Dr. Sol Taylor

Directors of the U.S. Mint, 1792-2008

By Dr. Sol Taylor
"Making Cents"
Saturday, May 3, 2008

ne of the few continuously appointed positions in the government since 1792 is that of Director of the United States Mint. Today, the position includes overseeing operations at two general production mints in Philadelphia and Denver, and subsidiary production units at San Francisco and West Point, N.Y.
    The current director, Edmund C. Moy, is the 38th director of the United States Mint and was appointed Sept. 5, 2006.
    The Mint is the world's largest producer of coins, medals, and other numismatic products. In 2005, the Mint produced more than 15 billion circulating coins and generated revenues of $1.77 billion, with $775 million going to the United States Treasury.
    Originally there was no specific term for the appointee. In 1873, Congress determined the length of appointment to be five years. There was no limit on reappointments; a few were appointed more than once — non-sequentially — and a few served for decades. The director serves under the Secretary of the Treasury.
    The previous appointees and their terms of office are listed:
  1.  David Rittenhouse, 1792-1795
  2.  Henry William De Saussure, 1795 (4 months)
  3.  Elias Boudinot, 1795-1805
  4.  Robert Patterson, 1806-1824
  5.  Samuel Moore, 1824-1835
  6.  Robert Maskell Patterson, 1835-1851
  7.  George N. Eckert, 1851-1853
  8.  Thomas M. Pettit, 1853 (1 month)
  9.  James Ross Snowden, 1853-1861
  10.  James Pollock, 1861-1866
  11.  William Millward, 1866-1867
  12.  Richard Henry Linderman, 1867-1869
  13.  James Pollock, 1869-1873
  14.  Richard Henry Linderman, 1873-1878
  15.  Horatio Chapin Burchard, 1879-1885
  16.  James Putnam Kimball, 1885-1889
  17.  Edward O. Leech, 1889-1893
  18.  Robert E. Preston, 1893-1898
  19.  George Evan Roberts, 1898-1907
  20.  Frank Aleamon Leach, 1907-1909
  21.  Abram Piatt Andrew, 1909-1910
  22.  George Evan Roberts, 1910-1914
  23.  Robert W. Woolley, 1915-1916
  24.  Freidrich J. Hugo von Engelken, 1916-1917
  25.  Raymond Thomas Baker, 1917-1922
  26.  Frank Edgar Scobey, 1922-1923
  27.  Robert J. Grant, 1923-1933
  28.  Nellie Tayloe Ross (first woman), 1933-1953
  29.  William H. Brett, 1954-1961
  30.  Eva Adams, 1961-1969
  31.  Mary Brooks, 1969-1977
  32.  Stella Hackel Sims, 1977-1981
  33.  Donna Pope, 1981-1991
  34.  David J. Ryder, 1992-1993
  35.  Philip N. Diehl, 1994-2000
  36.  Jay W. Johnson, 2000-2001
  37.  Henrietta Holsman Fore, 2001-2005
  38.  Edmund C. Moy, 2006-present
    Most directors are low-key except when a major event occurs at the Mint or with our coinage.
    Several directors in the 1860s and 1870s apparently did favors for special friends and collectors by re-striking rare coins and even creating rare varieties.
    In 1964, when the silver coinage ended, Eva Adams had to defend the new clad coinage. In 1974, Mary Brooks had the challenge of finding the missing 15 (or so) aluminum cents that were passed out to various members of Congress for examination. She never succeeded.
    With the cost of minting cents and nickels now exceeding their face value, the Mint will be considering alternatives to these denominations as we have known them. In fact, our whole coinage system is in need of review and major changeover.
    The director of the Mint will face these challenges sooner than later.

    Dr. Sol Taylor of Sherman Oaks is president of the Society of Lincoln Cent Collectors and author of The Standard Guide to the Lincoln Cent. Click here for ordering information.