The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 30, July 27, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers are Steve Abramowitz of
  New York, and Steve Feller.  Welcome aboard!  We now have
  577 subscribers.


  Your editor is making no promises for next week - with
  travel to and from the ANA convention it may not be
  possible to publish an issue next Sunday night.  But keep
  those submissions coming!


  Charles Davis and John Burns will be set up at the show
  (Tables 902/903 and 611/1613).  Stop by and buy
  something.  Hauling books to a convention is no small
  undertaking - show your support!


  Reminder: the Numismatic Bibliomania Society has scheduled
  two events at this week's convention of the American Numismatic
  Association in Baltimore.  I hope to see many of you at the
  annual meeting.

  Thursday July 31, 2003, 1 PM
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society Symposium
  Barry Tayman and George Fuld will present a paper on the
  research methodology for their upcoming monograph on
  Blacksmith tokens

  Friday August 1, 2003, 11.30 AM
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society Annual Meeting
  Leonard Augsburger will present a paper entitled
  "132 South Eden: House of Gold"


  Alan Luedeking writes: "I read with interest your plea for
  donations to the NBS's donation auction in the last E-Sylum
  and your subsequent report that Mr. Davisson was so far
  the only one to 'step up to the plate.'  Hats off to Allan!
  However, I wonder whether the underwhelming response
  might have something to do with the fact that a previous
  such auction (August 2001) never had its donations listed
  in The Asylum, and the results of the auction went likewise
  underreported in subsequent E-Sylum and Asylum issues.
  This proceeding might not have been the most conducive to
  stimulating waves of generous donations in future.  I know
  of at least one NBS member who still wonders to this day
  what his donations brought at auction, or whether they
  even sold at all!

  The David Fanning question concerning who won the
  best article of the year award in last year's Asylum is
  perhaps another symptom of the NBS not giving
  sufficient recognition to those of its members who
  contribute in one way or another to the society, and
  while it may be irrelevant to the majority of its members
  this should still be done on principle and might serve as
  stimulus to others contemplating similar contributions.
  For instance, I have rarely (if ever?) seen in the Asylum
  or The E-Sylum any mention of appreciation for the superb
  job of editing  The E-Sylum on-line newsletter (now in its
  sixth year!) that the editor of this great resource does;  for
  what it's worth, I think Mr. Homren should receive an NBS
  medal for his efforts, and that's something I would happily
  contribute to."

  [Well, Allan was the first to report to me that he planned
  to donate;  often donors simply show up at the meeting
  with items without necessarily announcing their intention.
  In fact, just before your email arrived Hal Dunn chimed
  in with another donation offer, and others arrived just after
  your note.

  As for reporting the donors and results in The Asylum, this
  certainly would be nice.   In the confusion of running the
  annual meeting, sometimes things fall through the cracks
  that shouldn't.  Hopefully the organization can make it
  happen this year.  Even though typically most if not all
  donors are in attendance it would still be nice to have a
  record of the event as well as publicly acknowledge
  donors and bidders.  A complicating factor is that some
  prefer to remain anonymous, but that shouldn't stop us
  from acknowledging the others.

  Thanks for your kind words on The E-Sylum.  I've received
  a number of nice notes and even a couple of great gifts from
  readers over the years.  They keep me going on evenings
  like this, when it's storming outside and I'd just as soon go
  to bed before my computer hiccups.  But it's true that time
  flies when you're having fun.  Six years was a lifetime ago
  for me - two career changes, a wife, a new house and two
  kids later, here I am still editing The E-Sylum.   I started
  it for the same reason most authors write books - it's
  something I wished I  could read but it didn't exist yet.
  Now it does, and it thrives because of the great input from
  readers like you. -Editor]


  NBS Vice President John Adams writes: "I will bring a
  copy of the Indian Peace Medals of George III - it retails
  for $150 or thereabouts.  With what is coming up in the Ford
  Collection - he owns more than W.W.C. Wilson did -
  anyone with the slightest interest in the subject should have
  the book."

