The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 10, March 9, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Gary Trudgen, Editor of The Colonial Newsletter, writes:
  "The April 2003 issue of The Colonial Newsletter (CNL)
  has been published.  The entire issue is dedicated to an
  important study on the enigmatic and rare 1694 Carolina
  Elephant Token.  One of the goals of the author, Neil Fulghum,
  "keeper" of the North Carolina Collection Gallery at the
  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was to place the
  token into its proper historical context.  In this effort, Neil
  has investigated the agents who represented the lords
  proprietors' interests and who personally promoted the
  Carolina colony in London.  From this study, he has
  suggested who might have been responsible for the tokens'
  production and distribution.  Plus, Neil has studied the
  potential connection of the token to the Carolina Coffee-House
  along with its possible ties to like establishments in Cornhill and
  to the Merchants' Walks inside the Royal Exchange.

  For the collectors of Elephant tokens, Neil has identified the
  earliest published American references.  He has provided an
  overview of Elephant Token reproductions and called
  attention to a high-quality electrotype that is often mistaken
  as genuine.  His paper also initiates a project to compile a
  full census of Carolina Elephant tokens.

  CNL is published three times a year by The American
  Numismatic Society, Broadway at 155th Street, New York,
  NY 10032.  For inquires concerning CNL, please contact
  Juliette Pelletier at the preceding postal address or e-mail or telephone (212) 234-3130
  ext. 243."


  Dave Bowers forwarded the following message from
  newspaper dealer Jim Lyons, who suffered a robbery.
  Bibliophiles are encouraged to keep a look out for
  offerings of the listed missing material.

  "This is to inform you that I was subject to a newspaper
  robbery sometime between May and September, 2002.
  I didn't notice it until some time later and still haven't been
  able to determine the extent of the robbery.  But here's a
  list of what I have found so far:

  Bound Volumes:

  Daily Evening Bulletin, San Francisco:
  Oct 8 (vol. 1 #1) to ca. Apr 7, 1856, may be marked withdrawn from
  the California Historical Society, early 1970s.
  A second volume, from Stanford Library.
  Apr 8, 1856 probably to Oct 7, 1856.
  Jan to June 1857.
  Jan to June, 1858.
  Jan to June, 1860.
  Apr 9 to Oct 6, 1860.
  Oct 8, 1860 to Apr 9, 1861.
  Apr 10 to Oct 7, 1861.
  Oct 8, 1861 to Apr 7, 1862.
  Apr 8 to Oct 7, 1862.
  July to Dec 1862.
  1863 complete
  1864 complete
  1865 complete (lacks Apr 15)
  Many of the above will be stamped Stanford Library.

  Daily California Chronicle, San Francisco:
  July to Dec 1854.
  July to Dec 1855.
  Jan to June 1856.

  Daily Alta California, San Francisco:
  July to Dec 1851, in nice white cloth binding stamped
     Stanford Library.
  July to Dec 1853.
  Jan to June 1857 in pretty red leather binding stamped
    Stanford Library.
  July to Dec 1859 in great near-new black cloth binding.
    Probably stamped Stanford Library.

  Sacramento Daily Union:
  March 19 to Sept 17, 1858.
  March 19 to Sept 18, 1860.
  June to Nov 1860.
  1861 complete (two sets).
  July to Nov 1863.
  July to Dec 1865.
  Jan to June 8, 1866.
  Jan to June 1867.

  Other Civil War volumes of uncertain date.  May be stamped
  Stanford Library.

  Loose Issues:
  Pacific News, San Francisco, 1850 to May 1851, estimated
  25 or 30 issues.  Most or all in very clean white near new
  condition.   California of Civil War date, estimated 75 to 150

  Tombstone Epitaph, 1880 to 1882, estimated 75 issues, all
  in custom cut polyester folders with my notice of deacidification
  at the bottom  right corner.  In typical brittle and chipping
  condition of the run I  got about 1984.  Some may have tiny
  Bancroft Library rubber stamp on dateline.  Of course the
  notice may have been cut off or the whole polyester folder may
  be gone.

