The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 20, May 13, 2001: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2001, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have a record eighteen new subscribers this week, due 
   mainly to the NBS dues notice forms which were mailed with 
   the last Asylum issue.  Also, Bob Lyall of the U.K. is a 
   subscriber now, courtesy of Peter Irion.   Welcome aboard, 

   One NBS member wished to remain anonymous.  The 
   remaining members are: Timothy Biga, Arthur Crawmer, 
   John Donoghue, Cathy Early, David Gladfelter,  Russell 
   Hibbs, Richard Hoover,  R. Craig Kammerer,  Richard 
   Margolis, Werner Mayer, C. Gregory McMurdo, 
   Karin Mearns, John Schreiner, Dennis Sheehan, Robert 
   Shippee, David T. Stone, and Thomas Wooldridge. 

   We have lost some subscribers in recent weeks due to email 
   address changes.   Can anyone help locate Mark Ferguson, 
   Larry Brilliant or Nelson Wolbert? 

   The net result is that our subscriber count has increased 
   to 394, just a half-dozen shy of 400.   Help us get there - 
   recommend The E-Sylum to a friend! 


   NBS Secretary-Treasurer just returned from another trip 
   to Budapest, Hungary with his wife Emi.   His mailbox 
   was stuffed with NBS correspondence, including dues 
   checks, nomination forms, and the Best Asylum article 
   voting ballots.   He's working hard to get caught up. 
   Please be patient if you're waiting to hear from him. 

   While in Hungary Dave attended some meetings of a 
   Budapest coin club.  They meet twice weekly, on Tuesdays 
   and Saturdays.  Meetings resemble a small coin show, with 
   members set up at tables to buy, sell, and swap.  The club 
   has a regular auction; the session Dave attended had about 
   150 bidders.  He bid on one lot of books, and won. 


   Colonial Newsletter editor Phil Mossman writes: "Issue #116 
   [April 2001] of The Colonial Newsletter has been distributed 
   to subscribers.  This number features an extensive study by 
   Thomas A. Kays of Alexandria, Virginia, on Spanish pistareens 
   uncovered in hoards and by metal detectors within the 
   "Tobacco Colonies."  He has gathered a study collection of 
   199 examples of either cut or whole coins which he analyzes 
   in detail in his 30-page article.  This work is a valuable 
   resource for those interested in 18th century Spanish coins 
   and in the money of pre-Federal America.   He emphasizes 
   the fact that pistareens and their fractional and cut parts 
   formed  an important segment of early American currency 
   and as such deserve to be included in collections spanning 
   that time frame." 


   Dan Freidus writes: "David Lange's experience with microfiche 
   (using The Numismatist) is in some ways typical.  However, his 
   feeling about image quality is the result of having used a very low 
   quality product.  Anyone interested in seeing high quality 
   microfilm or microfiche should go to a library and use a roll of 
   microfilm made by UMI (older ones will be labeled "University 
   Microfilm" and really new ones may be labeled "Bell & Howell 
   Information and Learning"  (that just rolls off your tongue, doesn't 
   it?  Yes, the company realized they made a mistake and is about 
   to change their name yet again, to the name of their biggest 
   product,  "Proquest" which is electronic, not on film).  They 
   generally have great image quality on their film.  But it's still 

   On a side note, UMI and others are now using technology by 
   Sunrise Imaging (and others) to convert microfilm to digital files. 
   Since microfilm is more archival than electronic files, especially 
   when held by a company like UMI in atmospherically controlled 
   vaults (as opposed to libraries which are good, but not ideal), 
   this may be the best of both worlds.   The microfilm will last 
   hundreds of years and if a digital file is hard to convert to 
   something that current computers can use they can just rescan 
   from the film.  (Imagine if a digital file you needed was stored on 
   an 8" floppy, in wide use less than 20 years ago.  Even if the file 
   was still readable could you find a computer with the right drive 
   and software to use it?)" 

   [Editor's note: I hear there was a great turnout at the ANS for 
   Dan's Groves Forum talk on Contemporary References to Early 
   American Coins and Paper Money (see The E-Sylum, Volume 
   4, Number 16 (April 15, 2001)] 


   Peter Irion writes: "Bob is a very knowledgeable world token 
   collector,  and he has written several books.  He is the author 
   of the book "The Tokens, Checks, Metallic Tickets, Passes 
   and The Tallies Of The British Caribbean & Bermuda" which 
   was published by TAMS in 1988.  He is also the author of the 
   recent book "The Tokens and Checks Of Malta". 


   In his "Names in Numismatics" column in the December 
   2000 issue of The Numismatist, NBS Board member 
   Pete Smith relates the famous story about J.F. Loubat, 
   known in numismatic circles as the author of the 
   two-volume classic, "Medallic History of the United States 
   of America 1776-1876". 

