Uhlhorn Press advertising token

London, England, AD 1851

A portable advertisement for a coining press at the Great Exhibition

The Great Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, in 1851 was devised as a showcase for the world's manufacturers and industrialists. Ultimately it had commerce at heart, and the British organisers hoped that British manufacturers would emerge as world leaders. The inclusion of the Uhlhorn Press in the German contribution to the exhibition was intended to show off that country's engineering skills. This is a copper token from the exhibition, issued by Uhlhorn to advertise its press.

The founder of the Uhlhorn Press, Diedrich Uhlhorn, had patented his first lever press in 1817. Initially this revolutionary coin press had used steam, but eventually electricity was to become the source of power. The lever press was more efficient than the earlier screw presses. It worked by means of a heavy wheel attached to a lever system, which moved the upper coin die down onto the blank of the coin, leaving a stamped imprint.

Copper tokens were used for many different purposes from the eighteenth century. By the mid-nineteenth century the convention of using such tokens for advertising and souvenir purposes was well established.

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Diameter: 37.000 mm

Museum number

CM 1920-1-12-66


Gift of H.M. King George V


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