Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/613

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
593
CURIOSITIES OF AMERICAN COINAGE.

of Lake Ontario—so gently developed as not to produce bold features. On the other hand, portions of the barrier have been squeezed up by local movements, causing the plateaus, whether above or below the surface of the sea, to rise rather suddenly from the plains, in front of them.

Thus the story of the West Indian bridge and the geological water ways across Central America[1] are only different chapters of the great changes of level of land and sea which have occurred in the most recent geological times, illustrating terrestrial movements now in progress, which have the power of completely altering the physical features of the earth, transposing tropical and arctic climates, and scattering or exterminating animal and plant life of continental regions.

 

CURIOSITIES OF AMERICAN COINAGE.[2]
By ALEXANDER E. OUTERBRIDGE, Jr.

IT is remarkable, in view of the universal desire of mankind to obtain money, that so few persons, comparatively, really know anything about the early history of money, or the social and industrial conditions which led, long ago, to the substitution of pieces of coined money for direct barter—in short, when, where, and how the art of coining and use of metallic money originated. These are interesting subjects for historical and archaeological research, and they have a direct practical relation to the development of the modern science of money. Elsewhere I have gone over this classical ground, and I propose, on this occasion, to limit the field to be surveyed to that portion of the subject which relates particularly to the early history of American coinage and its modern developments. There are many curious and important facts relative to this coinage with which the people are either wholly or in part unacquainted.

My subject will be comprised under four heads—viz.: 1. The Functions of Money. 2. The Early Colonial Coinage. 3. The Coinage by Private Individuals or Companies. 4. The National Coinage.


  1. For further details, see Great Changes of Level in Mexico and the Interoceanic Connections. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, vol. ix, pp. 13-34, 1897.
  2. An address delivered in the Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania, March 23, 1898. The illustrations of rare gold coins of the "private issues," accompanying this article, were made from the collection deposited in the museum of the university by Mr. R. C. H. Brock, of Philadelphia, and were furnished by the director to this magazine several weeks in advance of the publication of the address in a bulletin of the museum to be issued in the future, and containing many other communications of archæological interest.