  About 50 to 100 single sports pages, all in custom cut polyester
  folders.  Dates between 1907 and early 1950s; titles may
  Chicago Record or Record-Herald, S. F. Bulletin, N. Y.
  American, Stockton (Cal.) Record, San Diego Tribune, New
  York Daily  News, S. F. Daily News, N. Y. World, N. Y.
  Sun, N. Y. Herald Tribune, Boston American, and the Boston

  As I said, this is all I've found missing so far.  Whoever took
  the papers had a key to the office and found my storage
  locker keys in the office desk.  Whoever took the papers had
  a good knowledge of what I had.

  I ask you to please keep your eyes open for any of this
  material and to contact me (phone (650) 949-1525, mailing
  address: P. O. Box 580, Los Altos, CA  94023) if anybody
  offers you any of it, if you hear about it, if you see it on a list
  somewhere, or if it should appear on eBay.   Thank you.

  Jim Lyons


  My question about Scott's "Coins of the Bible" brought this
  response from Bob Leonard: "My copy was purchased from
  Marlcourt Books of Canada (now out of business) about
  five years ago, but lacks the facsimiles of coins.   It is an
  attractive little book, based (as the anonymous author says)
  on Coins of the Jews by Madden, Recherches sur la
  Numismatique Judaique by de Saulcy, and has "many extracts
  from Rev. Geo. D. Mathew's papers on Jewish Coins in the
  Coin Collector's Journal."

  The introduction explains that the silver coin facsimiles were
  struck, not cast, in "fine white metal," and the mite in copper."


  Regarding last week's excerpt from Mark Twain's story,
  "The Million Pound Note," George Kolbe writes: "C'mon
  Wayne, don't tease.  What happened to the honest intelligent
  electee? And "gorgeous flunkey"? (sounds like a Mickey
  Spillane novel)"

  [Well, to be honest, I haven't read the whole story yet
  myself.  But it's all available at the listed web reference.
  Read on to learn about the Hollywood versions of the tale.

  Bob Lyall writes: "00,000 note!  I believe I was told
  many years ago that there were several million pound notes
  produced for banks to use them for inter-bank settlements -
  they were not for use by the public.  But someone may know
  better of course.  Oh, and there was a classic British film made
  of the same (similar) story, cleverly entitled "The Million Pound
  Note" or something similar.  I seem to recall Alec Guiness was
  in it, but again someone may know better."

  David Klinger writes: "There are may fantasy versions of the
  Million Pound Note, and some highly collectable stage money.
  This is a from a description of a Million Pound Bank Note
  currently offered on eBay:

  "In 1893, Mark Twain published the story. In 1954, J.Arthur
  Rank Film Studios made this delightful story into a movie "The
  Million Pound Bank-Note" with Gregory Peck and a large cast
  of British character actors.  A single banknote in the amount of
  one million pounds was created to "star" in this movie. (The note
  is dated 1903).

  In 1989, this note was sold at auction by Sotheby's for nearly
  2,000 pounds (then about $3,500 US). From that original, a
  Limited Edition of only 1,000 of these unique banknotes have
  been re-issued.

  Another adaptation of the "Million Pound Bank Note" was
  released in 1994, and was titled "A Million to Juan", produced
  by Trimark Pictures and directed by Paul Rodriguez who also
  stars in the title role. I do not known if there was a Bank Note
  produced for that movie."

  Peter Gaspar (Esylum subscriber #1) writes:
  "1.  The Twain story may be found, along with more than
  a hundred other stories and books in the 1997 annotated
  bibliography "Numismatics in Fiction" published by Chris
  Carlisle and me in the print version Asylum.

   2.  Genuine "giant notes" including million pound denominations
   are described in Byatt's (sp?) beautifully illustrated history of
   the Bank of England note "Promises to Pay" published in 1994
   as part of the Old Lady's tercentenary celebration.  I believe
   that I reviewed the book for the Spink Circular.  The
   photographs of notes from the Bank archives are really
   spectacular, including several of the "giant notes."  A canceled
   one was sold at auction in 1997 and I have a photograph with
   permission from Sotheby's to publish it.  It arrived just too late
   for the 1997 Gaspar, Carlisle Asylum publication, but we will
   use it in a forthcoming addendum.  I hope that friends will
   continue to send me suggestions of additional items of
   "Numismatics in Fiction."  We have about 40 items not
   included in 1997, but there must be hundreds more.
  Thanks much!"

