The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 32, August 5, 2001: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2001, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have one  new subscriber this week: Dr. Gerald Waider 
   of Germany, whose numismatic interests are Roman, Ancient, 
   and Mediaeval coins.   Welcome aboard!   Two people have 
   been dropped because of email address problems.  This brings 
   our subscriber count to 408. 


   One last reminder of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society 
   events at this coming week's convention of the American 
   Numismatic Association in Atlanta, Georgia: 

   Start the show right with a visit to the exhibit area; 
   Four exhibits will be shown in Class 22 - 
   Numismatic Literature. 

      1.  ANA Membership - The Printed Record 
      2.  Contemporary Illustrations of the Second 
           Philadelphia Mint 
      3.  American Banknote Company 1869 
      4.  U.S. Commemorative Coin Advertisements of 1937 

   The traditional NBS Numismatic Literature Symposium 
   will take place on Thursday, August 9, 2001 at 1pm. 
   The symposium will feature a panel discussion with officers 
   of the NBS and ANA Librarian Nancy Green, who will 
   give an update on the library expansion and other programs. 

   The annual NBS general membership meeting will be held 
   on Friday, August 10, 2001 at 11:30am.   The agenda 

  Best Asylum Article Award presentation 
  Jack Collins Award presentation 
  Featured Speaker: Q. David Bowers on 
     "The Fascinating Challenge of Numismatic Research" 
  Fundraising auction 

   We've already received a few nice items for the auction. 
   If you'd like to contribute something, please bring it to 
   the meeting room a few minutes before the scheduled 

   Don't forget to support the numismatic literature dealers 
   who set up at the show.  Hauling boxes of books hundreds 
   or thousands of miles is no picnic in the park. 

   Next week's post-ANA issue of The E-Sylum may be 
   delayed a day or so because of travel and everyone's 
   time spent at the ANA convention.  Unfortunately, your 
   editor won't be traveling to the convention.   I'm very 
   sorry I won't be able to see everyone this year.  Have 
   fun without me, and please help promote NBS and The 
   E-Sylum.   Collect email addresses from every serious 
   numismatic reader or researcher you meet, and give them a 
   gift subscription (with their permission, of course).  Just send 
   me their address and I'll add them to the mailing list. 


   In the wake of Ken Bressett's recent Asylum article on the 
   initial printing of "The Fantastic 1804 Dollar" book, a number 
   of folks have asked about taking a survey of owners of these 
   scarce versions.  Peter Gaspar has agreed to act as a 
   clearinghouse for the information.  He writes: "I'll receive and 
   compile the information for a census of  "The Fantastic 1804 
   Dollar" first version.  What I'd like sent to me is: 

         1. Name of owner - to be kept confidential if desired, but 
             needed to make sure that copies aren't counted twice. 
         2. How did the owner come by his/her copy? 
         3. How was that copy identified as being of the first issue - 
             somewhat pedantic, but useful in ensuring that only 
             copies of the first issue are counted. 
         4. Description of any special features of that copy such as 
             authors' inscriptions. 

   If there is a reasonable amount of information forthcoming, I'll 
   summarize the results in a note in both versions of the 'sylum. 
   Identities of owners will not be revealed without permission. 
   Write to me at" 


   "The noted economic historian John J. McCusker has 
   compiled a new edition of his noted vade mecum for use by 
   researchers, teachers, and students in converting prices from 
   any time in the American past as far back as 1665 to their 
   comparable value in today's dollars...  McCusker's work 
   also includes comparable reference tables for Great Britain 
   going back to 1600.."  -from an advertising flyer by Oak 
   Knoll Press of New Castle, DE (see 
   The book is scheduled for late August 2001 availability. 


   Last week Russ Rulau reviewed the upcoming edition of the 
   Brunk book on counterstamped coins.  Rich Hartzog writes: 
   "I am the publisher for the new Brunk book on countermarks. 
   It will be out later this year, probably in two months or so. 
   Interested persons can contact me directly. 

   I also have the new Bryan Money book in stock, Aqua's new 
   Pennsylvania Merchant Tokens, and Manville's "Tokens of the 
   Industrial Revolution - Foreign Silver Coins Counterstamped 
   for use in Great Britain, c.1787-1828'. 

