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Lewis Feuchtwanger


Born in Furth, (Bavaria) near Nuremberg, Germany. He received M.D. from University of Jena in 1827. Graduate of Heidelberg University. He was the victor in nine duels. He opened the first German pharmacy in New York in 1829 and practiced medicine.

He worked with "German silver" in Germany and believed it could be used in American coinage. It was a copper-zinc-nickel alloy also known as argentan and packfong. He petitioned Congress September 13, 1837, to use his "Feuchtwanger's Composition" for the one cent coin. It was apparently a good imitation of silver because when he attempted to import it into this country, he was charged the duty on silver. His proposal was supported by Thomas Hart Benton but rejected by Mint Director Patterson.

He struck tokens using his composition dated 1837 in one cent and three cent denominations. He also struck an undated scorecard for his business at 377 Broadway in New York City. These are considered part of the Hard Times Token series.

He collected gems. He wrote A Popular Treatise on Gems in Reference to Their Scientific Value in 1872. He died in New York City.

bio: ApCAB; CW/NM 4/28/76; TCBDA; NUM/NIN 10/94

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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