Lovett Tokens & Medals
ELEANOR RUGG BYRNE TOKENS

The Standard Catalog of U.S. Tokens states these were struck

in copper plain edge, copper reeded edge (3 only), brass,

white metal, and one known in gold. I do not know of the

existence of the gold example. Some references state this was
the work of John D., others call it the work of George H..

 

1859 Eleanor Rugg Byrne Token


NY 141, copper - plain edge, 31mm

 


NY 141A, copper - reeded edge, 31mm

This example is from the July 2011 Coin Galleries Sale

 

This second example appeared in an ebay sale December, 2011.

It was described as cleaned and ex-Litman collection.


NY 142, brass, 31mm


NY 143, white metal, 31mm

 

Mathematician and civil engineer Oliver Byrne was born July 31, 1810 in County Wicklow, Ireland. Married to Eleanor Rugg in 1845 they emigrated to America by 1849 and settled in New York City. Sometime in 1859 before leaving the U.S. Oliver developed a new smelting process to produce a metal he called "Byrneore" or "Byrne metal" which could appear to be silver or gold but contained little of either metal. Although it was said to be indistinguishable from the real thing at a fraction the cost it seems never to have gone into production.

Thanks to Susan M. Hawes and Dr. Sid Kolpas for the above information. To read more on Oliver Byrne see their article 'Oliver Byrne: The Matisse of Mathematics' in the August 2015 edition of Convergence, published by the Mathematical Association of America.

http://www.maa.org/press/periodicals/convergence/oliver-byrne-the-matisse-of-mathematics

 

Oliver Byrne circa 1850

 

 

 

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