The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 3, January 19, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers is Martin Logies,
  courtesy of W. David Perkins.  Welcome aboard!
  We now have 514 subscribers.


  Charles Davis writes: "My next auction will include duplicates
  from the American Numismatic Society and others. Included
  are plated Chapman Lyman, Beckwith and Cleneay catalogues,
  a 22-plate Elder Lawrence catalogue, plated Mortimer
  Mackenzie sale, numerous volumes of the AJN, early issues
  of The Numismatist, and an early Berlin periodical containing
  perhaps the first published numismatic photograph.  The sale
  will close February 15 and catalogues are now in the mail."


  Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day in the U.S.
  Dr. King was awarded a number of medals, including the
  Spingarn Medal.

  "In 1915 the NAACP initiated the Springarn Medal to be
  awarded annually for outstanding achievement by a black
  American. The first award was won by Dr. Ernest Everett
  Just, a 32-year old marine biologist from Charleston, South
  Carolina. Head of the Howard University Department of
  the Zoology at the time, Dr. Just was the only person to
  graduate magna cum laude from Dartmouth college with a
  degree in zoology, special honors in botany and history,
  and honors in sociology.

  Over the years the Springarn Medal has come to signify
  the highest honor available from the NAACP. Although
  the significance of the organization declined with the
  culmination of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, the
  Springarn Medal remains a coveted award.  Past winners
  include statesmen (Ralph Bunche, Martin Luther King),
  musicians (Marian Anderson, Duke Ellington), authors
  (Maya Angelou, Alex Haley), politicians (Barbara Jordan,
  Andrew Young), civil rights leaders (Medger Evans, Rosa
  Parks), athletes (Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron), and
  entertainers (Paul Robeson, Bill Cosby)."

  [Excerpted from "The History of the Springarn Medal"
  Other web references include:

  In my searches of the web I've been unable to find an
  image of this medal.   Has anyone ever seen one?  Or
  know anything about the design and designer?  -Editor]


  Terry Trantow writes:  "I am always amazed at the range of
  news and comments, search requests and informational items
  the E-Sylum provides.  I read more than I can offer, but came
  across this site regarding the medals of honor and valor given
  by the State of Washington each year, which is currently open
  for nominations. A picture of the obverse[s] of the medal[s] is
  provided, which depicts a somewhat unattractive-looking piece.
  The site is


  Dick Johnson reports: "The Supreme Count upheld, on
  Wednesday, January 15th, the extension of United States
  Copyrights by 20 years. Authors' heirs can now collect
  royalties for 70 years from the date of death of the author.
  For numismatic authors this could gain some royalty money
  for their estates.  For numismatic publishers, you will have
  to wait a while to reprint that numismatic classic for free.

  Previously the length of an American copyright was life
  of the artist plus 50 years. The new legislation (upheld by
  the Supreme Court) introduced in 1998 and known as the
  Sony Bono law, changed the law to be life of the artist plus
  70 years. This brings our copyright law more in line with
  that in Europe.

  For works copyrighted by corporations, it dates from year
  first published. Formerly it was 75 years. Now it is 95 years.
  Those in favor of the changing the law were concentrated in
  Hollywood, as early movies were approaching the deadline
  for this copyright protected work to pass into public domain.
  Had this not been approved by the Supreme Count, we
  could have had "Steamboat Willie" Mickey Mouse all over
  the internet."


  The January 9, 2003 issue of the Christian Science Monitor
  published a review of a new book, "Greenback: The Almighty
  Dollar and the Invention of America" by Jason Goodwin,
  published Henry Holt, 321 pp., $26.

  "The billions of electronic dollars zipping from computer to
  computer each day provoke an interesting question: What
  really is an American dollar? British author and journalist
  Jason Goodwin takes a crack at the answer with "Greenback,"
  a biography of the buck that traces it from native American
  wampum to today's almighty bill.

  It is a riveting story with a quirky cast of early American
  characters that includes a few of the Founding Fathers,
  inventors, counterfeiters, secret agents, bankers, and
  swindlers, each placing their thumbprint on the young
  country's currency and monetary system, whether they
  knew it or not."

