JJ’s Numismatic Inspiration?

Keep in mind this is 1916, even before the roaring twenties, much less the 1960’s or the MTV era. So it was rather racy for the new quarter design to feature a Lady Liberty with the shield covering up just one breast. It was really planned that way –it wasn’t a Janet Jackson moment. And the first NFL championship was still seventeen years away.

Technically, the 1916 quarter was not quite legal, as US law permits Treasury Department redesign only after twenty-five years — unless Congress gets into the act. The previous Barber design commenced in 1892, hence the 50,000 minted for circulation were jumping the gun a bit. Mid-1917, Liberty’s wardrobe was adjusted to include a square-neck mail shirt.

I dunno … she still seems to be showing a lot of leg for the good ol’ days. Chain mail and gauzy fabric might be even more kinky than the 1916 original.

“Standing Liberty” only lasted till George Washington’s 200th birthday, 1932. They did get an act of Congress to put him on the quarter. He was the second president to be featured on an American circulating coin, and within a decade and a half, Liberty (dime, 1946 and half dollar, 1948) and the Indian (nickel, 1938) were retired.

I wish they’d consider a return to Liberty, but retiring dead presidents seems to be more controversial than changing them to new dead presidents.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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