In Southeastern Pennsylvania, the name Franklin Mint continues to be associated with what type of institution?
A). Candy Store
B). Credit Union
C). Coin Producer
D). Ice Cream Parlor
The American Treasure Tour blog is committed to telling the story of the pieces in our collection, sometimes one item at a time. Our challenge is that items occasionally require a backstory to make any sense, but we are brave. We tackle that challenge. Today, we are going to tell you about an institution that existed not so far from Oaks, Pennsylvania where the art of collectibles became a business: The Franklin Mint. The Mint was located in the nearby town of Wawa, Pennsylvania, the namesake of the rapidly expanding gas station/convenience store chain. Many people confused the Franklin Mint with one of the federally-controlled mints that pressed coins used in general circulation (quarters, dimes and the like) as well as official commemorative medals. There can be little doubt that its founder, Joseph Segel, had that confusion in mind when he founded the Franklin Mint in 1960. Segel founded the Mint with the intention to sell commemorative and collectible items in all shapes and sizes to the public, often in limited editions.
Segel's vision began with the production of gold and silver medallions, then moved into legal-tender coin sets - often including international coins that were not otherwise easy to obtain in the United States such as uncirculated Panamanian currency. They expanded into die-cast cars, knives, high-end reissues of public-domain classic novels, commemorative plate sets (in 1990, they introduced a series of decorative plate sets dedicated to the popular cartoon program The Simpsons), and dolls. The line of products produced by Franklin Mint complemented another of creator Joseph Segel's ambitions, and in 1986 he founded the QVC home shopping channel, where many of his Franklin Mint items were sold off the television. Alas, the Franklin Mint closed their doors in 2000. The brand continues to be marketed by Sequential Brands Group, but the Wawa plant is no longer producing items. Join us next week when we talk about a few of the Franklin Mint items on display at your favorite American Treasure Tour!
ANSWER: B). Credit Union. They were founded in 1970.