  For the full review, see:

  From Publishers Weekly (published on, where
  the book is offered for $18.20):

  "After a strong start, this history of American money loses
  its thread and ends up as an entertaining collection of trivia,
  personality profiles and vignettes rather than the compelling
  narrative promised in its opening. Still, Goodwin's flair for a
  colorful tale makes for rich reading,  covering such odds and
  ends as a brothel in the Treasury Department, a prayer vigil
  over banking deposits, exploding printing presses and even
  a counterfeit scheme run from behind prison bars. Goodwin
  (Lords of the Horizons) makes some excellent points about
  the role of paper money in early U.S. history-it was the
  earliest symbol of the new country; it helped push colonists
  West; it even helped familiarize Americans with their native
  artists-but the significance of the stories he's chosen to include
  isn't always clear. After presenting a single national currency
  as one of the holy grails of early American banking, for
  instance, he glosses over the moment it finally arrives, a true
  turning point in American financial history. Goodwin's position
  as a foreign observer (he is an English journalist) occasionally
  trips him up: no one in America, for example, says "that will
  be four dollars thirty six."

  The more I learn about numismatic history, the less surprised
  I am to read about various scandals.  Somehow, I think I
  would have remembered reading about a brothel in the
  Treasury Department.  Unless it's something new, perhaps
  staffed by holdover interns from the Clinton Administration...
  Alas, according to another Amazon reviewer, the book has
  no footnotes or endnotes.  Does anyone know of a source
  for the Treasury brothel story?  Perhaps he's referring to the
  Spencer Clark scandals.   From an earlier review of
  the book in The New York Times, December 29, 2002:

  "But once in motion, the dollar rewarded fellow raconteurs
  like Spencer Morton Clark, who ran the currency bureau
  during the Civil War era like a personal harem, and tried to
  slip his own face onto a five-cent bill.  Goodwin observes,
  with typical wry amusement, ''Queer things had turned up
  on dollar bills in the past, from Santa Claus to the Delaware
  rat, but nothing to match the appearance, on a U.S. note, of
  a bankrupt sex pest under investigation for embezzlement
  and fraud.''

  Benny Bolin wrote a good article on Clark, originally
  published in Paper Money, the journal of the Society of
  Paper Money Collectors.  It has since been posted to the

  "Due to the war and the subsequent shortage of available male
  workers, it became a necessity for a large number of women
  to be hired to work in the printing department. This was a new
  and radical idea in the workplace. The private bank note
  companies used this new idea, especially the fact that a large
  number of women were employed at night, to raise charges
  against the bureau.  Charges of fraud and promiscuity rocked
  the Treasury Department. Reports of drinking, orgies and
  required sexual favors to keep jobs were numerous. It was
  widely reported that the printing bureau had been converted
  into a place for debauchery and drinking, the very recital
  of which is impossible without violating decency."


  Also online is the October 1893 "Special List No. 8"
  of Clark's "Unique Collection of Essays & Proofs of
  United States Fractional Currency"


  Ron Haller-Williams writes: "I want to verify a reference I
  found.  According to J A Golsalves de Mello (Rev.IAHGP
  vol.48, 1976), the 3rd edition of Santos Leitão's "Catálogo
  de Moedas Brasileiras" was published in 1941 (not 1940
  as indicated in the list of earlier editions to be found at the
  front of the 8th edition and onwards).  Can anybody confirm
  this? (from sight of the 3rd edition itself!)

  Apparently, among the "moedas obsidionais" (siege-pieces),
  it mentions one dated 1647, as well as the three values of
  1645 & 1646.  Can anybody confirm this?  What does the
  2nd edition (1933) say? Thanks very much.  Replies direct
  to or, of course, via The


  Terry Trantow writes "I joined the ANA as a junior in 1961
  because I had been 'into' coin collecting with my Dad, with
  a short gap, since 1953.  Dad had a small container of Lincoln
  cents from which we both built our penny collections in 1957,
  missing only the 1909-S VDB and1914-D cents plus some
  minor dates.   I 'borrowed' out of that container as a kid on
  a few occasions to buy a nickel candy bar, and he may have
  been correct in 'suggesting' I spent some of those missing dates.