   "On the evening of November 28, 1881, Loubat 
   conversed with Henry Turnbull.  Their reports of the 
   conversation differed.  Turnbull said he asked why he 
   was not married, and Loubat replied, "Nobody would 
   have me.  I am not rich enough."  Turnbull then 
   suggested that Loubat marry a well-known, wealthy 
   widow. It was Loubat's reply that got him in trouble. 
   "Why should I marry her when I've been trying for 
   ten years to  ____ her daughter?"   The missing word 
   was too vulgar to print in 1881..." 

   "While at a club in San Francisco, Turnbull announced 
   that Loubat was no gentleman.  Word got back to 
   Loubat, who wrote to Turnbull and called him a liar. 
   Turnbull responded with a thousand copies of a 
   circular distributed to club members.  He said Loubat 
   had no proof to support his claim. (One can only 
   speculate what a copy of the circular would bring 
   today at a numismatic literature sale)." 


   Renewing NBS member Bob Shippee asked about Life 
   Membership in NBS.   In fact, we do have a Life Member 
   category - it was created a few years ago when we revised 
   our Constitution and Bylaws. 

   Life members are members who pay 20 years of regular 
   membership dues in full in advance.  Since our current 
   yearly dues are $15 (in North America),  Life Membership 
   may be had with a $300 check made out to NBS and sent 
   to our Dave Hirt  (his address is at the of each E-Sylum 

   To date we have four Life Members, and Bob will make 
   five.  We'd love to add more of you to the list! 


   Tom Fort writes: "A couple of times this newsletter has 
   featured or discussed the site "Where's George?" which 
   is attempting to track the progress of one dollar bills 
   across the United States.  The movement of paper money 
   across the United States was a key plot point in the Doc 
   Savage novel  "Terror Wears No Shoes" which I finished 
   reading last weekend 

   The plot of this novel, originally published in 1948, revolves 
   around an attempt by the Soviets to introduce a deadly virus 
   into the United States.  Since the Russians do not want to be 
   caught and bring swift and violent American retaliation, their 
   plan is to smuggle the virus into the States by lacing US 
   currency and distributing it to unsuspecting communist 
   sympathizers who in turn will spend it. The inflected cash is 
   kept in small plastic packets so the KGB people do not 
   catch the disease. 

   Part of the Soviet plan is to track the spread of the virus; 
   this of course, would also mean that they are tracking the 
   circulation of the currency.  Of course, Doc and his aides 
   uncover the scheme and make the world safe for democracy. 
   However, it is good to see that much safer ways of following 
   the movement of money have been thought of since the end 
   of the Cold War. 

   [Footnote:  For the uninitiated, Doc Savage is a pulp hero 
   whose magazine ran from 1933 to 1949, a total of 181 issues. 
   These were reprinted by Bantam Books from 1964 through 
   1990. Doc had an enormous effect on American popular 
   culture, his greatest influence being Superman - who first 
   appeared in 1938 (Doc is known as the Man of Bronze 
   because of his skin and hair color, Superman is the Man of 
   Steel;   Doc's first name is Clark, as is Superman's;  Doc 
   has a Fortress of Solitude in the arctic as does Superman, 
   the list goes on...).  If you want to know more about Doc 
   there are two good web sites: 

   The 86th Floor: 

   Doc Savage Unchained:  ]" 

   [Editor's note:  The address for "Where's George" is   There is now a 
    companion site for Canadians called "Where's Willy" 
    at   this address : 
    Quiz question:  Who's Willy?"  ] 

   [Editor's Note #2:  I haven't read the novels, but 
   figure Doc must have had kids - hence the need 
   for a Fortress of Solitude ...] 


   Your editor was the victim of a thirty-some year-old 
   practical joke Wednesday night.  At a local coin club 
   meeting, longtime collector Chuck Erb brought a small 
   book, about the size of a Redbook, bound in dark 
   green cloth, with lettering in gilt on the cover: 
   "Tales of the Greatest Coin Robberies" 

   Having never heard of such a title, I opened it to find 
   that inside was a 1963 Redbook!   Chuck had purchased 
   the book from Ray Bryne in 1974.   Skip Culleiton was 
   quicker on the draw and purchased it that night, but he 
   was kind enough to sell it to me yesterday.  So assuming 
   the jokester was Bryne himself, the pedigree of this unique 
   rebound Redbook is Byrne-Erb-Culleiton-Homren. 

   The tipoff should have been the author's name: "by Agon 
   Iff".   Goniff means thief in Yiddish. 


   This week's featured web site is on "Six Kinds of United 
   States Paper Currency", specifically, the various types of 
   notes produced in 1929: 

     United States Notes 
     Gold Certificates 
     National Bank Notes 
     Silver Certificates 
     Federal Reserve Bank Notes 
     Federal Reserve Notes 

   The site is maintained by Kelley L. Ross, Department of 
   Philosophy Los Angeles Valley College, Van Nuys, CA 

   Wayne Homren 
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature.   For more information please see our web site at There is a membership application available on the web site.  To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application.  Visit the Membership page. Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link.

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