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f 's Mw 0 Money W Metah BBsfcE Ik I (C) Harris & Ewlng RAY T. BAKER The former mine piUpetOf, the ..vernment money maker-in-chief and expert on silver. RECENTLY 1 handsomely dressed man. bag and cane in hand, walked into a Philadelphia hotel, and to the clerk remarked: Ml believe you have a suite reserved for me." At the same time he handed the clerk a card which read: KAY T. BAKER, "Director United States Mint." The clerk glanced at the card, dropped the pen he had held poised in the air, and broke into a tit 01 laughter. AVell. this is the best one I've seen, he roared, as he re-examined the card. "'Director of the Mint. Ha! Ha! Ha! How'd you think of it? 1 ve seen a lot of joke cards but this is the cleverest of all.'' The hotel manager, seeing and recognizing Mr Baker, rushed around behind the desk, clasped a hand over the clerk'- laughing mouth, and dragged the at tendant from the our of offense. "Beg pardon, Mr. Director," said the manager, politelv. "He' a new man here and, well er he thought that director of the mint stuff on your card was a gag. Front!" Although it is an office the average person doesn t often hear of. the governmental place held by Mr. Baker is one of the most romantically interesting in Washington. Just now. with bar silver doing capers that threaten revolution in the realm of coins, Mr. Baker's office is of exceeding importance. For it looks after the making of all of our metal money, the pur chasing of the vast amounts of gold and silver which the government procures for coins or reserves, the as saying of the must of the precious metal brought into or produced in the country, and the care-taking of precious metals, hoards whose volume staggers the imagination. Passing under the jurisdiction of the Director of the Mint there are annually supplies of gold and silver that can be measured in carloads, volumes of money estimated in millions of pieces, total transactions in volving money values mounting into the billions. In the vaults of one of the assay offices there is now about a billion dollars' worth of gold bullion. Customarily the biggest function exercised by the Director of the Mint comprises the operation of the government's most important and most (as well as only) highly profitable manufacturing enterprise. He directs the mints which turn out our coins, a preroga tive, rod may be surprised to learn, which usually earns millions of dollars of profit for the government. The annual net revenues of the mint service have been running beyond $20,OW,0()0, which is more than all the operations of government cost 125 years ago. Ordinarily the mint service is only a manufacturing and supervisory establishment. To the mints or the assay offices one may take $100 or more worth of gold in any form, have it assayed, stamped, and, if desired, exchanged tor gold coin or gold certificates. The process is largely mechanical. The mint service also purchases a considerable amount of silver for the making of subsidiary coins, and of copper, tin and zinc for use as alloy or the manufacture of pennies. Prior to the war the service's transactions were largely of a routine nature, of which the public rarely heard or cared. l'nt the war heightened tin importance of the mint service, and silver's price rampages, causing of late the silver dollar to reach n metal value higher than its By AARON HARDY VIM of high significance ta the attairs 01 iHiM s metal. ..ly 50 cents OT tea afott of "Jg tkn"-the total amounting to nearly $j a new and ihin) in Treasure vaults "" resented in trade by paper certificates wlltd I th k as a rule preferred to ' cart wheels. Only about 80000,000 silver dollars are now abroad. 11H SUJ plies of them in the Treasury vaults are not so large as the) were; and thereby bangs I story oi war m which the mint sen ice figures. When uar conditions .sent the price ot gold down ward, similar causes se1 that of silver upward. I hat circumstance produced an unusual state 01 attairs in the Orient, where currencies were still on a Sliver basis The Indian rupee went beyond face value which Caused the Hindus to hoard coin and to demand It in stead of the silver certificates they had been accepting. The situation was seized on D) the Germans to toment trouble among the East Indians. For a time it looked as if the Indian government would have to suspend spirit payments, which would have caused big troubles to face the Allies, especially Great Britain. Then we stepped into the breach with our hoard of silver dollars. Congress authorized the Treasury to melt up and sell as bullion as many as 350,000,000, the certificates for which were to he called in and supplanted with Federal Reserve currency. s last as the certificates came in. the dollars were taken from the vaults, hastened to the mints, where they were melted or otherwise decoincd. and hurried by special trains and vessels to Bombay and Calcutta. About $250,000,000 worth were thus sold at a price of about $1.00 an ounce. The transaction was completed only a few months ago. The same ct of Congress authorising the sale directs the mint officials to repurchase a similar amount of silver at the price for which it was sold, remint it into dollars and again put the dollars in the vaults. But since that time silver has been steadily mount ing above $1 an ounce: so no purchases have been made. In early November bar silver went to $1.31 an ounce. This raised the metal worth of the silver dollar beyond its gold parity which is $12929. For a day or two the mint experts breathed rather heavily, for the situation was unique and serious. Then the price of silver dropped back, and then later came forward to the point where the metal in a silver dollar was worth 5 cents more than the dollar's value as currency. Again the government's money experts breathed heavily, and wondered if the time was mar at hand when we would again have to produce pasteboard dimes and quarters as were in use during the late days of and following the Civil War. However, silver must- reach a bullion value of $1.38 an ounce before silver coins below a dollar will be worth more as metal than as money; for the silver in a half dollar is proportionately less than that in a dollar; likewise that in a dime and quarter. Neither Director Baker nor other person of au thority is discussing the situation. Bttt they still have power to put on the market as bullion about 100,000, 000 of the silver dollars yet in reserve. And most of the "cart wheels" still floating