The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 26, June 29, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers are Paul Horner of Clemmons,
  NC, Rob Retz and Bill Nash.  Welcome aboard!  We now have
  572 subscribers.


  Karl Moulton of Congress, AZ has issued an abbreviated
  fixed price list of American numismatic literature, featuring
  individual issues of The Numismatist before 1941 and the
  Joseph Mickley journal and biography reprint mentioned in
  The E-Sylum vol 6 no. 21.   More current inventory is
  available online at

  Also on the web site are copies of several of Karl's
  numismatic research articles:

     Record prices paid at Auction
     Ten Favorite Bust Auction Catalogues
     Behind the Scenes
     The J. H. South Collection
     Notes on Joseph J. Mickley
     Sitting on the Shelf
     Trick Question - Answer to Dave Bowers
     The 1827 Quarter Reveals it's Secrets
     Unlisted pedigree source for 1838-0 Half Dollars


  Dave Ginsburg writes: "Is anyone familiar with the book,
  "A History of the United States Mint, New Orleans, Louisiana"
  by Charles J. Collins, Jr. (Baton Rouge: LSU Printing Office,
  1970.)?   I first saw a reference to it in the bibliography of a
  Louisiana State Museum publication, but haven't so far found a
  bookseller or numismatist who has a copy or has even heard
  of it.  I asked my local library to try getting it through inter-
  library loan, but the only copy they could find is in the reference
  collection of the New Orleans Public Library (which they won't
  lend out.)  I think there may also be a copy in the LSU library.

  I'd appreciate news of a copy for sale, or information about
  the author, or if a fellow E-sylum subscriber who lives in New
  Orleans would go to the library and tell me something about
  the book!   Thanks!  If you have any news, please contact me
  at  ginsburg.d at  ."

  [I assume LSU means Louisiana State University.  This is why
   I love bibliographies and footnotes - you never know what
   interesting new source might turn up.  I thought I had seen every
  U.S. Mint history published, but I don't believe I've come across
  this before.  If anyone learns more about it, please keep E-Sylum
  readers in the loop.  -Editor]


  The July 7, 2003 issue of Coin World reports that David
  Sundman of Littleton Coin Co. will give "the first 3-D
  production in the history of the ANA Numismatic Theatre
  programs."  His program, which features 19-century
  stereopticon slides of the operations of the U.S. Mint and
  Bureau of Engraving and Printing, is scheduled for 1 pm
  Friday, August 1st at the American Numismatic Association
  convention in Baltimore, MD.  "Audience members will
  receive a pair of 3-D glasses and a bag of popcorn."

  [I've accumulated a few of these old stereo slides, and
  assume mine are mostly common ones.  But I never got
  around to acquiring an antique viewer for them.  I've
  often wondered how the slides would look with the full
  three-dimensional effect, and I guess this will be my chance
  to find out.  I'll be the one groping in the dark to fondle
  a full sheet of Educational notes.  -Editor]


  Larry Mitchell sends this item about the U.S. Government
  Printing Office:  "The GPO, a 3,000-employee agency,
  gathers federal documents, organizes and publishes them,
  catalogs them and then distributes them to the 1,200
  depository libraries throughout the United States.

  'This year, for the first time, more than 50 percent of those
  documents will only be in digital,' James said. 'We will
  not print them. That's up from zero 10 years ago.'

  James, who became the 24th U.S. public printer six months
  ago, expects that within five years 95 percent of government
  documents will be available only in digital form."

  "The transformation into digital technology isn't the only
  change in store for the Government Printing Office, which is
  considering changing its name.

  ?I think our middle name might get in the way,?