   Please mention the E-Sylum when ordering.  My book page 


   Seen offered for sale on the internet:  "Learn Counterfeiting 
   at Home" by Charlie Makanezebuck.  "This is a DJ only. 
   No book. DJ is nicked and chipped. A joke dust jacket." 


   From the Spink and Son Ltd. email newsletter comes this 
   announcement:  "Following on the success of the newsletters 
   for coins and medals, we are trying now to also offer a monthly 
   newsletter for the BOOK DEPARTMENT. 

   Douglas Saville has put a few thoughts to paper and you can 
   read the inaugural issue of the BOOK NEWSLETTER here:" 


   Dealer Scott Semans has a new web site and on it he offers 
   for sale a number of titles on Asian, African, Ethnographic 
   ("primitive") monies.  Go to and 
   click on "numismatic references". 


   David Lange writes: "This timely story sent a chill down 
   my back, as I contemplate my upcoming move to 
   Sarasota.  The movers are coming at the end of August 
   to take everything down to Florida, including my library 
   and collection of coin albums, boards, etc. I won't be 
   arriving there until the end of December, when NGC 
   moves. Fortunately, we've already purchased a home, 
   so nothing will have to go into the dreaded storage locker. 

   Nevertheless, I've instructed my soon-to-be wife that 
   all books and albums are to be kept within the air 
   conditioned part of the house, no matter how obtrusive 
   they may be. As one can imagine, this has met with a bit of 
   grumbling, as it was her goal to have a very open and 
   uncluttered home. I'll have to be creative in the placement 
   of my books, and it's already evident that the album 
   collection will be confined to my den/office. I've tried 
   convincing her that a few book cases are the perfect 
   complement to a tastefully decorated guest room, but 
   I believe that argument has already been lost." 


   The numismatic bibliography on the NBS web site, 
   edited by Larry Mitchell, has been revised.  See   The updated 
   PAPER MONEY sections are: 

   96. Western Europe (Excepting England, Ireland, 
         Scotland & The British Isles) 
   97. Africa & the Middle East 
   98. The Americas (Excepting USA) 
   99. Military, propaganda, Invasion, Guerrilla & 
         Emergency Currencies 


   Pere Smith writes: "I agree with Dick Johnson and Dave 
   Bowers' comments about the need for a comprehensive 
   index of numismatic periodicals.  Numismatic research 
   would be much easier and more complete with access to 
   such an index. 

   Is there a computer software package that could produce 
   an index?   I frequently use index programs that come with 
   word processing software.  These will create an index for 
   a book from the text.  That is not what is needed here.  I 
   am thinking of a package that would put title / author / 
   topic in a database along with the publication data and 
   then produce the full index from that data. 

   Although Dick Johnson says this index must be done by 
   one person, it would also be possible for several people 
   using the same software to index different periodicals and 
   then merge them into a single database and index. 

   Can any E-Sylum reader recommend software to produce 
   an index? " 

   [Although Smith and Bowers are discussing a necessarily 
   manual process, machine-generated indexing software 
   continues to show incremental improvements.  One 
   new tool for automatically categorizing documents with 
   machine intelligence is offered by a new company called 
   Vivisimo.  The company demonstrates its technology by 
   categorizing results returned by various internet search 
   engines.  To try it, go to: 
   For example, enter "Colonial Currency" in the search 
   box, and the results are categorized into folders labeled 
   Coins, Colonial America, History, Paper Money, United 
   States, Currency Auctions, etc. These categories are 
   not generated by humans, but by computer programs 
   which read and attempt to understand the text.  -Editor] 


   Andy Lustig writes: Has anyone ever heard of a 19th 
   century coin theft from Daniel Updegraff?" 


   Recent Coin World issues have many items of interest: 

   * George Fuld published his list of McKenney-Hall 
      Indian chief portraits wearing peace medals (see The 
      E-Sylum v4#11, March 11, 2001) and a list showing 
      the number of each issued (August 13th issue, p72). 

