|United States Mint in Philadelphia reopens to public with new $3.9 million self-guided tour |
Unmarked 5 cent coins sit in a pile after being cut from a coil at the U.S. Mint on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, in Philadelphia. The new $3.9 million exhibit opens a new tour to visitors on July 3 and it's the first upgrade in more than 40 years. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson.
By: Joann Loviglio, Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP).- The last time the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia upgraded its public exhibits, Richard Nixon was in the first year of his presidency and The Beatles had just performed their final concert.
On July 3, the Mint opens to the public with a new $3.9 million self-guided tour that is the first update since 1969. The two-level exhibit includes displays of artifacts and coins from the Mint's earliest days, as well as windows overlooking the production floor with new touch screens and interactive features that describe the coin-making process.
"I hate to use the term embarrassment, but it was an embarrassment," Mint spokesman Tom Jurkowsky said of the Woodstock-era former exhibition. "What we do touches every American, and the people who work here have pride and passion in what they do, and we wanted to tell that story."
The first level of the exhibit highlights the Mint's history with artifacts from enormous bullion scales and coin presses to oversized coin design mock-ups sculpted by the Mint's team of staff artists. Also on display are elaborate iron gates from the former Mint building in Philadelphia that operated from 1901 to 1968.
On the upper level, windows 40 feet above the production floor show a small portion of the sprawling 60,000-square-foot plant and touch screens explain how 6,000-pound metal rolls go through a cookie cutter-like press that punches out coin-sized blanks, which are heated, washed and stamped on front and back. An inspector spot-checks each coin batch and the coins are machine-counted and poured into huge bags that end up in banks nationwide.
"The goal today is 8 million pennies in one shift," said Joe Falls, head of coining operations for the Mint. The coins are stamped so quickly for pennies it's about 750 a minute that they're warm as they emerge from the stamping machine and fall onto a conveyor belt.
The Mint closed in January for the installation of the exhibit, which took about a year and a half to research, design and build. Quatrefoil, a Laurel, Md.-based company that designs and creates exhibition spaces for museums, was chosen for the job.
Jurkowsky said that the exhibition space could expand if additional funding becomes available in the future. The Denver Mint is the only one beyond Philadelphia that is open to the public for tours.
The country's oldest and largest Mint, the Philadelphia facility sees about 250,000 visitors annually many of whom expressed their disappointment with the old exhibition space, officials said.
"We think people will be pleasantly surprised," Jurkowsky said. "This is a completely different experience from what they'll remember."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
June 29, 2012
Exhibition at Tate Modern reassesses the work of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch
Christie's to offer Contemporary art at attractive price points in newly re-launched open house sale
"One Life: Amelia Earhart" opens at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington
Rare 415-year-old Wytfliet Atlas stolen from the Royal Library of Sweden recovered at NYC gallery
Two group exhibitions of gallery and guest artists open at Stephen Haller Gallery
Phillips de Pury & Company's London Contemporary Art Evening Auction totals $36,233,420
Pottery fragments 20,000 years old found by Chinese and American scientists in a Chinese cave
Exhibition at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art explores the relationship of architecture to culture and identity
United States Mint in Philadelphia reopens to public with new $3.9 million self-guided tour
Masterpiece London 2012, with a record 5,195 international and UK collectors, triumphs on opening day
Executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey supports sphere move to 9/11 memorial
First UK solo exhibition of accomplished international artist Jacob Hashimoto opens at Ronchini Gallery
Brooklyn Museum presents the final exhibition in Raw/Cooked featuring artist Ulrike Müller
Study reveals overbuilding of cultural facilities during building boom
Personal collections of Dale Chihuly provide backdrop for progressive American menu at Collections Café
Cindy Sherman, Bruce Nauman, Steven Holl and others elected as new National Academicians
Christie's Auction of the Daphne Guinness Collection achieves $744,285
Statue of firefighter, arson dog visits New York City museum
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter
2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra
3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain
4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings
5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra
6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"
7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia
8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review
9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary
10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|