  Myron Xenos writes: I'll be bringing two items for the NBS

  1. 1977 Special Edition Redbook, New, #1169 of 1200
      produced.  Value: $100

  2.  1954, Paul Revere's Engravings, American Antiquarian
       Society, Folio size, HB, 181 pages.  Value: $90


  Guess what?  Our little e-journal won a prize after all.
  Marilyn Reback, Senior Editor of the American
  Numismatic Association's NUMISMATIST, writes:

  "It is our pleasure to inform you that The E-Sylum has been
  awarded a Special Merit Award in the Specialty Club
  category of the ANA's 2003 Outstanding Club Publications

  The actual award will be presented at the ANA's 112th
  Anniversary Convention in Baltimore during the
  Representative Program Awards Breakfast and Meeting
  scheduled for 8:00 a.m., Saturday, August 2, in Room
  308 of the Baltimore Convention Center.

  Congratulations to you and to the Numismatic Bibliomania


  Dick Johnson sent this link to a BBC News article about
  plans for a museum at the Birmingham Mint.  The article

  "The Birmingham Mint, the world's oldest private coin
  maker, has signed a deal to keep part of its operation open
  as a working museum.

  The struggling firm, which first began turning out coins in
  1794, ceased trading in May after running into financial

  Birmingham City Council has entered into a deal with two
  companies to keep part of the Hockley-based operation

  "Birmingham Mint had employed more than 100 people
   and was one of the largest makers of blank euro coins."

  Dick adds: "Now that it is out of work, can we take up a
  collection for it?  I certainly would like to see it continue, as
  an operating mint ... or a museum!

  I wonder what Dick Doty would have to say about this from
  his years of study of it."


  [The following article by Steve Feller is reprinted with
   permission from the July 24, 2003 issue of MPCGram,
   an electronic newsletter for collectors of Military
   Payment Certificates.  To subscribe, go to this web

  Beginning August 28, the Charlton E. Meyer, Jr. and
  Gloria B. Meyer Collection of Holocaust and Camp
  Money will be exhibited at Holocaust Museum Houston.
  You are strongly urged to see it if at all possible. It is one
  of the most complete collections of this money ever
  assembled. It will run through November 9. On August
  28 I will give an overview presentation on this

  The currencies of the camps of World War II speak
   to us of the tragedy, depravity, horror, liberation, hope and
  salvation of that time and those places. Many times
  collectors of such items have been asked why on Earth
  anyone would collect these monies. Or even how can you
  possibly tolerate collecting these currencies?

  The answer is that these bits of paper and metal can
  speak to us of the broad tragedy in a most personal and
  understandable manner. After all, money has been used
  within sight of the chimneys of Birkenau inside the barbed
  wire at Auschwitz.

  Hold a piece of concentration camp currency from the
  Westerbork Transit Camp in Holland with its vignette of
  the main road of the camp. This road was known as the
  "Boulevard des Miseres," or the street of misery. One can
  imagine a young Anne Frank walking on it to the trains to
  the "East" in 1944.

  Mr. Charlton E. Meyer, Jr. is a gentleman from Shreveport,
  LA. He discovered the existence of this money from a well-
  known dealer who showed him some camp scrip.  The rest
  is a tribute to the tenacious drive of Charlton. In his own words:

  "The one thing that I learned early was that nobody knew a
   lot about the subject and no Holocaust museums had any
  sort of a collection. My drive was centered on not only
  collecting this scrip and related areas, but to get it into a
  museum as a permanent exhibit -- not for any thanks but
  simply because it needed to be done."

  Camp money from the Second World War is an enormously
  broad topic. Generally speaking the topic may be divided
  between issues of the Allied, Axis, and neutral powers.
  Within the Axis domain there is money from prisoner of war
  camps, concentration camps, ghettos, work camps, and
  civilian internment camps.  While the money was used by all
  people caught up in the tragedy of the war special mention
  must be made of the money used in the Holocaust. As is well-
  known and thoroughly documented nearly 6,000,000 innocents
  lost their lives in mankind's most organized program of murder.
  Many of the examples of money in this collection silently speak
  of this loss. These notes move our souls to anguish.  This
  exhibition, The Price of Existence: Ghetto Scrip from the HMH
  Archives bears witness to the full scope of the Holocaust through
  its breadth and depth.

