M.E. GAMMON ... I'm "counterstumped" on this one!
Here's a counterstamp, or should I say a "counterstump", that's long thwarted my efforts to locate even one potential issuer ...
This is an 1811 Half Cent that was stamped M.E. GAMMON. Neither Brunk nor Rulau list any specimens from this issuer. The letters are small, and the name is uncommon. Although I was able to find a few toolmakers having the Gammon surname, none of them corresponded with the "M.E." initials. When I first acquired this counterstamped coin, I seriously thought that I'd have a good shot at making an attribution. Not so!
Any help or leads from readers of this thread, regarding M.E. GAMMON, would be gratefully appreciated!
Last edited by Chautauquan; 10-08-2012 at 02:14 PM.
Joshua Yous of Greencastle, Penn. was a gunsmith in the late 1850's. According to Brunk Mr. Yous' counterstamp is found both strait and curved and has been found on the guns he made. I wonder, has anyone out there ever seen the curved version of the Yous stamping?
Last edited by copperhobbie; 07-15-2012 at 07:57 PM.
Reason: Yous told me to..
Hey Copperhobbie, take a closer look at my avatar, a 1793 wreath cent ..........
Originally Posted by copperhobbie
JOSHUA YOUS Counterstamp
Brunk's book cited Yous' lifespan as 1827-1905. It appears to have been 1826-1904, as evidenced by his grave site:
Yous was of German extraction and emigrated to the U.S. with his parents and three siblings about 1843. He was reportedly an inventive machinist, considered a genius by one account. He appears to have focused much of his talent on gunsmithing, the making of rifles and handguns, from the mid 1850's into the Civil War years. Throughout most of his life, he was a merchant, operating a general store. Toward that enterprise, he erected the first, three story, brick building in Greencastle. For many years, Joshua was the chief burgess of Greencastle, and he was active in church affairs as well.
One of Joshua's children, a daughter, Clara M. Eirley, became a medical doctor and was as such the first woman to practice medicine in Washington County, Maryland; this, in tandem with her husband who was also a doctor. This information was found in "A History of Washington County, Maryland."
Last edited by Chautauquan; 10-08-2012 at 02:13 PM.
W.S. KEEP Counterstamp ... Brimfield, Mass.?
This W.S. KEEP counterstamp is an unusual name that's not often encountered in early directories. Given the middle initial, an S, a likely attribution was made possible.
Found in the 1870 edition of "Wentworth's Hampden and Hampshire Counties Business Directory and Register" one William S. Keep was listed as a blacksmith in Brimfield, Massachusetts. Also found was mention of a Wm. S. Keep being affiliated with a church in North Brookfield in 1853. This information leads to many a question, of course!
The well-worn, undated host coin was well circulated, prior to having been counterstamped. Keep was most likely to have done this in the 1850's when such practice was most common, but that's a guess. This mark could have been applied to his products and tools. Within the "EAIA Directory of American Toolmakers" there is listed the Keep Bros. who made augers and levels, but their location is not given. Possibly, there is a connection ... Time and study may yet tell.
Last edited by Chautauquan; 10-08-2012 at 02:11 PM.
G. COMPTON Counterstamp ... Worcester, Mass.?
Here's a G. COMPTON counterstamp that barely fits on the host coin, an 1832 large cent. The letters appear too large to have been utilized by the likes of a silversmith, watchmaker or jeweler. My initial thought was that Compton could have been a toolmaker or perhaps a gunsmith, so, I didn't bother to check out those other, prospective references. Yet the toolmaker and gunsmith reference books in my library proved to be dead ends. Likewise, a search of available early city directories proved fruitless.
However, a patent search turned up one George Compton who resided in Worcester, Massachusetts in the 1850's. On November 14, 1854, he was granted patent # 11,933 for an improvement in looms. His loom was adjustable so that it could produce two patterns to weave plaid. He exhibited his loom in 1859 at the Franklin Institute.
Brunk lists but one example, C-781, on an undated large cent. I have also seen this mark on an 1838 cent, so my specimen makes three of which I'm aware. In time, more G. COMPTON counterstamps may surface; maybe, even one alongside a WORCESTER mark. The odds would tend favor this patentee as being the issuer, given that so many other counterstamps are patent-related. Yet, from my perspective the jury's still out.
