Introducing Smoothie


By Stephen Alpert LM10

"Smoothie" is a prolific unknown hobo nickel maker, nicknamed by Stephen Alpert in the August 1998 issue of BoTales. His hobo nickels were made by first smoothing the obverse of the coin (except for the face, profile, and Liberty). Then he engraved thin lines to form the hat, ear and collar, and punched in the hair-beard-mustache.

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Hobo nickels by "Smoothie" are characterized by

  1. The thinly engraved lines on smooth surfaces;
  2. A simple outline ear;
  3. An unaltered profile or a small notch at the top of the nose;
  4. A simple collar with a triangular flap at front.

Except for the face, the design is two-dimensional or flat. The coin's date was removed in the smoothing preparation before the carving and punching began.

Other hobo nickels makers also used this technique of smoothing the bust, except for the face, and then engraving the design in fine lines.