   * Stuart Segan's latest "Coins Online" column leads off 
      with a nice discussion of our favorite numismatic email 
      list, The E-Sylum. (August 13th issue, p75) 

   * Dick Johnson's opus on numismatic artists is in its 
      final stages.  "A comprehensive numismatic reference 
      chronicling the medallic, token, and coinage craftsmanship 
      from 1652 to date of more than 3,100 American artists, 
      diesinkers, engravers, medalists and sculptors is being 
      researched and compiled by numismatic researcher 
      Dick Johnson, the first editor of Coin World." 
      "..the publication date has been moved back to the spring 
      of 2002 at the earliest to accommodate more research." 
      (August 6th issue, p137) 

    * Dave Bowers' latest, "A California Gold Rush History 
       featuring the treasure from the S.S. Central America" 
       is being offered in extensive two-page ads.  Sponsored 
       by Dwight Manley and his California Gold Marketing 
       Group, the 1000+ page book was "produced at an 
       expense involving over $200,000 in research and 
       preparation."   The ad includes reviews from Ken 
       Bressett, Bob Campbell,  David Hall, Dave Harper, 
       Clifford Mishler, Bill Murray, Eric Newman, Harry 
       Salyards.  (August 6th issue, p52-53) 


   From "The Elongated Collector", a 1965 book by Dottie 
   Dow on the subject of elongated coins:  "This book is 
   dedicated to the few that have many, and the many that 
   have few."  As one of the many collectors who own but 
   a few selected elongated coins, the acknowledgment is 


   Not everything is available on the internet, at least not 
   yet.  A search for online resources of information on 
   the famous "Washroom Warrior" medal of Huey "Kingfish" 
   Long turned up just one reference.   Your editor would 
   appreciate learning if others have more luck finding information. 

   The web site of the Port Washington Public Library 
   in New York has this entry in its collection catalog: 
   "Huey Long in Sands Point, including a transcript of a story 
   told by Daniel Whedon of an incident involving Louisiana 
   Governor Huey Long, who received a black eye in the men's 
   room of the Sands Point Bath Club on August 26, 1933. 
   He apparently received some assistance during the altercation, 
   and rewarded the other man involved with a medallion, 
   inscribed: "By Public Acclaim for a Deed Well done in 
   Private."  With a xerox of the medallion, which was found 
   years later in New Canaan, Connecticut, and xeroxes of the 
   New York Times index, which contain summaries of articles 
   which appeared at the time."   From 

   Not everything you read on the internet is true, either. 
   Apparently the cataloger didn't take the time to read any of 
   the articles.  The medal was actually the result of a suggestion 
   made in jest that a public fund be created to give a medal to 
   "the unknown hero" who punched the much-hated politician. 
   A nice account of the story appeared in one of David 
   Alexander's Research Desk columns in Coin World (I have 
   a copy of the article in my files, but unfortunately it's undated): 

   "What actually happened is not known, but during a New York 
   visit, Long was invited to a charity ball held at Long Island's 
   Sands Point Bath and Country Club... Later in the evening, 
   Long reappeared holding a napkin over his bleeding left eye. 
   ... Huey spun out tales of attack by a single thug ... to assault 
   by two to 10 or more assailants who landed as many as 20 

   "Careful reconstruction of events suggests that the hard- 
   drinking senator sought the men's room during the fateful 
   party.  Unwilling to wait as an earlier occupant monopolized 
   the small facility, Long tried to share it with him.  His 
   somewhat shaky condition resulted in a drenching for the 
   unsuspecting man, who then turned and indignantly clobbered 
   the inebriated Kingfish." 

   "..a newspaper story about the medal brought a flood of 
   contributions, more than enough to pay Medallic Art Co. 
   to prepare the dies."      The anonymous Washroom 
   Warrior never stepped forward to claim his award, and 
   the original gold medal was donated to the American 
   Numismatic Society in New York.  "The company still 
   displayed the original plasticine model nearly 50 years 
   later in a public restroom of its Danbury, Conn, 


   This week's featured web pages relate to gold medals 
   whose recipients did come forward to claim them - 
   Congressional Gold Medals..  The first is a June15, 1999 
   account of the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal 
   to Rosa Parks.  "Parks' refusal to give up her bus seat 
   to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, on 
   December 5, 1955, triggered a black boycott of the city's 
   bus system that lasted more than a year and eventually led 
   to laws that ended legalized segregation." 

   The second page is a government list of recipients of the 
   gold medal, beginning with George Washington in 1776. 
   The page will have to be updated to include the recent 
   award to the WWII Navajo Code Talkers.   The third page 
   is a more up-to-date and much more complete listing from 
   the Dallas Public Library, featuring photos of some of the 

  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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