  [I've haunted our local GPO store in the past looking for
   copies of recent mint reports, but they are rarely in stock.
   Online versions of recent reports have been available,
   although I haven't checked lately.  Have any of our readers
   been assembling a run of recent printed mint reports?
   These may be the last of the line. -Editor]


  Gar Travis writes: "At a coin show this weekend I purchased
  an 1884 American Numismatic & Archeological Society
  member's medal, which is engraved to Alfred Rowell -
  Resident Member - Nov. 18th, 1884.  Does anyone know
  what the term "Resident Member" meant,  or if Mr. Rowell is
  "known" for any early numismatic research?  The full description
  of the medal is as follows:

  American Numismatic and Archeological Society Member's
  Medal, 1884. Bronze, 42mm. By George Hampden Lovett.
  Choice Uncirculated. Obv. Naturalistic oak sprig,  3 leaves
  under scroll PARVA NE PEREANT ("Let not the small things
  perish"), Society name around. Rev. Oak circle, engraved
  ALFRED ROWELL / RESIDENT Member/ Nov. 18th/ 1884.
  Warm brown chocolate color without toning."


  John Kleeberg writes: "I've been following the thread about
  the internship of the German aliens during the Second World
  War. Karen Ebel said that aliens have no constitutional rights.
  That is untrue.  Aliens, as a "discrete and insular minority,"
  have had their constitutional rights enforced robustly by the
  courts.  Some of the postings in this thread have further
  muddied the matter, implying that the position of the German
  and Italian aliens was identical to that of the Japanese-Americans.
  It was not.  The German and Italians who were interned were
  citizens of those countries.  Yes, some of their American spouses
  and children joined them, but that was voluntary.  The Otto
  Franke episode on the website you posted makes it clear:
  eventually the FBI realized that Otto Franke was not an alien
  and could not be interned.  The Japanese-Americans were US
  citizens who were interned because of their race; see Korematsu.
  It is because of this racially-based internment that Congress
  passed a law compensating the internees."


  Dick Johnson writes: "I just added a new item of newspaper
  numismatic boners to my collection.  And this is a gem. It's
  from a Wisconsin paper, the North Fond du Lac Reporter. It
  appeared this Friday, June 27th.

  They commissioned a medal for the dual centennial of the village
  and their Winter Fest.  Great reasons for issuing a medal! "We
  made this coin because we wanted to do something special, and
  a lot of people around here collect coins," stated Jennifer
  Frounfelter, a member of the Winterfest Centennial Committee.

  But the Reporter's reporter, Kelly Tucker, described it thusly:
  "Made special by the Great Canadian Mint Company, the
  bi-medal [sic -- that's the term in print!] coin has the village
  seal and dates of incorporation on one side and the village
  logo and centennial dates on the other."

  Further: "'These coins are souvenir tokens to celebrate the
  village's centennial,' said Jim Moon, a former coin collector."

  Not once called what it really is -- a medal! It was described
  as a coin, a souvenir token and "bi-medal" whatever the writer
  meant by that.  It is certainly not "bi-metal" (it looks like one
  metal composition from the illustration).

  It's a squeaker to call it a coin (since it is made by a single
  strike in a coining press), and a stretch to call it a token (it
  bears no value).  But it makes my collection of newspaper
  gaffes and boners to call it "bi-medal."  Read the full article


  Alan Roy writes: "I was hoping an E-Sylum reader would be
  able to help me.  I'm looking for some biographical information
  on H.C. Taylor and Somer James, the authors of 'A Guide
  Book of Canadian Coins, Currency and Tokens.'  Any
  information would be helpful.  My address is
  aroy at"


  The Rocky Mountain News continued its coverage of worker
  complaints at the U.S. Mint in Denver.  The topic has also been
  picked up by the U.S. numismatic press.

  "Director Henrietta Holsman Fore said Friday that a permanent
  Equal Employment Opportunity manager would be hired in
  Denver, an ombudsman's office would be created at the national
  level, and all U.S. Mint employees will receive additional training
  on preventing harassment.

  Fore outlined the changes in a memo posted throughout the
  Denver Mint and given to all 450 employees. Currently, the
  EEO office is filled on a rotating basis.

  Fore visited all three shifts at the mint Thursday, mint
  spokesman Guillermo Hernandez said."

