The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 35, August 31, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  No one wrote to give me a hard time about it, surely some of
  you noticed the typo in one of last week's headlines.   Instead
  of "Lilly Gold BAT Talk," it should have said "Gold BAR Talk."
  Gimme a break - last Sunday was my birthday - my blood
  sugar count was high from eating too much cake...

  If anyone DID send a submission and it isn't in this issue, please
  resend.  The virus going around the Internet this week meant I
  had to delete hundreds of bogus messages wholesale, and it's
  possible a legitimate message got thrown out by mistake.

  By the way, this is a good time to mention that the preferred
  subject line for submissions is the "RE: The E-sylum .."  subject
  most email programs generate automatically when you hit the
  Reply button.  This make your messages easier to distinguish
  from spam.


  Last week I asked, "Has anyone seen the book by George H.
  Hull on "The Norris, Gregg & Norris Coin and the Gold Rush
  of '49?"

  Adrián González of Monterrey, N.L. México writes: "I would
  like to share the following information about this book:

  Last March (2003) I bought this book and I did read it cover
  to cover.  It has valuable information about this assayers. The
  book does not specify the year of publication but it was 2002.
  This book is dedicated to Jack Kalusen.  The book's features
  are:    Author: George Hull (1937-). Hard Cover (cherry color).
  (vii),137 pages.  18.5x26.1 cms.  Publisher: Ye Galleon Press.
  Fairfield, Washington. ISBN 087770-741-3 (hc). ISBN
  087770-740-5 (pb). CJ1834.H85 2002.  It includes 2 maps
  and 10 photographs.  Also, it contains an error with the very
  first pages: the Introduction should be viii page instead of vii.
  I recommend this book."

  Chris Fuccione adds: "Here is link to buy book."


  Congratulations to our fellow numismatic e-newsletter,
  the MPC Gram, which just celebrated its 1,000th issue.
  Back issues of the publication are archived on the net at:

  In the 1,000th issue, editor Fred Schwan asks:
  "How significant is 1000 issues of a numismatic publication?
  I think that only three American periodicals have had more
  issues: The Numismatist, Numismatic News, and Coin
  World (in order of founding). TN was founded in 1893.
  At twelve issues per year, something like 1340 issues have
  been published. They are in range. We should be able to
  catch them in 2004. At more than 2500 issues each NN
  and Coin World are by far the leaders. It will take six years
  to catch them! (Hopefully a bibliophile will set us straight on
  the exact status of the leaders in this area."

  [The Numismatist began in 1888, actually.  The E-Sylum
  has been around longer than the 'Gram (started September
  1998 vs April 2000 for the 'Gram), but as a weekly publication
  (vs near-daily for the 'Gram), The E-Sylum has only 258
  numbers (including this one) under its belt.


  John Kraljevich writes: "The most recent issue of the Maryland
  Historical Magazine published by the Maryland Historical
  Society features a story about Joseph Hopper Nicholson, a
  Maryland Congressman who raised a small group of volunteers
  to protect Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. Nicholson wrote
  the introduction to the first published version (September 17,
  1814) of "The Defense of Fort McHenry" by Francis Scott Key
  -- the poem that would later become the Star Spangled Banner.
  In any case, a footnote noted that one source for information
  about the battle was an article in the Baltimore Sun of May 8,
  1879 by Col. Mendes I. Cohen, who had died just the day
  before. Cohen, collectors will recall, once owned the 1804
  dollar now in the ANA Museum and is best known for the
  hoard of Virginia halfpennies he held that was dispersed after
  his death. Cohen, at the tender age of 18, was one of 60
  volunteer members of "Nicholson's Baltimore Fencibles" who
  were responsible for the defense of Fort McHenry. Cohen's
  recollection years later of "the rockets red glare, the bombs
  bursting in air" was crystal clear, and a letter he wrote about
  what happened to that famous flag is cited on the Smithsonian
  Institution website [

  I wrote a little article about Mendes Cohen's interesting life
  for an upcoming edition of the fixed price list that American
  Numismatic Rarities sends out called The Numismatic Perspective.
  A past issue featured an article on the western explorations of
  a graduate student named C. Wyllys Betts.  It will be published
  shortly. Cohen was a fascinating character, retired at 35, one
  of the foremost Egyptologists of his day, and the owner of a
  spectacular collection. Those interested in subscribing to the
  Maryland Historical Magazine can look at"


  Douglas Saville and Phil Skingley of Spink write: "At the 13th
  International Numismatic Congress to be held in Madrid 15-
  19th September Spink will be displaying a large number of our
  own publications along with standard works that we stock
  from publishers all over the world.

