PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Long before Challenger soared through Lincoln Financial Field last Sunday, there was Peter. As in Peter the Mint Eagle who soared through the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia 200 years ago.
“During the day he would fly about the city and at night he would return to the Mint,” U.S. Mint Spokesman Tim Grant told Eyewitness News.
Grant says Peter died sometime in the late 1820s or 1830s and the employees chipped in to stuff him. Over the years Mint artists have used him to inspire the back of coins.
“They’ll look at his wings, and they’ll look at his beak and eyes and they’ll use that in their designs,” Grant said.
Peter served as an inspiration for many U.S. government logos, including the National Recovery Administration blue eagle during the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency. That blue logo inspired the Eagles team name.
The Eagles were not the first NFL team in Philadelphia. Before the Eagles, there were the Frankford Yellow Jackets. They played from 1924-1931 in the NFL.
Dr. Lee Arnold is with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and he dug up some old Eagles programs and newspaper articles from the 1920s featuring the Yellow Jackets and members of that franchise.
“Only one Yellow Jacket landed on the roster of the 1933 [Eagles] team,” he said.