The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 50, December 9, 2001:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2001, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have two new subscribers this week: George Fitzgerald,
  and Steven Payne of Mt. Morris, MI, a collector of Military
  Payment Certificates.   Welcome aboard!

  After removing several subscribers whose email has been
  bouncing, as well as several @Home subscribers who haven't
  reported new addresses, our subscriber count is now  413.


  Your editor is back online, thanks to fast work by the folks
  at AT&T Broadband.   The email address remains   Many thanks to NBS board
  members Bob Meztger and John Kraljevich for their assistance
  in keeping the E-Sylum afloat this past week.


  Fred Lake writes: "This is a reminder that Lake Books' sale
  #61 closes on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 at 5:00 PM
  (EST). You can check out the 670 lots by clicking on the
  following link:

  I hope you find some items of interest.  Remember, email
  bidding is fine with us. Also, phone calls are welcome until
  the closing time.   Have a Happy Holiday Season!"


  NBS board member John Kraljevich writes: "In perusing
  S.H. Chapman's 1907 Wilson sale lately, I noticed that the
  introduction mentioned that Wilson focused on the regular
  issue series of the U.S. Mint (unlike many sales to that date
  which included plenty of U.S. colonials, exonumia, and
  foreign issues I presume). Inside, the two commemoratives
  of the Columbian Expo and the Lafayette dollar were
  included among the "regular issue" pieces of their denominations.

  It got me thinking (with no particular impulse to discover
  the answer): when were "Commemoratives" first offered
  separately from their particular denominations in an auction
  catalogue?  It was also instructive (and perhaps closer to the
  truth) that the 1792 half disme was offered as a regular issue
  half dime."


  NBS Historian and Board member Joel Orosz reports: "I
  was fortunate to acquire a copy of J. L. Riddell's 1845
  "A Monograph of the Dollar, Good and Bad", in original
  half-morocco, and inscribed by the author to one J.F.
  Gerault.  Alas, the boards are waterstained  and seven
  of the illustrations have been damaged, but it is still a very
  desirable copy, particularly in its original binding with the
  author's autograph."


  Friday was the sixtieth anniversary of the Japanese attack
  on U.S. naval forces stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

  "The surprise was complete. The attacking planes came in
  two waves; the first hit its target at 7:53 AM, the second at
  8:55.   By 9:55 it was all over. By 1:00 PM the carriers that
  launched the planes from 274 miles off the coast of Oahu were
  heading back to Japan.

  Behind them they left chaos, 2,403 dead, 188 destroyed
  planes and a crippled Pacific Fleet that included 8 damaged
  or destroyed battleships.  In one stroke the Japanese action
  silenced the debate that had divided Americans ever since the
  German defeat of France left England alone in the fight against
  the Nazi terror.

  Word of the attack reached President Roosevelt as he
  lunched in his oval study on Sunday afternoon.  Later, Winston
  Churchill called to tell him that the Japanese had also attacked
  British colonies in southeast Asia and that Britain would declare
  war the next day. Roosevelt responded that he would go before
  Congress the following day to ask for a declaration of war
  against Japan.

  Churchill wrote: "To have the United States at our side was to
  me the greatest joy. Now at this very moment I knew the United
  States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death.  So we
  had won after all!...Hitler's fate was sealed. Mussolini's fate was
  sealed. As for the Japanese, they  would be ground to powder."

  On Monday, FDR signed the declaration of war granted by

  The war had numerous effects on American numismatics,
  including the "Hawaii" overprints on Federal Reserve Notes
  circulating in the state.   From Ron's Currency web site

  "Q: Why does my note have HAWAII printed on it?

   A: During the early part of WWII, the US had fears that
      Japan would overrun Hawaii. If this occurred, large sums
      of currency could be captured and used to fund their war
      effort. So, the US decided to issue the same $1 Silver
      Certificates, $5, $10 and $20 Federal Reserve Notes as
      used on the mainland, but with a brown seal and serial
      numbers and overprinted with the word "HAWAII" twice
      on the front and in large block letters on the back.
      Because these notes were distinctive, it would make it easy
      for the US to demonitize the notes if large amounts fell to
      the enemy.  Later in the war, these notes were used in the
      US held Pacific Islands for the same reasons."

  Below are links to pages at the Federal Reserve Bank of
  San Francisco with illustrations of the four denominations
  of Hawaii notes:


  Regarding the item on African-Americans on U.S. money,
  reprinted last week from the Bureau of Engraving and
  Printing web site, Tom DeLorey writes: "It is strange that
  their information is so out of date. The Jackie Robinson
  coins have not been available for years, and the Black
  Patriots commemorative has come and gone since the
  item was written. They also have the dates of the
  Carver/Washington coins wrong."


  Concerning coin allergies, Dave Bowers writes: "Over the
  years quite a few people have been allergic to NICKEL
  in particular,  copper less so.  I have never come across
  any accounts of allergy to gold!"


