Clifford Hewitt Chinese Mint collection, 1930 - 1971

Descriptive Summary

Repository
American Numismatic Society
Extent
0.5 cubic feet (1 box)
Language
English
Abstract
An assembled collection consisting of Hewitt’s correspondence and materials from a later exhibit, all relating to his work on the Chinese Mint at Shanghai.

Clifford Hewitt


Creator

Name
Hewitt, Clifford, 1869-1942
Abstract
Clifford Hewitt (1869-1942) of Philadelphia, was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He was chief mechanical engineer for the U.S. Mint and was instrumental in projects involving the building and equipping of the mints of Philadelphia, Denver, Manila, and Shanghai.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection open to all researchers.

Preferred Citation

Clifford Hewitt Chinese Mint collection, 1930-1934, 1971, Archives, American Numismatic Society.

Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Permission to publish or reproduce must be secured from the American Numismatic Society.

Biographical Note

Clifford Hewitt (1869-1942) of Philadelphia, was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He was chief mechanical engineer for the U.S. Mint and was instrumental in projects involving the building and equipping of the mints of Philadelphia, Denver, Manila, and Shanghai. He also built and installed a mint exhibit at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 and designed coins, such as the Wilson Dollar commemorating the opening of the Manila Mint in 1920 and a Sun Yet Sen coin for the opening of the Chinese Mint in 1933. Hewitt was the son of Isaac Hewitt and grandson of Thomas Hewitt, both early railroad engineers. Clifford began his training with the Janesville Ironworks in Pennsylvania and went on to graduate from the Franklin Institute of Mechanical Engineering in Philadelphia in 1893. He oversaw the design and building of the Manila Mint, the only U.S. mint established outside of the continental United States, and was then contracted by the Chinese government to serve as technical mint expert for the Shanghai mint project, a position he held from 1920 to 1933, the year the mint opened. He later retired to San Diego.

Scope and Content Note

Collection of materials relating to Hewitt’s work on the Chinese Mint at Shanghai, including Hewitt’s original correspondence and related items (1930-1934), as well as photographs, descriptive labels, and other materials from an exhibit on Hewitt prepared by Edwin P. Janzen for an American Numismatic Association convention in 1971. Hewitt’s letters, telegrams, and cables concern coin designs, metal composition, the proposed change from the Chinese tael to the dollar, and the obtaining of dies and coin blanks. Includes instructions for coin production and for the avoidance of counterfeiting. Correspondents include the U.S. Mint (Philadelphia), the American Trading Company (Shanghai), International Nickel Company (New York City), and Scovill Manufacturing Company (Waterbury, Connecticut). Materials from the later exhibition include photographic prints, negatives, and contact sheets of pictures of coins, Hewitt, and the mint building. Also present are the U.S. Department of Commerce booklet The Marketing of Nickel (1930), design drawings signed by Hewitt for the reverse and obverse of subsidiary coins (1930), newspaper clippings on the opening of the Chinese Mint (1933), a postcard with a picture of the mint, a Chinese name stamp in a case with a note that reads “Lott H. T. Wei, Vice Director of Central Mint, 1929, and embossed letterhead of medalist Adam Pietz along with Hewitt’s penciled design for similar letterhead.”

Related Entities

Materials consulted for:

David Hill, “Clifford Hewitt: International Man of Mystery?,” ANS Magazine 12:3 (2013), 36-43.“A Yank in the China Mint,” COINage 7, no. 12 (December 1971): 52-56.

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