  Len Augsburger writes: "I don't know anything about a million
  pound bank note, but there was once a "trillion dollar bill" on
  an episode of The Simpsons, which, by some contrived path,
  ended up in the hands of Fidel Castro.  Perhaps E-Sylum
  readers could cite other numismatic allusions from this most
  perspicacious font of modern American culture."

  Ron Haller-Williams of the U.K. writes:  "First, I think a quick
  trip to "across the pond" is required, to the USA.

  Apparently, the highest denomination ever produced by the
  U.S. Federal Reserve Bank was $100,000 (with the portrait
  of President Woodrow Wilson).  These notes were used only
  for transactions between the Federal Reserve and the
  Treasury Department.

  The highest denomination issued for public circulation was
  $10,000 (with the portrait of 19th-century U S Supreme
  Court Judge Salmon P Close).  The highest denomination
  currently in circulation is $100, as per a 1969 decision, and
  only 200 of the $10,000 bills remain in circulation (or
  "unretired").  Although my sources (
  and )
  state that the $100,000 notes were "issued", I have my doubts
  about this.

  A film was made of Mark Twain's story in 1953, starring
  Gregory Peck as the "victim", with Ronald Squire and Wilfrid
  Hyde White as the brothers.  Script adapt.: Jill Craigie.
  Director: Ronald Neame.  Also known as "Man with a Million"
  (1954, USA).     Runtime: 90 min. See

  The "Guinness Book of Records", c1980, confirmed the
  existence of at least one of these notes.  I no longer have this
  volume, but (if I remember correctly) the account is something
  like:  One such note (or was it two?) was "adapted" by hand
  from a 0 note in order to use it for internal accounting
  purposes, and (of course!!) it was never issued.   But I
  regarded the date as a problem:  I was sure it was between
  1904 and 1910 !!!  (By the way, by this date all our notes
  were 100% printed;  prior to 1870, some parts were written,
  dated and/or signed by hand.)

  Update on the Guinness Book of Records, as dictated by a
  cousin of mine: 1974 ed: "Two Bank of England notes for
  00,000 still exist,  dated before 1812.  These were used
  only for internal accounting.   The highest notes issued were
  for 0, issued from 1725 and  discontinued on 22nd April
  1943, being withdrawn on 30th April 1945.  As of May 1973
  (the latest date for which statistics are available),  62 of
   these 0 notes are unretired, but only 3 of these are in
   the hands of collectors."

  Discontinued 22-April-1943? But Pick shows last issue date
  as Aug '43!  1979 ed. is exactly as above, except that
  * Now "4 of these [0 notes] are in the hands of collectors",
     not 3.
  *  "In November 1977 the existence of a Treasury 00,000
     note dated 30th August 1948 came to light, and it was sold
     by private treaty for $A18,500, then the equivalent of 300
     in Australia."

  Working mainly from Pick but also from other numismatic
  sources:  The Bank of England's highest denomination issued
  for public circulation was 00 (which, like those of
  and, was last issued August 1943).  The  was last
  issued in 1929. Our highest denomination currently in circulation
  is  There was a ten-shilling note from 1928 to 1970;
  emergency notes of half-a-crown and five shillings were
  produced in 1941 but never issued.

  Meanwhile, the Treasury issued "currency notes" of ten
  shillings and rom 1914 to 1928, plus (in 1919 only) notes
  for one shilling, half-a-crown (two shillings and six pence), and
  five shillings. The signature on the Treasury Notes of 1914 to
  1917 was that of John Bradbury, hence the enigmatic name at
  the end of some versions of this song:

    "Abe, Abe, Abe my boy  - what are you waiting for now?
     You promised to marry me some day in June:
     It's never too late and it's never too soon.
     All the family they keep on asking me,
     which day? what day?  I don't know what to say!
     Abe, Abe, Abe my boy  - what are you waiting for now?"
    "John Bradbury!"

  e.g. with unnamed artiste/s, on Ariel Records # 4068 (78rpm).
  "Can you tame wild Wimmen" and "Abe Abe Abe my Boy"
  ( see for example
  although this site gives a "rude" parody for the 5th line:
  "which day? what day?  I'm in the fam'ly way!" )
  For anybody who doesn't quite get it, the young man
  presumably thought he did not have enough money available
  to undertake such a commitment.