Last edited by Chautauquan; 10-08-2012 at 02:11 PM.
J Buswell, Glens Falls (N.Y.) 1827 N 11 host
The name and location matches a gunsmith in Glens Falls, N.Y. 1849-1859. A 68 Cal., smooth bore octagon barrel is known so marked. By the mid 1860’s the town’s leading gunsmith/gun dealer was a M. L. Buswell. So this may be a business that was passed from father to son.
Also worthy of note is that I found a listing in the late 60’s, early 70’s of a locksmith in Glens Falls named J (James?) Buswell. It is difficult to tell if this is the same person or not as gunsmiths and locksmiths do share the same set of skills and use many of the same tools.
J Buswell Glens Falls.jpg
Judging by his ability to stamp a cent I'm not sure he was any good at either trade! A lousey gunsmith, a crappy locksmith or , perhaps both?
Last edited by copperhobbie; 09-03-2012 at 05:55 PM.
WM. MANN Counterstamp
Far more often than not, when a surname is proceeded by a "W", the initial stands for William. It's always nice to have the added assurance, as is the case of this WM. MANN counterstamp.
This 1818 large cent bears the same prepared counterstamp, twice. It is unlisted by either Brunk or Rulau, yet other examples may exist. This is a case wherein I do hope that other examples turn up. Unique pieces suggest that there may well have been no intended merchant use, whereas multiple examples imply purpose for the issue. This may have simply been a test piece for the prepared punch. Time will tell if other examples appear and perhaps offer more clues about this issuer; like the approximate year of issue, the location and more.
A likely issuer of this piece was a William Mann of Philadelphia; of which, two exist! That tends to be the most probable city in which to find an issuer of counterstamps; perhaps, as the mint was located there. One is first listed in 1837 as a manufacturer at NW Beach and Spruce. He was a stationer, making patented letter presses and binders. Yet, there was another Wm. Mann in Philadelphia, listed as a saw repairer on Washington Street. Whereas the stationer disappears from listings after 1839, the saw repairer continues to appear in subsequent city directories. Neither gentleman had or used a middle initial. Their name is fairly common, and more clues will be needed to attribute this mark. Yet another possibility was the principal of "Wm. Mann & Co." in Baltimore, a clock, watch and spectacle maker. Now, the real fun for me remains the chase ... which could take years!
Last edited by Chautauquan; 10-08-2012 at 02:10 PM.
C. E. HYDE Counterstamp
Here's a prepared counterstamp that's been somewhat carefully situated on an 1853 large cent. Hyde is a name that appears in many nineteenth century city directories. I've as yet been able to find but one possibility who may be responsible for this issue.
One Charles E. Hyde is listed in the 1859 Oswego city directory as being the city lamplighter, then located over 85 East First Street. He ran an ad in the 1859 Oswego Palladium, newspaper, entitled "City Glazier." He was then located at "the pole and ladder factory, east end of the iron bridge." He wrote that he "Will hold himself in readiness at all times, to do all kinds of House and Vessel Glazing at the shortest notice, in the best (manner?), and on the most reasonable terms." He may have been in the hardware business in Oswego, NY, following the Civil war. In 1871, Charles E. Hyde of Oswego appears in patent records, having made an awning for a clothes dryer.
The combination of initials, coupled with advertising and a patent, suggests that Charles E. Hyde of Oswego is the likely issuer. This may be a patent mark, or the prepared punch could have been used to mark his tools and/or wares. His occupation as a glazier, replacing glass, would have proven useful for this city lamplighter.
C.S.Ball. 1824 host. This one is not only listed but it is attributed as well! Brunk 2130, Rulau NY2298
A silversmith of Syracuse, NY, Calvin S. Ball Jr's counterstamp is repotedly found on teaspoon shanks. Now, I must find one of those spoons! Perhaps one will surface some day. If one does it would likely be similar to this Church & Rogers coin silver fiddlehead tea spoon (1825-35) This is the most common American spoon type;tea spoon.jpg
Mr Ball later partnered with Seymour S. Stone in about 1852 and continued counterstamping activities with the name "Stone & Ball"
Last edited by copperhobbie; 10-13-2012 at 12:04 PM.