  We will also have a supply of our recently-published Catalogue
  of Books - 96 pages in full colour. It includes hundreds of new
  publications, many of which are published by Spink. See our
  Website for books that we publish:
  We will also have available in Madrid a catalogue of over 1000
  secondhand books. We look forward to meeting E-Sylum
  subscribers at the Congress."


  NBS Secretary-Treasurer William David Perkins writes:
  "I have been writing a series of articles on Detroit Civil War
  Storecard tokens for the Civil War Token Journal.  My
  great-great grandfather, Wm. Perkins, Jr. issued two of these
  tokens.  These tokens are classified and listed in George and
  Melvin Fuld's book U.S. Civil War Store Cards, however,
  very little is known about the majority of the issuers of these
  tokens. I often utilize genealogical sources in my research,
  often with much success.

  The following information came from a relative of the issuer
  of the Fuld (classification number) MI 225CF token - VENN
  The source of this information is unknown (most likely a
  newspaper or a book).  This came from a direct relative of
  Wm. Wreford and was listed by him under the heading, "LIFE
  DAYS."  It is always interesting to come across information
  on how coins (and tokens) circulated in the 19th century, in
  this case the 1860s.  I found the following most interesting:

  Coined Pennies (sic, apologies to those who prefer Cents...).
  "During the Civil War when pennies became scarce and the
  small change was being made by means of postage stamps, he
  and a relative [Venn - author] coined their own pennies.  They
  were known as the Venn and Wreford pennies and in later
  years he bought some of them back, paying as high as a dollar
  for some of them.  They were in general circulation here
  [Detroit] during the war."

  This relative sent me a treasure trove of information on
  Wreford and Venn, to the tune of over $2.00 postage on the
  envelope!  I learned of this relative from the General Manager
  at Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit many years ago.  After
  learning that this Wm. Wreford was a direct descendant of the
  token issuer and that he had a specimen of the token, I
  managed to locate this relative via GenForum, an Internet
  genealogy forum. We have corresponded for some time now,
  and I have shared other information that I had from my
  research with him.

  Like William Wreford, This William (David) Perkins is
  buying back the "Perkins pennies," those issued of William
  Perkins, Jr., but for a little more than a dollar each...."


  Relating to David Fanning's earlier question about early
  Stack's sales, Chris Fuccione notes that there is some
  information on Stack's web site:

  "It is in the world of numismatic auctions that Stack's has
  made its most enduring mark. The first sale of October 1935
  set the pace for offerings of classic rarities with its 1796
  15-Star obverse Half Dollar, 1895 Morgan Dollar and
  1857 'D' Three-Dollar gold piece. The second sale, held
  in January 1936, was highlighted by an 1879 Flowing Hair
  $4 Stella."


  An article in this week's Wall Street Journal touches on a
  subject discussed earlier in The E-Sylum - the marketing
  of old newspapers deaccessioned from libraries.  With
  most libraries having completed their transition to microfilm,
  supplies are beginning to dry up.

  "That was evident this month when an order came into the
  Historic Newspaper Archives, in Rahway, N.J., for a
  25-year-old copy of the New York Times. A man wanted
  a paper from the date of his parents' wedding for an
  anniversary gift... , but it had no New York Times with the
  requested date.

  ... Ultimately, Mr. Druce was able to find a New York Daily
  News at the top of  another, higher ladder -- a stroke of luck
  because Mr. Druce's stock of New York City tabloids is
  shrinking fast."

  "Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers, in South
  Williamsport, Pa., is using a different strategy. The business
  focuses on collectible newspapers, which carry reports of
  historic events and tend to be older and more expensive.
  Operating without subscriptions to current newspapers,
  "it's much easier for me to fill an order for a 200-year-old
  paper than a two-year-old," says Timothy Hughes, the
  company's 50-year-old founder."

