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All Aboard the Ghost Train": pictorial love token on 1853 Seated Liberty quarter

lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,216 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited September 27, 2017 3:30PM in U.S. Coin Forum

"All Aboard the Ghost Train": pictorial love token on 1853 Seated Liberty quarter

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Host coin: 1853 USA Seated Liberty quarter.

Obverse: original Seated Liberty design, unaltered, with traces of old pinback mount.

Reverse: 19th century locomotive with "9" on cab, name (undecipherable) engraved below.

Ex- "freshpics4u", eBay, 09/26/2017.

Here's another neat transportation-related pictorial love token. This was likely a gift to an engineer or someone else who worked on the railroad. It appears to have originally had a pinback mount, but was later holed for use as a pendant; probably a watch fob. The way I like to imagine it, this engineer carried the coin for many years on his watch chain, long enough to wear away the engraved script which once showed his name. So he is now only a nameless ghost, and thus I couldn't resist calling this "Old Number 9" locomotive a "ghost train".


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    lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,216 ✭✭✭✭✭

    PS- If anybody knows anything about locomotives of this era and has something interesting to add, I'd love to hear it.

    Here are two other pieces from my current "Creatively Damaged" collection (which will used to resurrect my trademark "Holey Coin Hat"). Both of these have pictures of 19th century wheeled vehicles. I think I have a theme starting, though I'm sure some ships and boats will come along eventually!

    "Where's the Fire?" (1875 USA dime)
    "Penny-farthing Pedal Pusher": (1876 USA dime)

    This next one is also transportation-related, in a way (WW1 aviation), but alas, it doesn't show a picture of a WW1 airplane.

    "The Sailmaker's Badge" (1916 British halfcrown)


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    CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 10,135 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is very cool.

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    ldhairldhair Posts: 7,124 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fun coins.

    Larry

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great tokens LordM..... That train is nicely detailed.... I wonder if there is a way to bring out the engraving... sort of like Nik-o-date for nickels...Would be interesting.... Cheers, RickO

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    topstuftopstuf Posts: 14,803 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bet it was a quarter that a train robber stole!

    Hey, don't lynch me. :D

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    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,694 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very cool Rob!

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting 4-6-0 engine (I think that is how they designated them). I wonder what railroads used that type of engine. The worn inscription probably holds an important clue.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    PRECIOUSMENTALPRECIOUSMENTAL Posts: 961 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27, 2017 1:33PM

    Nice.
    Since reading this, I've had Cat Stevens 1971 hit song 'Peace Train' stuck in my head!!!!!! (grrrrrrrrrrr) :D
    No more music I know of since he became Yusaf Islam. (trivia, guess is why I do well at 'Jeopardy').

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    lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,216 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    Interesting 4-6-0 engine (I think that is how they designated them). I wonder what railroads used that type of engine. The worn inscription probably holds an important clue.

    Tantalizing, isn't It? You can bet I'll be squinting at that through a loupe when it arrives.


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    MrHalfDimeMrHalfDime Posts: 3,440 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27, 2017 1:17PM

    291fifth offered a good clue with his comment:

    "Interesting 4-6-0 engine (I think that is how they designated them). I wonder what railroads used that    
      type of engine." 
    

    But according to Wikipedia, the authority on all things:

    "Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives by wheel arrangement, 4-6-0
    represents the configuration of four leading wheels on two axles in a leading bogie, six powered and
    coupled driving wheels on three axles and no trailing wheels. In the mid 19th century, this wheel
    arrangement became the second most popular configuration for new steam locomotives in the United
    States of America
    , where this type is commonly referred to as a Ten-wheeler."

    I think the best clue to identifying the specific engine and railroad, if possible, will come from the worn inscription (that and the number 9 on the cab). I don't know about these things, but would a gentle pencil rubbing help l the inscription? Maybe less harmful than any chemical treatment.

    They that can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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    lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,216 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27, 2017 2:59PM

    @MrHalfDime said:
    291fifth offered a good clue with his comment:

    "Interesting 4-6-0 engine (I think that is how they designated them). I wonder what railroads used that    
      type of engine." 
    

    But according to Wikipedia, the authority on all things:

    "Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives by wheel arrangement, 4-6-0
    represents the configuration of four leading wheels on two axles in a leading bogie, six powered and
    coupled driving wheels on three axles and no trailing wheels. In the mid 19th century, this wheel
    arrangement became the second most popular configuration for new steam locomotives in the United
    States of America
    , where this type is commonly referred to as a Ten-wheeler."

    I think the best clue to identifying the specific engine and railroad, if possible, will come from the worn inscription (that and the number 9 on the cab). I don't know about these things, but would a gentle pencil rubbing help l the inscription? Maybe less harmful than any chemical treatment.

    Thanks. I was hoping somebody would delve into all that "4-6-0" kinda stuff.

    Yes, I may try a pencil rubbing and some oblique lighting to try and coax out that inscription. I certainly wouldn't go into chemical means like Nic-a-Date acid or the like.


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    The 4-6-0 was a popular engine more so in the 1880 and 1890's. The 4-4-0 American class was more common during the Civil War Era. The Central Pacific Jupiter and Union Pacific 119 of Promontory fame were both American class 4-4-0's. The number 9 will most likely not be of much help.

    At first I thought this might be a post 1900 inscription given the style of the headlight. The headlight looks to more like an electric pyle style light versus the large box style light that was common pre 1900. But then I looked again and thought maybe the engraver compressed the height given the size of the coin. It does have the distinct shape on the top of the headlight that you would see on the larger box headlight.

    I love pre 1900 western railroad history more than anything else!! Coins be damned compared to my trains.

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    lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,216 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ManifestDestiny said:
    The 4-6-0 was a popular engine more so in the 1880 and 1890's. The 4-4-0 American class was more common during the Civil War Era. The Central Pacific Jupiter and Union Pacific 119 of Promontory fame were both American class 4-4-0's. The number 9 will most likely not be of much help.

    At first I thought this might be a post 1900 inscription given the style of the headlight. The headlight looks to more like an electric pyle style light versus the large box style light that was common pre 1900. But then I looked again and thought maybe the engraver compressed the height given the size of the coin. It does have the distinct shape on the top of the headlight that you would see on the larger box headlight.

    I love pre 1900 western railroad history more than anything else!! Coins be damned compared to my trains.

    Thanks. It is, of course, highly possible if not downright probable that the engraving postdates the host coin by a good 25 or 30 years, given that the golden age of love tokens was the 1870s and '80s.

    Perhaps I should amend the description of the locomotive somewhat from "mid-19th century" to merely "19th century".


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    mannie graymannie gray Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for posting your coin.
    Railroad buffs would love it!
    It's really cool and interesting.
    Besides the DNA that he may have passed on to possible offspring, this is most likely the only tangible item that marks the "Ghost Engineer's" life.
    Great piece, LordM.

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    ECHOESECHOES Posts: 2,974 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks, very cool. :#

    ~HABE FIDUCIAM IN DOMINO III V VI / III XVI~
    POST NUBILA PHOEBUS / AFTER CLOUDS, SUN
    Love for Music / Collector of Dreck
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    dadamsdadams Posts: 376 ✭✭✭

    Another great one there @lordmarcovan ! Everyone beat me to the 4-6-0, but I did find out there were about 16,000 of these built with the first being put into service in the "mid-nineteenth century" (1847).

    Here's you a link . . .

    and a song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qO0-dUxUFU

    I'll be glad to see the old Holey Hat back.

    -d

    image

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