  Allied Camp money includes POW issues and internment camp
  notes as in the well-known issues of Camp Hay Australia, Canada,
  and the Isle of Man. All are in this collection. This collection
  includes the rarest of the rare, usually unseen notes. Examples of
  the rarities include the unique Natzweiller note, Sokolka Ghetto in
  Poland, many Auschwitz notes, many UNRRA notes, and so
  much more.

  If there are questions please send them to me at  sfeller at"


  Long out of circulation as a guest of the federal penitentiary
  system, former high-flying coin dealer Bruce McNall is back
  in the news, this time peddling a book on his escapades as
  a coin dealer, movie producer, hockey team owner, bank
  defrauder and inmate.

  From a review in the Toronto Star:  "Back when McNall was
  14, he took a part-time job as a clerk in a coin and stamp shop.
  With seemingly lightning speed, he could distinguish a sestertius
  from a denarius, and, borrowing $3,000 from his grandmother,
  he bought a tray of coins from a vet who walked into the shop.
  He sold the coins, repaid his granny and ended up with more
  than $10,000 in profit. He was still in high school."

   A July 19th Reuters article noted:
  "In the 1980s and early 1990s, McNall was a major
  Hollywood player. He leveraged his first fortune as a
  dealer in rare coins into producing movies such as
  "WarGames" and "Mr. Mom," and he bought the Los
  Angeles Kings professional hockey team.

  McNall, now 53, accomplished what many thought to be
  the impossible and lured hockey legend Wayne Gretzky
  from Canada to Los Angeles, gave advice to Walt Disney
  Co. chief Michael Eisner, counted Michael J. Fox and Jim
  Belushi among his friends and hosted dinners for Ronald
  and Nancy Reagan.

  It was, as McNall titled his new book that landed in retail
  stores this week, "Fun While it Lasted."

  "In the early 1990s, he came under suspicion of defrauding
  banks out of more than $200 million. He eventually pleaded
  guilty and in 1997, began serving a 70-month sentence in
  federal prison.


  Ed Snible writes: "The following is the product of web
  research;   I have no connection to the company discussed:

  Adamant Media is one of the largest numismatic publishers.
  Adamant's 50+ numismatic titles are sold exclusively through
  the web site.  The company doesn't devote itself
  to numismatic titles: they claim to offer over 40,000 "replica
  paperback" titles, adding 100 new titles daily!

  By reprinting works in the public domain, Adamant doesn't
  waste time negotiating copyright clearance from authors'
  estates.  Books in the Russian State Library and Russian
  National Library are scanned cheaply in Russia, and Russian
  artists design the new cover art.  Books are printed on demand,
  reducing inventory costs to zero.

  A book listed as shipping in two weeks is that rarest of
  editions: no copies exist!  Anyone ordering the title is likely to
  receive the the very first copy printed.  The first order
  triggers the scanning process; books that have been scanned
  offer sample pages on the web site.  Such books will be
  printed five minutes after the order is received.

  An earlier version of the web site sold PDFs of every title, as
  CD-ROM or download.  (This option has been discontinued
  for most titles.)   Perhaps my discontinued CD-ROM copy
  of  "Catalogue of the Greek Coins of  Ionia"  is unique?  If so
  I got a bargain: $14 for a unique edition of Barclay Head's
  famous catalog!"


  An article this week in the New York Times notes that
  "Executives at are negotiating with several of
  the largest book publishers about an ambitious and expensive
  plan to assemble a searchable online archive with the texts
  of tens of thousands of books of nonfiction..."


  John Kraljevich, Jr writes: "To answer Phil Carrigan's question,
  about his Hathaway & Bowers item, it is the first page of the
  list that is essentially Rare Coin Review #2.  Issues #1 and 2
  are both very rare, 1 more so than 2 -- the series becomes
  collectible at number 3.  My own set has 1 and 2 only in
  photocopy. Number 2 is 4pp in total -- see Davis 486."
  [John is referring to Charles Davis' book, "American
  Numismatic Literature: An Annotated Survey of Auction
  Sales 1980-1991."  -Editor]

  Bill Burd adds: "I have Vol III, Catalogue No. 3 dated
  December 1969 it is titled "Hathaway and Bowers Galleries,
  Inc. presents... Choice and Desirable Coins for sale to
  discriminating numismatists...".  It is 36 pages.  I have No 4
  dated March 1970 32 pages, No 5 dated May 1970 36
  pages and no 9 dated Jan/Feb 1971 44 pages."