  From a December 6th article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
  "Preservation Technologies plans to add staff as it takes on its
  largest contract to date, a five-year agreement with the Library
  of Congress.   The Cranberry-based company late last month
  received a $17 million contract to chemically treat 1 million
  books for the library and as many as 7 million loose documents
  to prevent deterioration of the paper on which they're printed.

  That contract, a planned expansion in Europe and pursuit of
  business with other major research libraries will spur some
  hiring, said James Burd, Preservation Technologies' president
  and chief operating officer.   The Library of Congress contract
  alone, which begins with treatment of 150,000 books in the first
  year and ramps up to 350,000 volumes in the fifth year, will
  probably result in about 25 additions to the company's
  41-member staff."

  "It launched its first retail product two years ago, a spray can
  for individuals interested in preserving documents and making
  scrapbooks.  That product, soon to appear in the Martha
  Stewart retail catalog, is mainly sold through crafts stores,
  such as Michael's Arts & Crafts, and catalogs, such as

  A second retail product, which prevents discoloration of
  newsprint and other papers, will be launched next year, Burd


  Dave Bowers writes: "If any dealer members have catalogues
  of out-of-print catalogues, books, etc., for distribution, and
  if they will send me their names, description of their catalogues,
  and how they can be ordered by regular mail (plus e-mail or
  fax), the cost, etc., I may include this information in a future
  issue of one of our publications. Bowers and Merena Galleries
  would not want any compensation of any kind, but would simply
  use the information to let our clients build their libraries.


  While looking up other things I came across an article in
  the Sunday, July 6, 1997 issue of The New York Times
  that should ring true with some of our readers:

  "It says something about the nesting habits of certain
  bookish New Yorkers that when a shopper took a wrong
  turn out of the Strand one day, he wandered into Hank
  O'Neal's apartment and mistook it for an annex of the

  He was looking for the rare book room, but he took the
  wrong door, which led to the wrong elevator, which
  opened directly onto Mr. O'Neal's front hall.  There the
  man was, methodically making his way along a hallway
  bookshelf sagging under the complete works of Djuna
  Barnes when Mr. O'Neal's wife, Shelley Shier, looked up.

  ''Excuse me, can I help you?'' she called.
  ''Oh, no,'' the man answered cheerily. ''Just browsing.''

  New York City is full of people like Mr. O'Neal -- lifelong
  bibliophiles with a proclivity for accumulation, holed up in
  compact spaces in the intimate company of thousands upon
  thousands upon thousands of books."

  "There is an airline claims manager with 4,500 cookbooks
  in her Murray Hill apartment, an architect with 10,000
  architecture books, an obstetrician-gynecologist whose
  Brooklyn apartment is overrun with books about Napoleon.

  There is Edward Robb Ellis, an 87-year-old writer, who
  shares his four-room apartment in Chelsea with what he
  estimates to be 10,000 books, including, he reveals proudly,
  five sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  Ron Kolm, a writer
  and bookstore night manager, lost his bedroom in Long Island
  City, Queens, to his archive of downtown writing. For years,
  he and his wife have slept in the living room on a fold-out bed."

  "I've been in places where there were books in the bathtub,''
  said Henry Holman, who rummages through apartments as the
  buyer for Gryphon Bookshop on the Upper West Side. ''I've
  been in apartments where there were books in the bed. I've
  been in apartments where you were hard put to imagine exactly
  where they did sleep.''

  "Some people keep their books sprawled in heaps. Others
  pack their books meticulously in built-in shelves -- horizontal,
  vertical, and in double rows in what one called a three-
  dimensional jigsaw puzzle.  Books are insulation -- psychic,
  emotional, physical."

  "The congenital collectors are also awash in other things. Dr.
  Alvin H. Weiner, who collects books on Napoleon, also collects
  Napoleonic coins, Napoleonic death masks, Napoleonic
  autographs, Napoleon ceramics, and toy soldiers in his three-
  bedroom apartment in Brooklyn."

  "The unwritten rule is this:  There is always room for one more.
  And if one, then why not five?  Eventually, books overflow even
  the most expansive  shelves. Then the book-besotted learns to
  rationalize: That pile is not in the way; I can still reach the


  This week's featured web site is recommended by Steve
  Pellegrini: "Here's a fascinating website where I washed up
  while surfing.  It's the on-line version of the JAIC (Journal of
  the American Institute for Conservation.  Just a few of the
  articles archived and available to read or print are:

  * A Byzantine Scholar's Letter on the Preparation of
    Manuscript Vellum, or, A Note on Identifying Bloom
    on Leather

  * Technical Examination of Renaissance Medals ..
     X-ray Diffraction to Identify Electroformed Reproductions

  The Index lists over 400 articles and reviews related to the
  professional conservation of artifacts."

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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