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Reginald Scaife, Kangaroo Office, Melbourne, Victoria

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Source: Museum Victoria

Reginald Scaife was manager of the Kangaroo Office. He won a certificate at 1854 Melbourne Exhibition at which he struck tin commemorative medals.

His association with the Kangaroo Office as a whole was less illustrious. Running the mint was expensive and time-consuming. Coupled with this, banks had begun buying into gold, and there was British concern the Australian fields would follow California in terms of financial chaos.

Scaife began to make military buttons in the mint machine, and later began processing copper tokens valued at a penny. The popularity of the copper penny increased when authorities allowed them free circulation in Melbourne as they had in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. Scaife later turned his interests to the manufacture and sale of commemorative medals made from tin from the Ovens River. In 1857 the Kangaroo Office was wound up and the press sold to Thomas Stokes. Scaife returned to England after some years, having worked as an agent for the Victoria Insurance Company in the intervening period.

References:
Sharples, J. (2001). 'Gold and Entrepreneurial Culture: The Kangaroo Office and its Private Mint for Victoria', in A World Turned Upside Down, Eds. Kerry Cardell and Cliff Cumming, Humanities Research Centre monograph no 14, Australian National University, Canberra.  

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