  The Bank of England's home page is at

  BTW, you can see a promo at with order form at

  TEN million pounds?  Well, the Turkish "lira" has also been
  called "pound" (check derivation of our "ymbol!), and
  there are details of a ?10M note at

  Fiction, of course, goes higher than this - but not as high as
  fact! In an episode of The Simpsons, variously called "The
  Trillion Dollar Bill" or "The Trouble With Trillions", a unique
  specimen of the eponymous bill had been printed with the
  intention of relieving depression in Europe in the immediate
  aftermath of World War II.  [It would, of course, have been
  even more impractical than was expected by one of the
  brothers in Mark Twain's "Million-Pound Note".]
  However, the avaricious C. Montgomery Burns stole it
  while it was en route, and ended up with it hanging framed
  on a wall in his house, where Homer Simpson happened to
  spot it ...

  This of course would have been US$ 1 000 000 000 000.
  However, owing to a different system of numbering, we
  "ungrateful" Europeans would not have reckoned it as being
  worth more than a billion!

  Meanwhile, in various parts of Europe at that time we had
  higher notes:
  Greece - 100  000 000  000 000 drachmai
  (03-Nov-1944, Pick#135)  [Pick's interpretation of
  "dis-ekatom-myria" as a milliard is wrong.]
  Hungary - 100 000 000  000 000  000 000 pengos
  (03-Jun-1946, Pick#136)
  and 1 000 000 000  000 000  000 000 pengos
  (03-Jun-1946, Pick#137, not issued)

  At other times:
  Germany - 100  000 000  000 000 mark
   (15-Feb-1924, Pick#140)
  Yugoslavia - 500 000 000 000 dinara
  (1993, Pick#137)  -  half-way there!
  Although this last is claimed to be "the most zeros actually
  printed (11)", including by the current (2003) edition of the
  Guinness Book of World Records, one counter-example
  is the uniface Mengen (Stadtgemeinde) K-3517d
  locally-issued note of 1 Billion mark (1923), visible at

  where you can see the value in numbers and hence showing 12 zeros.

  2 different types of $1M promos (though there are others!)
  can be found at:
   and at
  The American Bank Note Company is responsible for the
  design and production of the latter of these, which apparently
  was commissioned by and at first exclusive to the "Institute
  of Millionaires", and its design has been copied onto a 4-ounce
  .999 silver ingot, details of which are at

  there's a write-up of the 1 million Euros "banknote art" to
  be found at

  I feel that this is the type of thing which maybe should
  be dealt with by an item in the "ANA Money Talks" series.

  WHY IS IT that some of the E-Sylum's questions open the
  door to what might almost be called "research papers"?


  Nancy Green, ANA Librarian writes: "I think Bill Spengler
  gets the prize for best definition of chits. According to the
  Oxford English Dictionary (OED), 2nd edition; chitty or chit
  is an Indian word which means "a letter or note; also, a
  certificate given to a servant or the like; a pass."
  Just my 2 cents worth for the discussion.


  NBS Board member Joel Orosz spotted an interesting
  article in The New York Times of March 1, 2003.
  The article by Robert F. Woth is titled, "Online Library
  Wants It All, Every Book"

  "The legendary library of Alexandria boasted that it had a
  copy of virtually every known manuscript in the ancient
  world. This bibliophile's fantasy in Egypt's largest port
  city vanished, probably in a fire, more than a thousand
  years ago. But the dream of collecting every one of the
  world's books has been revived in a new arena: online.

  The directors of the new Alexandria Library, which
  christened a steel and glass structure with 250,000 books
  in October, have joined forces with an American artist and
  software engineers in an ambitious effort to make virtually
  all of the world's books available at a mouse click. Much
  as the ancient library nurtured Archimedes and Euclid, the
  new Web venture also hopes to connect scholars and
  students around the world.