  "Steve Goldman ... declines to give revenue figures,
  but says business is growing and that increasing interest in
  collectible newspapers bodes well for the future. "People
  are starting to recognize how important they are," he says."


  The Wall Street Journal also published an interesting
  report on how the U.S. transports greenbacks to Iraq:

  "The Air Force usually flies the cash straight to Baghdad,
  where it is stored in vaults until it is needed elsewhere. ...
  The first trick is getting the money out of Baghdad without
  getting mugged.  That job fell most recently to Sgt. Adrian
  Vrolyks, of the 870th Military Police Company. For the
  convoy leaving Baghdad Aug. 13, the sergeant gathered a
  5-ton Marine truck to carry the money itself, a captured
  SUV to carry the coalition's Iraqi bankers, and a small
  fleet of Humvees to carry rifles, light machine guns and
  automatic grenade launchers capable of spewing out
  grenades at a rate of up to 400 a minute.

  "To fill the kitty for the first day of payments, two female
  accountants from the Karbala pension office went to
  Rafidain with a government check and walked out with
  $888,000 in hundred-dollar bills, stuffed in bags and hidden
  under their ankle-length burkas.

  "It's camouflage," said one of the women. A pension office
  driver, armed with a pistol, gave them a lift back to work.
  "I recite verses from the Holy Quran to protect us from
  burglars," said the other woman.


  Larry Mitchell forwarded an article from the Hearst News
  Service with an update on the U.S. plans for rolling out a
  new Iraqi currency:

  "U.S. officials are making plans to eliminate Iraqi currency
  bearing the engraved likeness of the fugitive Iraqi dictator
  and replace it over a 90-day period with new bills featuring
  images of the natural wonders of Iraq.

  "John Taylor, the U.S. Treasury's undersecretary for
  international affairs overseeing the currency transition, says
  U.S. officials hope a single national currency will help quiet
  bitter regional and tribal rivalries symbolized by Iraq's
  different currencies in different regions of the country.
  So-called Swiss dinars circulate in Kurdish-controlled
  areas in northern Iraq and pastel-colored Saddam dinars
  circulate in Baghdad and the southern two-thirds of Iraq.

  "The new currency will be a national currency and symbolize
  national unity again," Taylor said in a telephone interview
  last week."


  James Taylor writes: "As ANA's Director of Education, I
  played a very small role in the production of the ANA
  History, written by Dave Bowers in 1991, the ANA's
  hundredth anniversary.

  One book was returned to me, along with a fiery letter.
  The book the writer had received had been bound upside
  down, not an unheard of event.   The thing that made it
  memorable however, was the letter writer--Arnie Margolis,
  one of the preeminent error coin dealers and experts.
  Apparently, his interest in errors did not include books."


  Darryl Atchison writes: "I am looking for information on
  a book published by BNR Press on North American
  Railroad Stock Certificates so that we can add this
  reference to our Canadian Numismatic Bibliography.

  If you have a copy could you kindly send me the name
  of the author, the number of pages, the exact title (if there
  are different titles on the front cover and title page -
  please use the fuller title), a very brief three or four line
  synopsis of the type of information presented (i.e.. location,
  date, rarity and/or valuation) in the text, including an
  approximation of the number of Canadian certificates
  listed and the time period covered.  Thanks   If anyone
  has a copy of this book I wouldn't mind adding a copy
  to my library as well."

  [MPC Editor Fred Schwan is also the head honcho of
  BNR Press.  His address can be found on the
  PaperMoneyWorld web site.  -Editor]


  Dan Gosling's topic of the week is:  Heavy books:
  * how the heck are you supposed to read the darn things?
  * in a chair with the book propped up on a pillow?
  * at a desk or table?
  * start reading after completing a training session at the gym?
  * do injuries qualify if you have an AFLAC policy?"


  This week's featured web page is about medals that relate
  to the Hong Kong Police.  Of particular interest is the
  mention of plague medals.  "I went back to the newspapers
  of 1894 and found an article on the Plague Committee
  thanking the police for their help.  It mentions each of the
  officers who received medals and describes what they did
  to receive them. ...  It's a fascinating snippet of  history."

  "According to the newspaper account, there should have
  been 36 Plague medals awarded to police officers. But in
  the course of the last 80 years only three of them have
  been seen by anybody."

  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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