1905 witnessed a tragic event known as the Grover Shoe Factory Disaster. The disaster occurred in the Massachusetts shoe factory after a boiler exploded and caused the collapse of the entire building, killing 58 inside. This 1905 Barber half dollar recalls this event that brought national focus on industrial safety codes.
Although more correctly described as the Liberty Head type, the Half Dollar produced from 1892 through 1915 has long carried the name of its designer, Chief Engraver Chares E. Barber. The Barber Half Dollar series is a very interesting one. With the exception of only the 1899 and 1908-O, all issues of this type have original mintages of fewer than 5 million coins. Additionally, these coins were produced to meet strong demand in commercial channels, and heavily worn survivors are quite plentiful in numismatic circles. The combination of limited mintages and widespread circulation means that all Barber Half Dollar issues are very scarce in the finer circulated grades. Mint State survivors are also elusive, most owing their existence to a trio of dealers who tucked away a few rolls during the 1930s. These have long since been broken up and the individual coins dispersed into the market. The rarest Barber Halves are the 1893-S, 1896-O, 1896-S, 1897-O, 1897-S, 1901-S, 1904-S, 1913, 1914 and 1915.