The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 44, October 28, 2001: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2001, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.   


  We have two new subscribers this week:  Billy Yip of   
  New York, and Lonnie Turner.   Welcome aboard!   
  Our subscriber count is now  424.   


  Dick Johnson writes: "Question:  What American numismatist   
  and author of a standard work on his specialty built a company   
  that created one of the most popular products for Halloween?   
  Answer below.    

  Hint: His name was also that of a religious reformer."   


  Mark Rabinowitz has an interesting article in the November 2001   
  issue of The Numismatist, published by the American Numismatic   
  Association.  "The Remarkable Collections of Emmet and Myers"   
  is the story of five bound volumes residing in the Rare Books   
  Division of the New York Public Library.   The books contain   
  two of the finest collections of U.S. Colonial Currency ever   

  Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet (1828-1919), visited Philadelphia   
  with his family at the age of eight where he first saw the original   
  Declaration of Independence and "discovered a lifelong interest   
  in America's history."   It was on that trip, in the mid 1830's,   
  that he began his collection of colonial money, purchasing a   
  piece of Continental Currency for ten cents.   His currency   
  collection became part of a much larger collection of Americana,   
  containing more than 30,000 drawing, engravings, autographs,   
  and maps.    

  Theodorus Bailey Myers (1821-1887) was a lawyer who   
  built a library of 3,000 volumes related to early American   
  history.  His collection included documents bearing the   
  signatures of every signer of the Declaration of Independence.    

  How the collections came to rest in the New York Public   
  Library is a fascinating story.   


  From an American Numismatic Society press release: "Visit   
  the David Brown Book Company, the distributor of ANS   
  publications, to view our massive book sale!   We are keen   
  to sell off our inventory and save costs on moving the many   
  books to our new downtown location.   Therefore, over 20   
  titles, some of them recent ANS publications, are offered at   
  considerable discounts.   Many of the classic die-studies and   
  Sylloge volumes are part of this sale.    

  We hope that collectors, scholars, and institutions will take   
  this opportunity to augment their holdings. To view all titles   
  and the sale titles, go to:    

  ANS members will receive a discount of 30% on all non-sale   
  items. Please include your ANS membership number with   
  your order. Purchases of sale items are limited to 20 copies   
  per title.   


  Former NBS president Michael Sullivan writes: "In response   
  to the question on dust removal, the best product I have found   
  is called SWIFFER.  It is a cleaning cloth with electrostatic   
  action which does not leave any residue.   I use it on my TV   
  and computer monitor as well.  The cloth is soft and will not   
  harm books at all.  Given dust mitts and dust seem to co-exist,   
  I would dust the books with Swiffer as I do about once a   


  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "While recently in Charlottesville,   
  Virginia, to pick up some postal orders at a stamp show and   
  to see some friends, I found the Heartwood Used & Rare   
  Books store.   I found one booklet about the Tamil people   
  of India to give a friend, and three United States publications   
  with numismatic information in them.    

  The first has the outside title of "Acts passed at the First   
  Session of the Sixth Congress of the United States".  The   
  first page has the Congress in Philadelphia and meeting on   
  December 2, 1799.  John Adams was the president and   
  Thomas Jefferson was the vice president.  It was very exciting   
  for me to find this document!    

  It probably describes a couple of hundred acts.  One is to   
  give the privilege of franking letters and packages to Martha   
  Washington.  Another act was to establish a general stamp   
  office and three acts later is one reflecting the mint.  A later   
  act enables the President to borrow money for the public   
  service, and the last one is supplementary to the act   
  establishing the mint, and regulating the coins of the United   
  States.  It must have been a very exciting time to establish   
  the United States and all of its functions!    

  The document is complete but the paper covers and many   
  of the pages are loose.  Some of the pages appear to have   
  also been chewed into by various insects.  It is a very   
  interesting piece of history.    

  The second is from the House of Representatives (Treasury   
  Department)  Document Number 65 of the 2nd Session of   
  the 24th Congress dated January 4, 1837 and is about   
  "Statements showing the condition of certain State banks,   
  etc., etc., rendered in compliance with a resolution of the   
  House of  Representatives of 10th Jul, 1832.  The title of   
  the contents is  "Statements showing the Capital, Circulation,   
  Discounts, Specie, etc., of the different State Banks and   
  Banking Companies in the United States".  There are 216   
  pages in the document.  It has no cover but the pages and   
  charts are in excellent condition for its age.  None of the   
  pages have been cut for it to open like a book, so it is in   
  as-issued condition.  It starts with Maine and each of its   
  counties and cities, then down the East Coast of the   
  United States and into the Southern States, and up into   
  the Midwest and to Ohio.  The information about each   
  bank is very detailed and includes currency and other   
  financial instruments.    

