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"Microphone Scandal" Colorado token 1938...help identifying

KurisuKurisu Posts: 1,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 22, 2022 6:47PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Got a friend here in the Denver area who likes to collect Denver and Colorado things.
He's a Vet and the just such a sweet person.
He's got a beautiful collection of antique locks and railroad keys besides other Colorado tokens.

I was surprised at how few results pop up when I Googled "microphone scandal" token and other terms that are on the token.
Calling all token people...please.

He stopped in at my work today to ask me about this token.
I know nothing and would love to give him some wonderfully interesting info!
It's about the size of a half dollar...

Coins are Neato!

"If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone...somewhere...is making a penny." - Steven Wright

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    JBKJBK Posts: 14,788 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No idea on issuer but great political token.

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    Glen2022Glen2022 Posts: 844 ✭✭✭✭

    Was there a local or state scandal with politicians in 1938? That is what it looks like,

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    KurisuKurisu Posts: 1,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Glen2022 said:
    Was there a local or state scandal with politicians in 1938? That is what it looks like,

    Someone just pointed me towards a great article about a "Microphone Scandal in 1937 here in Colorado"

    Coins are Neato!

    "If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone...somewhere...is making a penny." - Steven Wright

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    Dug13Dug13 Posts: 234 ✭✭✭

    Check www.tokencatalog.com.
    It list over 10,000 tokens just for Colorado.
    Might find some info there.

    Wall of HONOR transaction list:WonderCoin, CoinFlip, Masscrew, Travintiques, lordmarcovan, Jinx86, Gerard, ElKevvo

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    KurisuKurisu Posts: 1,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 22, 2022 7:36PM

    @Glen2022 said:
    Was there a local or state scandal with politicians in 1938? That is what it looks like,

    Someone just pointed me towards an article on > @Dug13 said:

    Check www.tokencatalog.com.
    It list over 10,000 tokens just for Colorado.
    Might find some info there.

    Thanks!
    Ok...well it's in there! No additional info about it's minting but it was made for the state election 1938!
    https://www.tokencatalog.com/token_record_forms.php?action=DisplayTokenRecord&td_id=358804&inventory_id=340578&td_image_id=188238&attribution_id=367084&record_offset=1

    There is a reference though - Public Catalog: Records Found: 2
    Recommended Catalogs: A Guide To Colorado Merchant Trade Tokens Pritchard, Stuart M. Jr. (2004) (Pritchard)

    Anyone own "A Guide To Colorado Merchant Trade Tokens Pritchard"?
    ...Or maybe I'll just drive an hour to the ANA Library, as an excuse for a visit :)

    Coins are Neato!

    "If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone...somewhere...is making a penny." - Steven Wright

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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,008 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Over the years I've seen about 5 or 6 of these. So they are pretty scarce. I don't know how many were minted or who minted them.

    Here is a tidbit of related info:

    Governor Ammons was voted out of office in 1940. The new governor, Ralph Carr (no direct relation to me) is known as the only governor in the country who outwardly opposed the internment of Japanese Americans in camps during WW2.

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have only ever handled one.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting token and the first one I have seen. With all that 'scandal' outcry, I would buy one of those if I saw it. Cheers, RickO

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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,318 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's the story of the scandal, but not about the token.
    Jim

    Home2011October27Verifiable Oddities in Colorado’s History — Microphone Scandal Rocks Colorado
    Verifiable Oddities in Colorado’s History — Microphone Scandal Rocks Colorado
    olls October 27, 2011
    Governor Teller AmmonsGovernor Teller Ammons
    by Ashley Zimmerman

    Somehow, somewhere, in Colorado in 1937, the governor’s office appeared to have a mole problem. The names of judicial and political appointees were being published in the Denver Post before the appointees had even been notified. Teller Ammons, the colorful and somewhat profane governor of the state, was upset and confused. Who could possibly be leaking his information to the press? The young governor, elected at age 39, was born in Denver and spent his younger years on his father’s cattle ranch in Douglas County. He attended and graduated from North High School in Denver before serving in the United States Army during World War I. After returning home, Ammons hired on as a clerk for Denver Mayor Ben Stapleton. While clerking, Ammons also attended Westminster Law School and earned his law degree in 1929.

    The next year, in 1930, Ammons was elected to the state senate. During his years in the senate, he served as chair of the Temperance Committee and Judiciary Committee. He introduced the bill that outlawed hanging as the method of capital punishment for the state, and he was instrumental in passing the bill authorizing use of the gas chamber for executions. In 1935, Senator Ammons resigned when Mayor Stapleton appointed him Denver city attorney. It was clear that Ammons was working his way up the political ladder, and he became known as a power player in the Denver Democratic Party. He was elected governor in 1936.

    As governor, Ammons pushed through a service tax to fund the state’s expenses instead of using already-raised funds from the recently enacted state income tax that were earmarked for education. Despite numerous special interest groups pressuring him, Governor Ammons refused to tamper with the existing funds. As a result, he was highly criticized for his handling of state funds and attracted intense public opposition. During the later years of the Great Depression, Governor Ammons established the State Game and Fish Department and the State Water Conservation Board, and he dealt with water rights disputes between New Mexico, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas.

    Perhaps the most memorable moment from his term, however, was the aforementioned mysterious mole incident.

    Governor Ammons was frustrated. Appointments were being made public, information was being leaked to the press, and no one seemed to have a clue as to who was breaking the confidence of the governor. Governor Ammons remarked, years after the incident, “One day a man came into my office, called me over to the window and whispered that there were microphones in my office.” The man, who was not identified by Governor Ammons, was right. A sweep was conducted of the governor’s office, and two microphones were found in the vents. The microphones were connected to a phone line that led to an apartment five blocks away, which belonged to a private detective named Jack H. Gilmore.

    Gilmore was in cahoots with Walden E. Sweet, a reporter for the Denver Post, and Earl H. Ellis, an attorney who hired both Sweet and Gilmore. The entire scandal prompted a grand jury investigation, and the three men involved were convicted on eavesdropping charges. Ellis was disbarred. The transcripts obtained were printed in the newspapers, and the entire situation earned a mention in the September 20, 1937, issue of TIME. “I don’t know. . . what they were trying to get on me,” Governor Ammons reflected, later admitting that he brought a lot of it on himself. “When I took office, I resolved that I would not be dominated by any man or any faction or any newspaper.”

    Though the recordings from Governor Ammons’ office did not produce any incriminating information against the governor, he did not win a second term in office. “It was embarrassing to a lot of people, but the worst thing was what my mother said: ‘I didn’t know Teller used that kind of language!’.”

    Click here for the quote and information from the James O. Chipman and Erin McDanal biography on the State Archives website.


    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
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    DCWDCW Posts: 6,977 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Funny how the only personal scandal the governor faced from his office being bugged was his mother hearing him use foul language on tape!

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

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