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The Year 1885 in History

Moxie Nerve Food was introduced as a cure-all by Augustin Thompson, M.D., born in Union, Maine, who practiced homeopathic medicine in Lowell, Massachusetts. Moxie was said to have been compounded using a secret plant from the tropics found by the mysteriously (to historians) elusive Lieutenant Moxie. Advertising emphasis was soon changed to that of a healthful and refreshing beverage. By the 1920s, Moxie is said to have outsold Coca-Cola (first formulated in 1886) in its primary trading area, New England.

Chicago's first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Company Building, opened to the public that autumn, and created a sensation.

In Germany, Karl-Friedrich Benz drove the world's first practical gasoline-powered motor vehicle. By a decade later, a mini-industry of automobile manufacturing would be built in America, and by 1910 the automobile had become a way of life. In Salem, Massachusetts, Parker Brothers was founded in 1885, with its first game being Banking with not even a dream that 50 years later another game, Monopoly, would make a fortune. The National Audubon Society was formed,

too late to comment upon tail feathers on 1878 silver dollars. The group would go on to attract countless bird lovers, including, years later, President Theodore Roosevelt.

A change was made in the Mint directorship, and Horatio C. Burchard, who served from February 1879 through June 1885, was succeeded in July by James P. Kimball, who would hold the post through October 1889. The Treasury Department still had a large quantity of earlier-minted dimes, quarters and half dollars on hand, so relatively few additional examples were minted, except of the dime denomination. By now, silver coins had been a familiar sight in circulation for nearly a decade, and the detested Fractional Currency notes were relegated to bureau drawers, attics, and other out of the way places. Still, large quantities were turned in for redemption at banks each year.

Nickel three-cent pieces were still being made but were fading in popularity, as were gold dollars and $3 gold pieces. However, with the two gold denominations there had developed a minor speculation, and various jewelers and numismatists ordered specimens through banks and the Mint and squirreled them away. This had been going on since 1879. Nobody knows why the tiny mintage of business strikes of these denominations continued. The famous 1885 trade dollar was coined as a delicacy for collectors. For good measure, a few more delicacies were made in other areas, such as a Proof set of all denominations from the cent to the double eagle struck in Aluminum.