  The third is again from the House of Representatives and   
  it is Executive Document 68 of the 1st Session of the 31st   
  Congress dated May 16, 1850, and that 10,000 copies   
  were printed on June 14, 1850.  The title is the "Letter   
  from the Secretary of the Treasury relative to The condition   
  of the banks in the United States".  This is very much like   
  the above second document but more states and more   
  details. There are 428 pages in the document.   It has a hard   
  cover but the front cover is loose and the binding is very   
  loose.  The pages are in excellent condition, and except for   
  the edges are generally all white.  Twenty-seven states and   
  the District of Columbia are included and there are many   
  different types of financial instruments described that are   
  associated with each bank.    

  I am sure there are other documents similar to the above   
  still in the Heartwood Used & Rare Books store, but I did   
  not have time to look at every shelf.  I will be back there in   
  a few months and will look again, but if you are interested   
  in documents like the above and near Charlottesville,   
  Virginia, please stop at the store and see what you can find."    

  If you are interested these documents, please contact me   
  at my email address of   


  In response to last week's discussion of original source   
  material, Carl Honore writes: "The problem with researching   
  original material is that not all of us have access to the   
  repositories.  Most of what occurred in early U.S. numismatics   
  happened back in the eastern regions.  I, for example, do not   
  have the wherewithal to go visit the National Archives .   
  Neither do I have the wherewithal to go visit the Library of   
  Congress.  I must rely on the old method of getting at least   
  three sources and comparing them.  that is the best I can do .    

  If anyone can tell me how someone from the Pacific Northwest   
  can go all the way back east on a modest income please let   
  me know."   


  David Sklow sent this note about our print journal: "I just   
  noticed that the mailing address in The Asylum for me as   
  Secretary/Treasurer is incorrect.  It should be P.O. BOX   

  Dave is the one to contact for all NBS membership issues, and   
  as a reminder his contact information (including email address)   
  appears at the end of each E-Sylum issue.  Only paid-up   
  members of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society receive the   
  quarterly print journal, which is a treasure trove of great   
  information and articles about numismatic literature and research.   
  If you're not already a member, please consider joining us!   


  "The American numismatist was M.L. Beistle. His full name   
  was Martin Luther Beistle.  His book, of course, was "The   
  Register of Half Dollar Die Varieties and Sub-Varieties."   
  (Beistle's firm published his book in 1929, based on his   
  own half dollar collection. It was reprinted in 1964.)    

  Early in the 20th century Beistle purchased a paper product   
  company he worked for, whose major product was fake trees.   
  In 1910 he purchased the technology to manufacture a party   
  goods specialty, honeycombed tissue.  The firm prospered in   
  World War I when such party goods could not be imported   
  from Germany.  And over the years the firm manufactured   
  millions of tissue pumpkins and ghosts and goblins and bells   
  and hundreds of other items.    

  Beistle was a native of central Pennsylvania, but the early   
  company was located in Pittsburgh.  After he purchased it   
  he moved his company to Shippensburg in 1907.    

  Born in 1875, Beistle died in 1935. But his company lived on   
  and is still owned by his family.  For his Halloween connection   

  For pictures of Beistle and his story see:    

  But most interestingly, visit his company's home page.  Here   
  you will see a medal the firm had struck for their 100th   
  anniversary in 2000.  In 1950,  for their 50th anniversary,   
  they had Medallic Art Company strike a medal with three   
  portraits.  In addition to Beistle's portrait is that of Henry E.   
  Luhrs (his son-in-law) and Jeremiah S. Omwake (another   
  company founder).  The obverse with three portraits was   
  created by sculptor Jeno Juszko.  The present medal, whose   
  design is based on the earlier one, shows five portraits.   
  The reverse (unfortunately not shown) displays eight company   
  products; it was by Rene P. Chambellan.   

  Happy Halloween!"   


  This week's featured web page is from another library with   
  holdings of numismatic literature: the Carnegie Library of   

  "The areas represented include: Early American copper   
  coinage, colonial coinage, communion tokens and prison   

  Highlights are: Panoramus Antiqua 1695, Rudding's Coinage   
  of Great Britain;  Burns' The Coinage of Scotland; and Clapp's   
  leatherbound personal copy of his own book, The Cents of   
  the Years 1798-1799. Another rarity is a set of The Numismatist,   
  a periodical in continuous publication since 1888."       

  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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