Street car conductors refuse dimes
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Here's an interesting letter about one effect of a "fin" on the rim of dimes.

 

Joseph B. Ware, Lumber

Room 11 Widdicomb Building

Grand Rapids, Mich.

 May 22, 1894

 Director of U.S. Mint

Philadelphia, Pa.

 Dear Sir:

            The dimes recently placed in circulation here cause considerable annoyance owing to their razor-like edges. Street car conductors and other refuse to accept them fearing they are not genuine. The sharp edge makes it hard to pick them up from a smooth surface.

            With the past record of our Mints it is surely unnecessary to turn out poor work and why the coin should be changed to the present annoying form, I cannot understand. I presume nothing can be done, but of it is as easy to coin the old way and it doesn’t offend some official or head clerk to make the change, I feel confident such a change would please many of the people.

            Most truly,

            J. B. Ware

Edited by RWB
Fix formatting - as usual

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Coming from a city (New York) where fare collection, wearing masks -- and practicing what I refer to as "anti-social" distancing, is a curious phenomenon, I am not much of a complainer, but I did write a letter to the editor recently informing him, as senior citizens, my wife and I continue to purchase our monthly half-fare MetroCards whether we use the subways and buses are not but cannot continue to subside the [Transit Authority] indefinitely. I suspect they did not appreciate my suggestion to cut operating expenses beginning with 37% across-the-board salary cuts beginning with their bloated salaries.

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Does MTA have a fin problem, too?

Edited by RWB
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1 hour ago, RWB said:

Does MTA have a fin problem, too?

No, primarily because the fare has been $2.75 for some time, the so-called  "token booths" no longer accept coins or tokens any longer. They are accepting credit and debit cards via vending machines and are moving toward "tap-and-go" payment. Bus drivers have not made change for passengers in years. Tickets are paid for using credit/debit cards at Street kiosks.  (MetroCards were introduced nearly thirty years ago.)

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Tokens died out in Philly around 9-10 years ago. Harrisburg uses cash and passes, mostly monthly. I used to use a monthly Amtrak pass between Lancaster and Harrisburg. Toward the end, that was a QR code on my watch. 

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So, I'm guessing this letter is referencing the new Barber dimes. Was there a change in technology between the Seated and Barber dimes? Did the Barber dimes have a remarkably sharper edge than seated dimes? I'm not sure I understand the basis behind this complaint. 

I'd think a crisper edge would be indicative of a higher quality product, not a counterfeit as the letter suggests. 

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On 9/19/2020 at 12:34 AM, physics-fan3.14 said:

So, I'm guessing this letter is referencing the new Barber dimes. Was there a change in technology between the Seated and Barber dimes? Did the Barber dimes have a remarkably sharper edge than seated dimes? I'm not sure I understand the basis behind this complaint. 

I'd think a crisper edge would be indicative of a higher quality product, not a counterfeit as the letter suggests. 

In that era of an all cash society, everyone who collected money was sensitive about accepting anything that might be false coin. Streetcar conductors and others were held personally liable for losses if they accepted a fake coin.

The technology had not changed. A fin is caused by a slight mismatch between die and collar which allows a very thin, sharp "fin" of metal to extend upward beyond the normal rim: a "fin rim." It is not, as Breen claimed, related to higher striking pressure. In this instance, apparently the fin on a batch of dimes was sufficient to cause questions about authenticity by Conductors and possibly others.

Edited by RWB

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