History of the Medallic Art Company
The chief engraver at the Mint was Charles E. Barber, whose designs for coinage were regarded by Roosevelt as “plain and insipid.”
Barber made no secret of his disdain for outside sculptors being given commissions for coin designs, but Henri Weil was unaware of it when he came to instruct the Mint staff on the use of the Janvier pantograph.
Every time he was present to set up and run the machine, it worked perfectly, but whenever he left the room (say, for lunch), he would return to find that someone had, in his words, “interfered with its working operation.”
After complaining to Barber, the pantograph room was locked up in Henri’s absence thereafter. It is suspected that Barber himself was the saboteur, since he may have felt the reducing machine symbolized his own shortcomings in preparing satisfactory coin designs.