Automatic coin counting machines of the type illustrated were introduced into the Royal Mint during the 1890s and although large and clumsy in appearance, they proved extremely useful as labour-saving devices. The current generation of such machines in the Royal Mint are fed from overhead containers and, aside from having to be replenished from time to time with fresh coin, are entirely unmanned.
In the Royal Mint’s move from Tower Hill to South Wales, architectural drawings and plans of all descriptions were rolled up, set to one side and eventually found their way into the Museum. The operating drawing for the counting machine, familiar from an old photograph showing it hanging on a wall by the machine itself, was one such drawing but was in serious need of cleaning and restoration. Thanks to the help of a conservator who works for the National Museum of Wales it has been transformed and now hangs in the Museum.