John Torrey

Silver and Gold

On this day in 1856, John Torrey's Office at the Mint was described in the NY Daily Times.

When Torrey was 57, he decided to leave Princeton after 24 years of teaching botany, and he went to work for the Mint; it would be the last step in his long career.
The description of the room where the bullion was measured is quite fascinating. It said:

"During the process of ... gold and silver are... weighed on ... scales. Floors are covered with iron gratings which are removed at stated periods, flooring beneath carefully swept and particles of precious metal separated from the dust."

Torrey 's quality of life improved while he worked at the Mint; he could leave work by 3 pm and be home in time to work in his herbarium a couple of hours before dinner.

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John Torrey
John Torrey

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