  Bill Malkmus writes: "Perhaps in the "Thanks anyway, but
  I've forgotten now why I asked" category:

  In the June 8 E-Sylum, Fred Lake refers to his photo of John
  Ford receiving a slabbed Stack's catalog.  The photo was
  published in The Asylum, Vol. XI, no.3, p. 24.

  And no, the Index wasn't good enough to locate it; I found it
  the old-fashioned way -- running across it accidentally!"


  In response to last week's item about the Lincoln Cent,
  David Ganz writes: "The latest mint annual report shows
  that the Mint makes a profit of at least a tenth of a cent
  on each cent produced. Do the math: 13 billion x .001
  = $13 million profit annually.  Who wouldn't give their
  right arm for that ability?


  The Press of Atlantic City published an article on July
  10, 2003 that may interest collectors of tokens.

  "Steve Barlage, of Mullica Hill, was planting a bush in his
  back yard Sunday when his spade struck something that
  went "clink."

  He dug around and removed a dirt-encrusted coin the size
  of an Eisenhower silver dollar. By its heft, it seemed to be
  made, at least in part, of some type of precious metal.

  "Finder will receive deed to one building lot high and dry
  in Ocean City Manor, N.J., 13 minutes from Boardwalk,"
  the coin read. Barlage flipped it and the offer continued:
  "Return this check within 96 hours to Koch Realtor, Inc."

  "I just laughed," Barlage said. "My 12-year-old son said,
  'Finally, we can get a beach house.' "

  How much is a building lot worth today in Ocean City?
  Who buried the coin in his back yard? More importantly,
  was the offer still valid?"


  Dick Johnson writes: "Merriam-Webster has just published
  its latest, eleventh edition of its widely used Collegiate
  Dictionary.  Among the 10,000 new words is one of
  numismatic interest: "dead presidents."

  Their definition of dead presidents: U.S. money in the
  form of bills, specifically Dollars.  The first use of the
  plural noun was tracked to 1944 but required a half
  century of slang use before reaching a permanent status
  in book form. It had gained popularity in hip-hop and rap.

  Numismatically the term is not quite accurate.  Benjamin
  Franklin ($100) and Alexander Hamilton ($10) on current
  paper money were never presidents. A better term would
  have been "dead patriots" but why should people who
  create and use slang (see above) be accurate? Or even


  Carl Honore writes: "I have Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia
  number 27 with the expanded title on stated it
  started with 28 or am I wrong?"

  [Nope - I'm the wrong one.  That's a typo.  My 27th
  edition also has the expanded title.]

  Dan Hamelberg writes: "I have the following Mehl items
  you can add to the list:

  For the Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia---
  11th  (1914)
  18th  (1919)
  49th  (1941)
  59th  (1955)
  62nd (1960)

  For the Star Coin Book----
  1st  (c-1904)
  3rd   (no date)
  6th   (no date)
  50th (no date)
  51st (no date)

  I have all the other Books and Encyclopedia items on
  the list as per last week's edition of The E-Sylum."


  Bill Burd writes: "This is in regards to B. Max Mehl
  publications.  He put out a booklet titled "The Star Coin
  Book" subtitled "An Encyclopedia of Rare American and
  Foreign Coins".  I have 6 different editions, each is priced
  at fifty cents and contains about 112 pages.  None have
  a date but 4 of the issues refer to being "in business over
  XX years". My copies are: 28th and 31st edition - no
  mention of how long in business.  34th edition over 34
  years; 40th edition over 41 years; 43rd edition over 50
  years; and 44th edition over 51 years.