  Due to my interest in history and being a consummate collector,
  I discovered the field of medals, then tokens, and will always be
  grateful to Charlie Kappen for his collaboration in producing the
  work on So-Called Dollars in 1962, which set my direction into
  token/medal collecting and for which I will always be in debt to
  him. It would not surprise me to see continued works on tokens/
  medals and its fraternity overshadow that of coin collecting."


  J. Moens of Belgium writes: " The following addresses might
  interest Mr. Knepper for his trip to Europe :

  - the "Cabinet des Médailles" of the Royal Library in Brussels
  holds one of the finest collections of numismatic books in the
  world.  The collection can be consulted on-line at the following
  site :;  go to "Catalogues connectés";
  information about opening hours can be found under
  "Départements et collections" and then under "Cabinet des

  - the National Bank of Belgium has a good museum on the
  history of money.  Information can be found at, then "Museum"

  Both institutions are situated in Brussels, at walking distance
  (5 min.) from the Central Station."


  In response to last week's question about the origin of
  "Coin A Phrase",  David Klinger and Jess Gaylor both
  offered this history of the phrase from

  "Sometimes interesting words a phrases are right under
  our noses. After using it countless times on this site, a
  reader asked me where the term to coin a phrase came from?

  The verb to coin originally meant to literally mint a coin. It
  dates to the 14th century. In the late-16th century, the sense
  generalized to become to create or invent something. In
   1940 the specific usage of coin a phrase came into use."


  Dick Johnson writes: "The commonest transportation token
  for collectors have almost always been from New York City.
  For token manufacturers NYC, their biggest customer,
  won't be buying any more of the brass discs with the familiar
  grill border with the pierced centers.

  New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority said
  Monday, January 13th, this is the end of the line for their
  subway token (which also was used for surface buses and
  Staten Island Railway fares). It took the first step to phase
  out tokens and many of the booths at subway entrances
  that dispense tokens: so long to the curt "How many?"

  Also involved is the projected increase in price. Would you
  believe they are floating a $2 per ride price?  And how many
 of us remember the ten-cent fare?

  The token changed over the years. As prices increased
  intermittently since 1953 so did the token varieties. Early
  tokens of that period had the Y of NYC pierced out. When
  the fare changed in 1970 the MTA kept the same design
  -- and the same Y-shaped hole -- but increased the size. In
  1979 they introduced a solid token (with a commemorative
  design, really!) for a 75th anniversary.

  Following 1980 and a new fare increase they kept a solid
  token with no piercing.  In 1986 incuse grill work with
  round center hole and finally, in 1995 raised grill with
  pentagon aperture.

  What's coming are more Metro-Cards to be swiped at the
  turnstiles.  And $120 will give you unlimited rides for an
  entire month.  For their centennial next year, in 2004, will
  the MTA issue a commemorative swipe card?  No?  How
  about a Century of Straphanger Abuse Medal then?"


  While looking for other things on the web I came across
  a reference to St. Nicholas delivering "bags of coins".  Since
  we just discussed St. Nick on paper money a few issues ago,
  I thought I'd write it up.  Is anyone familiar enough with the
  origins of the figure to confirm that he delivered coins before
  morphing into the modern concept of Santa Claus?

  The article by Richard O'Mara was published January 5,
  2003 in The Baltimore Sun.  Titled "An American in Turkey"
  it's a travelogue of a recent trip there.

  "At Antalya, on the Turkish Riviera, we rested by the sea.
  A museum there holds a relic, a bone from the jaw of a 4th-
  century bishop thought to be the St. Nicholas who gave rise
  to the legend of Santa Claus. He was known for providing
  dowries to impoverished young girls, dropping bags of coins
  down their chimneys.",0,774925.story?coll=bal-artslife-travel


  Paul Withers writes: "Those who had not heard of the term
  'paranumismatica' may like to read the following, taken from
  "Alphabetical Classification f World Paranumismatica" by
  Brian Edge which was written in 1977 and published by the
  Token Corresponding Society - but read on and you will
  discover more - even who 'coined the phrase' !