around are old ones, have been long in use, thus depreciating from wear. Not many of them would weigh enough t bring, as metal, their full original value. But silver isn't the only thing that has heightened the significance of the United States Mint Service. The phenomenal demand of late for small coins has been taxing to the limit the manufacturing facilities of the service. Lately the mints have been running day and night, chiefly to meet the demand for one cent pieces. In October more than 60,000,000 pennies were made and the call for them is still beyond supply. There is lltle a ,,,,1 tor other small coins, nickels, dii rnd JKTtiS reasons tor it are the sh,n D"icei the increasing number ot pennj change Visions ami the uar taxes, like those oil soda Wl and movie tickets. Since tin mints began operating there h been put into circulation more than 3,500,000,000 nies and fewer than a hundred thousand have dr: back to the mints to he melted Hp and sent forth all What becomes oi them is one of the many myst concerning money. F0R (den ,,1, still officially in "circulation" millions of halt cent, two cent, half dime ami other Specimens of coin now rarely encountered in trade. The government doesn't worry much over what becomes of small coin : for generally it repn tl 1, profit Even at present high prices of metals, pen nies cost only about 20 cents a hundred to prod nickels about' fifty per cent 0! face value and dimes and quarters until about the first of November something like SO cents to the dollar. Despite tin big domestic demand, the mints are still able to manufacture large supplies of coini South American countries. It is the business oi the Director ot the Mil keep up with the coining activities of other count; : I, the production of gold and silver throughout the world, and to quarterly announce the value, in Amer ican monev. of all foreign coins. There are three mints at Philadelphia, Denvei ind San Francisco- and a doen or more assay ofl el Two mints at Charlotte, N. C, and Dahlonega, I -have been abandoned, and another at New Orleani operates now as an assay office only. The immediate direction of all of them is highly trained experts The checking system whiC Nails 'is io nearly unpenetrable that, though bflli I f dollars' v.rth of metals and coin have been ha there has never been a serious loss either as the 1 of dishonesty or mistake. No person is permitt. ; to inter a vault or otherwise figure in the processes of handling metals or money, alone. Two or MOf 11 M always work together. Even the sweepings oi floors are preserved and distilled for the small part of wealth that in the melting or stamping pro may drift into the air. General supervision is given from Washingl by the Director of the Mint who makes his office h the Treasury Building. The present Director, Raj T, Baker, is a mat of wide experience in metals, and Other things in my other things. The Director sometimes shows ins friends an bum of pictures that display him in all the pktUresqOC phasei of the far Western prOSptfctOT. He was born in Nevada, where he practiced IW, ran, as warden, the state penitentiary and operated mines and from here he scoured the desert, the and the mountains looking for "strikes" and, it IS with considerable success. It was he who first s plored the Ubehebe region of Death Valley, rem oil one excursion tor a period of two years until his relatives and friend came to believe that In t'l joined the hundreds of others whose skeletons m. d every trail in that empire of heat and death. However, he came back from that and othei B tures which proved so profitable that he was abi to shake the sands of the desert from his feet and break into the social realms of Paris and London. H he came a world traveler ami an international i! figure, at the same time keeping a firm and si Ifw hand in Nevada politics. Then he entered the ican Diplomatic Service, as attache of the Petl Kmbassv. and in 1916 was appointed Director 1 Mint. Upon his knowledge of mining and of metals, par ticularly "white metal." gained from experience - ing from strikes made in the Western desert t it trading ventures in the world exchanges, the e n1' ment largely trusts for direction out of the pr ' n brought forward by silver's surprising "comeba American History Advised for British Universities DEL CHARLES SAROLEA, writing from the Uni versity of Kdinburgh in the course of a letter in winch he explains a scheme tor furthering a better un derstanding between Scotland and America by promot ing in the Scottish schools and universities a systematic study of American history, institutions, politics, and economics, siy : Let US ask ourselves candidly to how many of us are Jefferson or Lincoln as real as are, say, Napoleon or Bismarck. To how many of us are Daniel Webster or Calhoun something more than shadow) names. How many of us are acquainted with the life and work of Alexander Hamilton, although he is the real father of the American Commonwealth, although he is one of the supermen of world history, and al though we may rightly call him a great Scotsman as well as a reat American? How many of us have studied "The Federalist,1 the most profound treatise on the science of politics written since Aristotle? Every British schoolboy is familiar through Carlyle with the first meeting of the French States General lint how many are familiar with the Convention of Philadelphia, winch exact! synchronised with the Revolutionary Assembly, and which was even ,r epoch-making and even more pregnant with I !ul political consequences? Our ignorance of Am' u popular literature is as nothing compared to Ottf ance of political and historical literature. Our neglect Of American history extendi even to the mast' American historiography. Our ignorance of America history is all the more astonishing because there is none which is more instructive or more COUStructifl and none more inspiring. If evtf a nation had a mtSSSgt to deliver sureh that nation is America. Vet it is a startling ami disap pointing fait that that message is not being delivered. Hie interchange of commodities between the British Empire and the American Commonwealth may be grow ing by leaps and bounds; the interchange of idea has not increased correspondingly. It must be confessed that th.s retpe the Universities of Great Britain have Signally failed in one of their essential duties. Surely it is high tune that such a gap in our intelle. tua equipment should be tilled, and that such an educational scandal should i.n,ehester Guardian.