Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ignorance + bad design = The Utah Quarter

Yesterday's publication of a picture of the new Utah quarter (from the U.S. 25¢ series of commerative coins) which says "Utah 1896" above a golden spike and two locomotives head to head, and "2007 E. Pluribus Unum" below led to a prediction (duh!) that knowledge of history is so sparse that many people wouldn't understand that "Utah 1896" refers to Utah Statehood on January 4, 1896, the 45th state and think that 1896 refers to the date of joining of the rails.

It didn't take long:

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Railroad event will adorn Utah quarter

JENNIFER DOBNER - The Associated Press

"PROMONTORY – Utah's commemorative quarter will memorialize neither the state's 'greatest snow on earth,' nor the famous industriousness of the territory's founding pioneers. Instead, the honor goes to the so-called 'Wedding of the Rails' – the driving of a gold spike into railroad ties that in 1896 established the first transcontinental railroad." ... [sic] [Emphasis added]


Utah Quarter.  Courtesy U.S. Mint.
Utah Quarter.
Courtesy U.S. Mint.