  He also published a booklet titled "The Star Rare Coin
  Encyclopedia and Premium Catalog" subtitled "An
  Elaborate Encyclopedia of the Coins of the World".
  Priced at One Dollar and most are 208 pages.  I have
  10 editions, none have a date nor do they refer to how
  long in business, but all have copyright dates.  Edition
  28 copyright 1925; 29 - 1926; 31 -1928; 32 - 1929;
  34 - 1930, 35 -  1931; 36 - 1932; 38 - 1933; 39 -
  1934; 40 - 1934.

  The booklet changed a little at this point and is titled
  "The Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia" subtitled "Listing
  Coins of the World".  Price One Dollar, about 208
  pages.  I have 7 editions.  Each lists a copyright and
  also states "Same ownership - same place - same
  business - same ownership for over xx years".  42nd
  edition copyright 1935 over 34 years; 43 - 1936 -
  over 34; 44 - 1936 - over 34; 46 - 1939 - over 39;
  49 - 1941 - over 41; 51 - 1944 - over 44; 54 - 1951
  - over 51.  It appears in the later editions he was
  pegging his "start date" as 1900."


  Bill Malkmus writes: "Myron Xenos, in last week's issue,
  expanded the discussion of Mehl's publications to Mehl's
  Coin Circular and Mehl's Coin Chronicle.  Anyone interested
  in the former publication should read Joel Orosz's article,
  "Mehl's Coin Circular: A Window on American Numismatics
  in the '20s and the '30s," in The Asylum, Vol. XII, No. 3,
  pp. 3-8, for a highly detailed study of the 15 issues between
  1921 and 1933."


  Notes from anonymous sources:

  Mr Webmaster - Would you kindly relay this message to Mr
  David Lange.  my uncle was a photoengraver for whitman
  publications in racine wisconsin  -  when i closed out his estate
  i found a box of wooden blocks undoubtedly he had brought
  home from work - these hard wood blocks are all the same
  thickness - 7/8 inch thick - but of different sizes - i believe
  these were used to back zinc plates - mentioned in esylum
  last week - i let my three kids play with them when they were
  small pre school age - i would grade these wooden blocks
  vg to vf - would you be interested in purchasing these for $25?

  Note To David Lange.  My cousin wrote you about selling you
  blocks from an uncle's estate. I own the maple tree grove
  from which these blocks were made. Can I sell you one of
  these trees for $250? I will cut it to any measure you wish.
  But you will have to come pick it up in person or pay for
  freight shipment because UPS will not accept such large
  shipments. Please answer right away. We are infested with
  a parasite that is attacking our trees. This offer won't last.

  Mr. Lange.  My brother contacted you to sell one of his
  trees. I have the original deed for the family farm where this
  grove was located.  I would sell this deed for $2,500.

  Whoever Is Buying the Deed For My Familys Farm.  I
  have for sale at $25,000 the house in which this deed
  was signed.

  To Whom It May Concern.  I am the governor of the
  state where the family farm is located. I am for sale for

  Imagine!  A governor, a house, a deed, a tree, a box of
  blocks, for a zinc cut, to print a cover, to go on an album,
  to hold coins.  Wow! That's more than "Six Degrees of


  Alan V. Weinberg (LAPD, retired 1991), writes: "Amazing
  how small a world it is. Talk about six degrees of separation!

  I knew Sherman Oakes who worked homicide in LAPD's
  Wilshire Division at the same time I worked its patrol division.
  He was distinctive due to his shock of silver hair, always
  perfectly coiffed, and his impeccable daily dress right out of
  GQ. A few years ago I sent Sherman in the mail an article
  regarding the Lapa Case and he may well be referring to that
  mail in his case review.

  I was also subpoenaed at the Lapa court hearings as a "coin
  expert."   I  recall testifying, confined to being able to ID
  coins from photographs due to toning , spots, abrasions, etc
  that are unique to every coin.  The prosecutor wanted to
  show the court that a particular stolen coin can be positively
  identified from a clear photograph and differentiated from
  others of the same type and date."

  I do distinctly recall Lapa's long hair on the stand and
  allegations that he changed his sexual preference while in


  This week's featured web page is about another famous
  Fort Worth numismatist, Amon Carter, Jr. Written by
  Frank Clark, it's on the web site of the Texas Numismatic

  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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