  Also on Thursday, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., was to meet
  with Director Fore today to press for more details on the
  allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the Mint.,1299,DRMN_15_2056611,00.html,1299,DRMN_21_2068147,00.html


  From the April 15, 2003 Numismatic News - a letter to the
  Editor from Joe Lojek of Richmond, Michigan: "About a month
  ago ... I noticed the bag the rolls were in.  It read, $1,000
  QUARTERS U.S MINT 1967.  I immediately wondered if
  anyone collects these, if there is a market for them, and if this
  bag has any value."

  [As a fanatic for numismatic ephemera, I have to admit that
   coin bags are one of my many sub-collections.  I thought I
   was the only one crazy enough to be interested in them until
   I learned that Myron Xenos collected them as well.  Any
   other closet coin bag collectors out there? -Editor]


  Greg Burns writes: "I've been researching the Lusitania Medal
  by Karl Goetz along with its varieties for about nine months
  now. I've purchased quite a number of different books (a
  couple dozen or more) on the Lusitania, German WWI medals,
  Kienast's book, and related biblioboobia, seeking insights into
  manufacturing methods, social forces at work, significant
  personalities, political issues, etc.   In conversation with Steve
  Pellegrini (another E-Sylum subscriber) he passed along that
  Karl Goetz' estate was virtually completely disposed of after
  the death of his son and heir, Guido Goetz in 1994, and that
  the entire lot of Karl Goetz material was MacNoodled out
  from under all the bidders by a high dollar force who ponied
  up their combined bids plus another 10% (so the story goes).

  I was hoping to get a copy of the May 1994 Dieter Gorney
  Auction Catalog catalog so I could see what types of items
  were passed along from his cabinet and estate (papers, models,
  other tools and materials of manufacture, etc.) I've met a local
  gentleman who apparently has a set of the dies used by Karl
  Goetz for one of his medals, and I was also interested to see
  if these had been included in the listing.  I suppose I'm just
  trying to put together a picture and I'm seeking a piece here,
  a piece there, and so forth. I've put up the skeleton of a
  website in preparation for writing a monograph or book on
  the Lusitania Medals and Its Varieties
  (see   I'm not really sure
  what format the final output will take, perhaps an extended
  article (a series maybe), or perhaps a smallish booklet
  (format of 5.5" X 8.5"; maybe 60-100 pages)."


  Reuters reported Friday that former "Beverly Hillbillies"
  star Buddy Ebsen (whose coin collection was auctioned
  several years ago) was in a southern California hospital
  with an undisclosed illness, although hospital officials said
  Ebsen, 95, was in "good" condition.

  Director and actress Penny Marshall served on Gov. Gray
  Davis' State Commemorative Quarter Selection Committee
  along with Jerry Buss, owner of the Los Angeles Lakers,
  also a collector.  Five finalists have been chosen from among
  thousands of ideas submitted.


  On Wednesday, June 25 Reuters reported results of a
  study which concluded that "Almost all euro banknotes
  circulating in Germany contain traces of cocaine ... as notes
  rolled up by users to snort the illegal drug contaminate the cash
  system.  "Nine out of 10 banknotes show clearly measurable
  amounts of cocaine."

  "Results from a separate study the institute carried out on
  euro notes in Barcelona were particularly startling..."

  "We were almost knocked flat by what we discovered there.
   The concentrations of cocaine on Spanish euro notes were
   almost a hundred times that of what we recorded in Germany."


  David F. Fanning writes: "Gregg A. Silvis asked about copies
  of the Breen half cent manuscript/typescript.  Breen first
  compiled a manuscript on the subject, a revision of the Gilbert
  book, in the 1950s. He published an article on the subject in
  The Numismatist: "United States Half Cents: Addenda and
  Corrections to Gilbert," The Numismatist, Vol. 65, No. 5 (May
  1952), pp. 461-462.

