Sunday, July 15, 2012

09 Nubs, Runners and Bust tilts

Thought we could take a quick look at how these coins were made and whether that can account for the bust tilts we metioned in post 07.

The way plastics were molded back in the 1950s was called injection molding. As shown below a resevoir of plastic is connected to the mold. The plastic is heated up and forced into the mold. Each piece (coin) that is being molded has to have an inlet (for the plastic to come in) and an exit (for the air to be expelled and the plastic to move on to the next coin. The connections between the coins are called runners. When you break each piece off and plastic remaining behind are called "nubs". For expensive pieces these nubs would be polished off.

For those of you who are grey beards like myself, you will remember gluing together plastic models (airplanes, cars etc. ) as a kid. What came out of the box were all the parts still connected on the runners.

On the armour coins there are two and only two positions for the nubs. One is directly above the head and the other is the middle "star" on the right side of the coin. These are shown for a aqua Ford below. Also shown is a likely layout showing how the molten plastic would move from one coin to the next. Lastly I actually came across a Simmons coin where a bit of the runner apparently broke of and stuck to the surface of the coin (while it was still hot I guess) . Got this coin real cheap.

Back to Bust Tilts

In order to have the bust tilt variations they must come from different molds. The remaining question is why only two bust tilts ? I thnk this means there were two master molds and multiple copies of the molds (if required to meet production schedule) were made from these two master molds. Why two master molds ?? Can't answer that one, but there obviously were. Some of the coins do not have bust tilt variations such as Reynolds and Thomas. The Thomas bust always point into the gap between Pittsburgh and Pirates and the Reynolds busts all point to the Y in Yankees. My guess here would be that these two just randomly ended up in the same spot when they were layed out when the two master molds were made.

The variations vs bust tilts are shown in the table below.

For Antonelli and Jackson we could asume that the variations are the two master molds and early on they saw the problem and stopped using the error molds making the error  coins the rare ones.

 I'd say the same thing for the Finnigan and Snider variations. These are the two mold variations and they show up in approx equal populations because no one ever caught these errors.

We cannot use this argument when the correct variation is the rare one [ i.e. Trucks and Jensen] In these cases a new mold must have been cut later in the production run and in the case of Jensen two molds were made because we have bust tilt variations for the rarer corrected Jensen.

If we look at the Haddix variations why would anyone care whether there were bigger or smaller gaps in St Louis Cardinals ? They wouldn't my premise is that these simply are the two master molds, but I cannot answer why is one significantly rarer than the other ?? Master mold broke ??

Gilliam, Mantle and Kuenn are more confusing having 3 variations each,  although none of the variations show a bust tilt.

With Gilliam we can assume the two original molds were "L or R" and "L - R". Why a new mold was needed ??... but it must have happened because in this case they even changed Giliams face which does not show up for any other coin. Since the new mold was cut as L-R I like to assume that L-R is the corrected variation for both Gilliam and Mantle.

The Mantle error "Mantel" is at least 10:1 vs the corrected coins so I have to assume that both molds were initially Mantel and late in the process a new mold was cut correcting the Mantle spelling but using (L-R). After the Gilliam correction they must have cut a 3rd Mantle mold with L-R designation.

Kuenn is equally as confusing. One can assume the original two molds were the spread and tight variations . Both of these had the last line incorrect on the back of the coin. When this was caught late in the production cycle, a new mold was cut correcting both the Kuenn spacing on the front and the last line on the back.

In terms of rarity, one could assume that the Mantle L-R, the Kuenn correct, the Guilliam tight L-R and the Trucks - White Sox were all corrected about the same time. Mantle probably only appears significantly rarer because everyone wants the Mantle correct coins (the aforementioned Mantle effect).

Why a new face for Gilliam?, why care about L or R vs L-R ? Since the people who did this are at least in their 80's or are no longer with us  AND since Armour when I have contacted them claim they have no information or coins still on hand, we will never really know for sure.

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