Station: [3] Screw Press

  • MoneyMuseum

Screw presses are developed in the 16th century in Italy. Around 1550, the first such press is used on the north side of the Alps, in Augsburg. A little later, the royal mints of Paris and London want to introduce screw presses as well. This is bitterly opposed by the workers at the mints, who fear that the new technology will eliminate their jobs. In the course of the 17th century, all major mints eventually adopt screw presses.

A screw press simply adds mechanical force to the traditional way of striking a coin blank between two dies. Up to 30 coins can be produced per minute with this method. The machines are driven by either human, animal, water, or steam power. Through the impetus of their arms, screw presses generate enormous force. Thus, they produce clear and precise coins. On the other hand, they need solid bases, and can only be installed on ground floors and in cellars.