  Breen had difficulty finding a publisher for an entire book on
  the subject in the 1950s.  He admired Dave Bowers and Jim
  Ruddy and their Empire Coin Co., and made the suggestion that
  if Dave and Jim would do some editing and arranging, he would
  provide a new listing of the series--sort of an update to Gilbert,
  but a basic one (without photographs or history).

  This would get something out there in circulation to stir up
  interest in the series. At that time the only text was that of
  Ebenezer Gilbert, 1916, and copies were almost impossible to
  find. Dave and Jim wanted Walter to use his own name, but
  Walter--who was working with Harmer-Rooke, or New
  Netherlands, or had obligations to the Numismatic Scrapbook,
  or whatever--did not want his name on a stand-alone
  monograph (although, as early as 1958, he had contributed
  magazine articles to Empire Topics). Bowers and Ruddy
  agreed to publish the monograph, honoring his request not to
  use his name. The book was published as "United States
  Half Cents, 1793-1857," by Q. David Bowers and James
  F. Ruddy (Johnson City, New York: Creative Printing, 1962).
  Dave Bowers recalls that probably a couple thousand or so
  copies were printed and sold. It filled a definite niche in an
  era long before Roger S. Cohen, Jr., published his excellent
  book on half cents and long before Breen's magisterial opus
  on the subject.

  There are copies of manuscript/typescript drafts of an even
  larger work by Breen on half cents dating from this time period
  and some additional copies were circulated in the early 1980s
  by Jack Collins in preparation for the 1983 publication of
  "Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States Half Cents,
  1793-1857" (South Gate, California: American Institute of
  Numismatic Research, 1983).

  The American Numismatic Society library has a copy of the
  manuscript and typescript materials for this publication and
  there are probably others in private hands as well.  Breen
  drafts were frequently photocopied and occasionally turn up
  in auctions. An example would be lot 675 in George Kolbe's
  Sale 88 (June 14, 2002), an annotated photocopy of a 1960s
  typescript (several hundred pages) of the half cent book.
  That the lot brought $50 attests to the fact that the draft is
  not unique."


  Regarding Walter Breen's other unpublished manuscripts,
  Rich Hartzog writes: "Many years ago I acquired a copy of
  one of Breen's rarest issues, a booklet on pornographic
  limericks.  I made up a couple of photocopies, took them
  to an ANA, and got Breen to autograph them.  He said he
  didn't think even he had a copy!   Supposedly Breen made
  up all the limericks, although it has been so long ago, I
  don't recall all the details.  If you ever met Breen in person,
  you'll recall his shorts, flip-flops and lack of one important


  Truth is often stranger than fiction.  On the heels of last week's
  tale of the 18-dollar bill by Bill Spengler comes this item from
  Hanoi, as reported by Reuters:

  "A Vietnamese man who used cow fat and paint to pass off a
  lump of iron as valuable black bronze found buyers -- but was
  paid ... in counterfeit bills.   A justice official said 12
  people involved in both frauds were arrested and were
  undergoing trial in southern An Giang province."

  "A group of three business people from Ho Chi Minh City who
  were negotiating to buy the black bronze, which [if real, would
  be] valued on the market at around $1 million, bought a printer
  to produce 900 million Vietnamese dong ($58,214) to pay for
  the deal."


  This week's featured web page is Dr. Howard M. Berlin's
  article, The Mystery of the 1927 Holyland Token.

  "The obverse of the Holyland Token, in part, resembles closely
  the reverse design of the standard 1-mil coin issued by the
  Palestine Currency Board starting in 1927. However the token's
  size (28.5 mm) with plain edge is slightly larger than the
  standard 2-mil coin (28 mm). Although coins are traditionally
  struck with the obverse and reverse dies aligned at a rotation
  of 180 degrees, known as the "coin rotation," both the Holyland
  Token and the regular issued coins of the Palestine Mandate
  were struck in the "medal rotation," so that the obverse and
  reverse dies were aligned in a rotation of zero degrees."

  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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