  The very first problem encountered at the beginning of this
  study was to find a blanket term, which could be adopted to
  cover the many coin like objects, which for many years have
  been loosely known as tokens.  Numismatic Miscellanea,
  and Numismatic Oddments were terms in fairly frequent use
  and other collectors referred to these objects as Peripheral
  Numismatics, Manablins, or just plain '0 & S" (Odds and
  Sundries). In the United States many such items are known
  as Exonumia. In view of all this, it was clear that it would be
  necessary to coin a new word to describe this subsection of
  numismatics and when, after considerable thought had been
  given to the matter, TCS activist David Sealy mentioned a
  word that he had invented there was little point in searching
  further. The word was PARANUMISMATICA.

  The ultimate object of this work is to produce a classification,
  wherever possible under generic headings, of all items which
  come within the bounds of world PARANUMISMATICA.
  The term PARANUMISMATICA is to be interpreted as
  any coin-like object, which is not in fact a coin.  It may be
  produced in metal, plastic, wood, etc , normally unofficial,
  bearing an inscription, either with, or without a value. It is
  acknowledged that many paper tokens exist, but, as they
  are not coin-like objects, they have been disregarded.

  It soon became apparent that different collectors used a
  variety of terms to describe precisely the same thing. In
  general, most of the terms were applied loosely, and
  without any reasoning. The result of the practice was
  considerable confusion and some items emerged with as
  many as four different terms.  For example the "To Hanover
  Counters" were also known as "To Hanover Medalets",
  "To Hanover Tokens" and "Cumberland Jacks"!  This
  problem occurred in so many cases that it became
  abundantly clear that some form of standardisation was
  necessary.  In order to achieve this, all members of the
  for their ideas in an effort to attain some form of agreement
  about the application of the various terms.

  From the resultant correspondence it was clear that there
  would always be a few pieces which would never conform
  to complete standardisation. A good example of this is the
  Italian Telephone Token which bears the inscription "Gettone"
  but which is not, in any way, a Jeton in the accepted sense
  of the word.  Allowing for such examples, the following list
  of paranumismatic terms, which were generally accepted,
  how proved to be applicable to virtually all PARANUMISMATICA.

  Previous efforts to produce such a work as this by others
  to have been tackled without the necessary enthusiasm
  required for the task, and the results haw been a hotchpotch
  of listings. One of the main weaknesses has been hosts of
  entries such as "Australian tokens", "Canadian tokens",
  "Foreign tokens" and so on. These are, as I am sure you will
  agree, very wide issues. Certainly, many of the entries in this
  classification will have their origins in many different parts of
  the world. If one takes the entry "Merchants and Store
  Trading and Discount tokens" under SHOPS AND STORES
  it will be realised that items will still come under this category,
  whether they emanate from Australia, the U.S.A. or from
  long suffering Ramsbottom! It is not necessary particularly
  to distinguish one from the other as a separate entry in the
  classification.  The collector may decide to sort his tokens
  from this particular category into, say, alphabetical order of
  country of issue, then subdivide these into counties, towns or
  cities within that country and then into particular trades or
  businesses completely ad libatum. You will see, therefore,
  that only one entry is actually required in the classification to
  cover the lot.

  We have certainly gone far since the first humble list appeared
  in T.C.S Bulletin Volume 2 No. 1 in November 1973, which
  was soon followed by No. 4 of that same Volume, in MAY/
  JUNE 1974, with a piece entitled PARANUMISMATIC
  REFERENCES.  However, in spite of the obvious progress
  that we have made, the listings are far from complete. There
  must still be hundreds of missing entries and doubtless some
  of these that are entered already are incorrectly positioned.
  However, the exercise is falling into a general pattern, which
  has for its skeleton about 42 generic headings so far. The
  very fact that the author has been puzzling, sorting and
  resorting for almost four years, has lead him to the conclusion
  that it may well be a case now of not being able to see the
  wood for trees! He, therefore, earnestly solicits from members
  their constructive criticism of the work so far together with
  additional entries with a view to the classification eventually
  becoming the most detailed in existence."

