So-Called Dollar Discussions

Forum Navigation
Please or Register to create posts and topics.

HK-731 Consolid. Kansas City Smelter & Refining Co


Uploaded files:
  • HK-731-MS62.jpg

This issue celebrates "The Consolidated Kansas City Smelter and Refining Company" of Argentine, Kansas, during the 1889 Pan-American Conference. Originally known as "The Kansas City Smelting and Refining Company," which began operations in 1880, the company combined with several other companies (Arkansas Valley Smelter, the El Paso Smelting Works, the Eagle Pass, Laredo and Mexican Ore Companies of El Paso, Texas) on 1 Jan 1887. This company's business was refining ores: Zinc, pig lead and bullions -- gold and silver. The ore that was refined mostly originated in Mexico and Colorado. With ores for processing shipped from across North and South America, Argentine was known as the "Silver Refining Capital of the World" in the late 1880s. While lead produced at the facility was loaded into railroad cars at the smelter and shipped, the bricks of silver and gold were shipped by Express companies, including Wells Fargo, to government mints for further refinement. Note several other So Called Dollars celebrate U.S. Express Company and Wells Fargo. The smelter was closed in October 1901 and its work force was shifted to smelters nearer to the Colorado ore fields. The Kansas City Structural Steel Company was opened at the old smelter site in June 1907. As is published in the So Called Dollar book, the obverse shows U.S. President Benjamin Harrison and Mexico President Porfirio Diaz facing right, with microscopic lettering "F. C. Kurtze." The reverse shows two full female forms facing front, staff in hand of each, personifying the two Americas. Note that the F.C. Kurtze Company of Chicago was a maker of badges and medals, but I do not know much about them. The F.C. Kurtze Company was taken over by Gustuve Meyer & Herman Wenthe Co. of Harwood Heights, IL in 1909 (makers of police badges and tokens). Note that Herman Wenthe was an accomplished engraver and invented the pocket notary seal. They were subsequently purchased by Everson Ross of Spring Valley, NY, which was subsequently purchased by Smith & Warren Co. of White Plains, NY ( Many of the dies and tooling were preserved and are apparently still located in their factory in White Plains, NY per online sources. I am trying to contact them to see if they have any historical records or dies on the F.C. Kurtze Company.

I was able to purchase this piece raw at a recent Sacramento Valley Coin Club show.... slabbed well...

Uploaded files:
  • HK-731B-1889-KS-Smelting-AU-50BN.jpg