  Of course, many libraries already provide access to
  hundreds or even thousands of electronic books. But the
  ambitions of the Alexandria Library appear to surpass those
  of its rivals. Its directors hope to link the world's other
  major digital archives and to make the books more
  accessible than ever with new software."

  "The library has scanned only about 100,000 pages of its
  own material, mostly medieval Arabic texts, Mr. Serageldin
  said. But it has embarked on a plan to digitize thousands
  of books over the next several years, most of them Arabic
  texts, with French and English translations, he said. Other
  works are scheduled to be scanned elsewhere in Africa,
  including a whole library of crumbling medieval manuscripts
  in a monastery in Timbuktu in Mali, Mr. Serageldin said.

  The library will also have access to one million books that
  are now being scanned by Carnegie Mellon University, which
  is creating its own vast digital archive and is one of
  Alexandria's partners."

  "And putting everything in one place is no longer as risky
  as it was in the predigital era, said Brewster Kahle, the
  founder of the Internet Archive. "One lesson of the
  original Library of Alexandria," he said, "is don't just
  have one copy."

  For the full text of the article, see:


  John M. Kleeberg writes: "In a recent posting, John W.
  Adams comes to the defense of William Herbert Sheldon
  and asks us "not to be glib with the truth."  Actually, if we
  examine the truth more carefully, we can understand
  Sheldon's life of crime better.  Sheldon made many
  extensive thefts of large cents: in the course of ten years
  of litigation and many more of research, I have found
  that he stole not only from the American Numismatic
  Society, but also from many of the leading dealers of the
  day - Abe Kosoff, Stack's, New Netherlands, Celina
  Stamp & Coin - and from collectors (the T. James
  Clarke Estate, the Gaskill estate, and Ted Naftzger)
  through coin switches.  Yet many have been puzzled,
  asking "Why would a tenured professor at an Ivy League
  university do this?"  One answer is that he didn't
  have tenure at an Ivy League or any other university.

  We can understand the motive for these crimes by
  reading J. E. Lindsay Carter & Barbara Honeyman Heath,
  Somatotyping - Development and Applications (Cambridge
  University Press, 1990).  This has an extensive introduction
  discussing Sheldon.  Sheldon's career fell apart after the
  "Starlight" crisis of 1936.  A woman he thought he was
  engaged to, whom he nicknamed "Starlight," married
  another doctor.  Sheldon wrote a foul, abusive letter.
  Her husband circulated this letter among medical academia.
  His bizarre letter led him to being squeezed out of the
  profession, and after 1936 Sheldon did not ever hold
  again another formal, salaried academic post (Carter &
  Heath, p. 6).

  His chief income was his full disability as a major after
  he developed Hodgkin's disease while in the army in
  World War II C & H p. 7).  Heath, who worked as
  Sheldon's research assistant, broke with him after she
  discovered him altering his data to fit his theories.  He
  wanted her to trim photos to fit certain somatotype
  measurements (C & H p. 12).  At the University of
  Oregon Medical School, Sheldon was given desk space
  and the title of "clinical professor," but no salary and no
  benefit under the grant.  In 1953 Columbia University
  threw him out of his space at the hospital (C & H p. 14).
  Sheldon insisted rigidly on a 7 point scale for somatotypes
  (C & H p. 13).

  Sheldon had many mystical beliefs, in particular about the
  number 7, which explains why he fit both somatotypes
  and coin grades into Procrustean scales of 7 and 70.

  After the Second World War, Sheldon had no substantial
  pension and no large salary - except for whatever he got in
  disability - and he turned to theft to pay for his retirement.
  He wrote his cent books and created his grading system as
  part of his plan - after all, I can always fool you into believing
  it is colder than it is if I make the thermometer.  He was a
  talented, charming man, but also a psychopath and a thief.
  We do not do justice to history or to numismatics when we
  sweep his crimes under the rug."


  This week's featured web site is Jersey Coins and Banknotes
  by H.K. Fears

  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.

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