Old San Francico U.S. Mint, 88 Fifth Street

SITE OF FIRST U.S. BRANCH MINT IN CALIFORNIA - The first United States branch mint in San Francisco was authorized by Congress July 3, 1852 and opened for operation April 3, 1854. Dr. L. A. Birdsall was the first superintendent, J. Huston, first minter, and A. Haraszthy, first assayer.

One of the few buildings that survived the Earthquake and Fire of 1906 with little damage was the Old Mint. It was able to withstand the tremors due its strong foundation, which was made of large blocks of solid granite. To save it from the flames, Mint employees used water from cisterns in the basement to keep the roof and outer walls wet. Although the fire's heat melted the building's windows, the Mint otherwise suffered little damage.


San Francisco Mint employees with the bullion balance scales.

Source: NARA


U.S. Mint at Frisco Makes Coins for China,

For two months employees of the San Francisco Federal Mint worked behind the bullet-proof enclosuresmaking more than 10 million coins for the Chinese government. After the mint in Shanghai closed, the Chinese sent 150 tons of silver and copper alloys to San Francisco so that the money could be made. More than 3,000,000 dollars and twice as many half-dollars were ordered. The photograph shows Peter J. Haggerty, Superintendent of the Mint, looking over part of the production of Chinese coins.

Source: NARA


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