Telephone service began between New York and Chicago. Also in Chicago, 30-year-old soap salesman William Wrigley started selling chewing gum instead. The Coca-Cola Company was organized in Atlanta, and the first pneumatic tire was invented.
The year was 1892, and new beginnings seemed to be the order of the day. That was the case in United States coinage, as well. Three new silver coins entered circulation that year. Sometimes identified as the Liberty Head half dollar, quarter and dime, they’re more often referred to by the name of their designer: U.S. Mint chief sculptor-engraver Charles E. Barber.
The fractional silver coins were long overdue for a facelift. All had carried the Seated Liberty portrait for more than half a century, and while it’s true that life was more leisurely back then, the pace of change in this case was downright glacial. The Mint had had little incentive to change the designs of these coins. Only one of the three, the S.... (Expand Text)