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Philadelphia Mint Postcards (David Sklow Collection)


Book Summary

The David Sklow collection of Philadelphia Mint postcards, showing views of the first through fourth Philadelphia Mints, along with interior views, and concluding with a set of cards depicting the Mint combined with other Philadelphia subjects.

Section 1: Images of the first Mint (7th Street), 1792-1833 (nos. 1/01 – 1/04)

No contemporary photographs or renderings of the first Mint are known, with the first photograph appearing in the 1850s, long after the U.S. had sold the building to private interests. The buildings were simple and constructed for utilitarian purposes.

Section 2: Images of the second Mint (Chestnut & Juniper Streets), 1833-1901 (nos. 2/01 - 2/05)

The second Mint was more worthy of a nation on the rise, and attracted attention from the beginning. It is often mentioned in travelogues and Philadelphia city guides. Still, the heyday of the postcard was yet to come and the number of cards in this section is minimal.

Section 3: Images of the third Mint (17th & Spring Garden Streets), 1901-1969 (nos. 3/01 - 3/67)

This represents the peak of post card production, and the new building was an easy target for printers. The Mint collection resided at the Mint until 1924 (when it was transferred to the Smithsonian), and the Mint cabinet (depicted in 5/15) was a popular visitor destination.

Section 4: Images of the fourth Mint (5th Street), 1969-date (nos. 4/01 – 4/04)

This modern building continues to host visitors today, with exhibits revamped c. 2013. Postcards are not as popular as in former times, but a number depicting the fourth Mint have been produced.

Section 5: Interior views of the various Mints (nos. 5/01 – 5/24)

All of these appear to have originated from inside the second and third Mints.

Section 6: Mint views combined with other subjects (nos. 6/01 – 6/11)

For a postcard vendor aiming for broader appeal, the “combination” approach resulted in these Mint views, along with other Philadelphia scenes.

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