S. mint to that time .
practice coins with a smaller eagle were prepared in 1858 ; the bird was thought excessively scraggy. In 1858, the Mint tried to alleviate the breakage problem using a new adaptation of the cent with a shallower relief. This attack led to the major variety of the series, as coins of the revised translation have smaller letters in the inscriptions than those struck earlier. The two varieties are about evenly common, and were probably hit side by side for some period as the batch used up older dies. Efforts to conserve dies were the probable campaign of another variety, the 1858/7, as 1857-dated dies were overstruck to allow them to be used in the newly year. The Mint prepared blueprint coins with a much smaller eagle in 1858, which struck well, but which officials disliked. Snowden directed Longacre to prepare diverse patterns that he could select from for a newfangled patch to replace the Flying Eagle penny as of January 1, 1859. The Mint produced between 60 and 100 sets of twelve patterns showing diverse designs ; these were circulated to officials and besides were quietly sold by the Mint over the following several years. Longacre ‘s design showing Liberty wearing an Indian-style headress was adopted, with a wreath with lower easing for the reverse of the amerind Head penny, solving the metallic flow issues. On November 4, 1858, Snowden wrote to the Treasury Department, stating that the Flying Eagle cent had proved “ not very acceptable to the general population ” as they felt the bird was not true to life, and that the native american design would “ giv [ e ] it the character of America ” .
Harper’s Weekly that “The Spanish-American Difficulty” had been solved by making Spanish silver non-legal tender proved premature. The February 1857 suggestion ofthat “ The Spanish-American trouble ” had been solved by making spanish silver medal non-legal tender proved premature. By September 1857, the volume of spanish silver coming to the Mint had been sol big that Snowden gave up the idea of being able to pay for it equitable with cents, authorizing payment with gold and silver coins. On March 3, 1859, the redemption of the foreign pieces was extended for an extra two years. As commerce was choked with the new cents, Congress repealed this planning in July 1860, though Snowden continued the practice for more than a year without authority from Congress. Bankers Magazine for October 1861 reported the end of the exchange, and quoted the Philadelphia Press : “ the large issue of the modern nickel cents has rendered them about as much of a pain as the old spanish currency. ” According to Breen, “ the alien eloquent coins had been legal tender, receivable for all kinds of payments including postage stamps and some taxes ; the nickel cents were not. They quickly filled shopkeepers ‘ cashboxes to the ejection of about everything else ; they began to be legally refused in trade wind. ” The flood was ended by the roll up of all federal neologism in the wake island of the economic upset caused by the Civil War. After the war, the roll up Flying Eagle cents re-enter circulation. many remained there merely a few years, being pulled out from among the fresh bronze cents in Treasury Department redemption programs in the 1860s and 1870s—thirteen million copper-nickel cents were retired by exchange for other base-metal neologism. By the 1880s, it was a rarity in circulation. The 2018 edition of R.S. Yeoman ‘s A Guide Book of United States Coins lists the 1857, 1858 large letters, and 1858 humble letters each at $ 30 in G-4 Good condition, the following to lowest collectible mark ( AG-3 ). The 1856 is $ 6,500 in that grade, rising to $ 20,000 in uncirculated MS-63. The 1858/7 starts at $ 75 in G-4, rising to $ 11,000 in MS-63. An 1856 cent in MS-66 discipline sold at auction in January 2004 for $ 172,500 .

References [edit ]

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ later used for the penny from 1864 until 1982, except in 1943. See Yeoman, pp. 115–122



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