  Brian, as some token-interested readers may know, went on
  to write "The First Dictionary of Paranumismatica.  All about
  Tokens, Checks, Medalets Counters, Tallies and Weights."


  In response to the query regarding possible NBS speakers
  in Baltimore this summer, Nick Graver writes: "One fantastic
  resource in Baltimore was the John Work Garrett Collection
  at Johns Hopkins University.  It was at Evergreen House (the
  mansion), and was under the care of Sarah Elizabeth Freeman.

  I attended a great meeting there in 1960 or 1961, shortly after
  we moved there. (Certainly before we left in Spring 1963.)
  There was a very distinguished scholar speaking, and the
  exhibit of ancient gold was super.  The collection was later
  auctioned by Dave Bowers, and the staff must have been put
  out to pasture.  Who knows if any of the staff are there in
  retirement, and if any of the numismatic library remains at


  In response to the question about the Hellenic Numismatic
  Society, Kerry K. Wetterstrom Editor/Publisher of The
  Celator reports: "The Hellenic Numismatic Society is still
  very active and I just recently received their latest journal.
  It is an excellent organization, especially important to the
  collector of ancient Greek coinage."

  Bill Daehn adds: "The Hellenic Numismatic Society is
  indeed still active. I am a member. HNS continues to
  publish an excellent annual journal, Nomismatika Kronika,
  devoted to all aspects of Greek numismatics, but especially
  strong in ancient Greek coinage.  They also continue to
  publish monographs on Greek numismatic topics. The
  society has about 400 members around the world."


  Relating to our earlier discussions of the slight name change
  for the American Numismatic Association's monthly journal,
  Kerry adds: "By the way, in the spirit of making the ANA
  more mainstream, it has now been suggested that they drop
  the word "American" from the official organizational name.
  "Numismatic Association" does have a nice ring to it!"


  According to a January 3, 2003 Associated Press article,
  one man says Elvis alive and collecting old coins. Here are
  some excerpts - follow the link for the full article.

  "Bill Beeny's roadside ''Elvis Is Alive'' museum serves up
  plenty for folks with suspicious minds over whether Elvis
  really ever left the building.

  Barely bigger than a living room, the place about 40 miles
  west of St. Louis is a conspiracy theorist's dream, from its
  government documents to the pathology reports, DNA testing
  results and photos, including one that purports to show Elvis
  shadowing Muhammad Ali in 1984."

  Beeny insists Elvis has surfaced in recent years--not at a
  Kalamazoo, Mich., Burger King or as a Miami undercover
  cop, as legend would have it, but as an arthritis sufferer who
  in 1997 sought treatment from Dr. Donald W. Hinton, a
  Kansas City, Mo., psychiatrist.

  Supposedly with Elvis' help, Hinton co-wrote "The Truth
  About Elvis Aron Presley, In His Own Words." Published
  last year, the book chronicles the years since the King's
  ''death,'' saying it took Elvis three years to get clean and

  Hinton says the King--now his pal--collects old coins and
  American Indian artifacts, and isn't too shabby with fishing


  This week's featured web site is recommended by W. David
  Perkins of Mequon, Wisconsin.  He writes: "I learned of a
  new website this week that E-Sylum readers may want to
  check out.  I especially enjoyed exploring this site as it is
  dedicated to one of my specialties,  the study and collecting
  of the early United States silver dollars 1794-1803.

  Included in the site is an overview on the early dollars, with
  high quality descriptions and illustrations all of the major types
  and (Red Book) varieties of dollars.  There are also "micro
  photographs" of key features and differences in the varieties.

  Also of interest to Bibliophiles are three publications, two
  that appear to be available now and one in the works to be
  published later in 2003.   The two books available now are
  Early Dollars: A Pocket Guide to Major Varieties and An
  Introduction to Early Dollars, both published by the
  Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation."

  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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