The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 43, October 26, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers is Dave Blumenfeld of the
  Osborne Coin Company.  Welcome aboard!  We now have
  598 subscribers.


  Howard A. Daniel III writes: "With some spare time on my
  hands here in Viet Nam, I started part four in my series of
  books about Vietnamese numismatics.  It's title is "Socialist
  Republic of Viet Nam Coins and Currency" and covers the
  time from about 1976/78 to the present.  Yes, I know the
  coins/currency in the title but I  started using it in my titles
  many years ago and the people over here are expecting it,
  so I am keeping it.

  In about ten days, I have all of its 120 pages formatted,
  and about 95% of  the text/data completed.  But I have all
  of the illustrations to merge into  it, and have some drawings
  done by an artist.  But this book is on the fast  track and
  should take me much less than the three years for the last one.

  I will be having a few printed and hardbound like my past
  books, but most  will be in an 8x6 inch format on glossy paper,
  glossy hardcard binding,  and in color because I am trying to
  have it printed here in Viet Nam.  Color printing is much
  cheaper here than in the USA!

  If any of you have something you feel should be in this
  reference, please  contact me at Howard at
  I am here in my house in Ho Chi Minh City, but I just bought a
  PC and can now easily do emails here instead of in an Internet


  Pauline Pauling Emmett, a founder of the Society of
  International Numismatics has died at 101.  From an
  obituary in the Oregonian newspaper of Portland, OR:

  "In the 1950s, Mrs. Emmett developed an interest in coins
  and operated her own coin shop in Santa Monica, Calif.,
  between 1960 and 1963. About that time, she also
  became a founder of the Society of International
  Numismatics."  Emmett was the sister of scientist Linus
  Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize in 1954.   Pauling also
  won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962, "in part for his protests
  against nuclear weapons." Ironically, Pauline married her
  brother's college friend Paul Emmett, who  "worked in the
  1940s on the Manhattan Project, which led to the
  development of the first atomic bomb."

  "It made for interesting conversation around the dinner table
  when Linus came to visit," said Mrs. Emmett's granddaughter."

  "Although she remained close to her famous brother all his
  life, she followed more creative outlets than scientific ones,
  said her daughter-in-law, Karla Ney. She enjoyed novels
  and was a seamstress, quilter and painter as well as a coin

  [Have any E-Sylum readers ever met Mrs. Emmett?  Can
  anyone tell us more about the Society of International


  Dick Johnson writes: "I am going to break my own rule and
  send to the E-Sylum the exact text I have on Osborne from my
  upcoming directory of  'American Artists, Diesinkers, Engravers,
  Medalists and Sculptors' in which I list Producers in addition
  to individuals:

  Osborne Coinage Company, manufacturer, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  Founded 1920 by Wiley W. Osborne as Osborne Register
  Company. That same year the firm had purchased the Murdock
  Stamp and Speciality Company -- headed by James Murdock Jr.
  (q.v.) -- which, in turn, traced its roots to John Stanton (q.v.)
  the area's first diesinker. While the exact date may be nebulous,
  Osborne uses 1835 as the firm's founding date. In 1944  W.W.
  Osborne sold the firm to Dayton Acme Company, which later
  named it Osborne Coinage Company."

  When I was in business as Johnson & Jensen, my partner,
  Chris, and I visited Osborne. (Ostensibly we wanted to see if
  they could strike a die we owned. Unfortunately while Chris
  was getting the car, I placed the box containing the die on the
  curb at the hotel we were staying, I got in the car and we drove
  off. I didn't realize I didn't have the die until we were inside
  Osborne's offices. Chris, goodfellow he was, drove back to
  the hotel to retrieve the die.)

  What we observed was that Osborne had a lot of specialized
  machinery.  They are well known for striking transit tokens.
  They were, in fact, the leading producer of these because of a
  Progressive Die invented and patented by their Vice President,
  Clifford F. Stegman Sr. (The Stegman family has long been
  associated with the firm and there are, I believe, still Stegmans
  in the firm.)

  A Progressive Die is an ingenious coining invention. It performs
  three functions with each cycle of the press.  A blank strip is
  fed into the press. At the first station the image is struck (both
  obverse and reverse) while still on the strip.  At the second
  station it is pierced (to create the unique holes as on transit
  tokens).  At the third station it is blanked, the circular token
  is cut out of the strip.  All with one cycle of the press!  The
  advancing of the strip is critical, as each of the three stations
  must be in register.

  With this single invention, the firm produced millions of such
  transit tokens.

  While their website touts '165 years of continuous coin, token
  and medallion manufacturing' the "coin" here means any product
  struck on a coining press.  Remember the coining press is a
  metalworking machine and striking actual coins (U.S. or foreign
  for circulation) is but a small part of "coining."  Such presses
  also strike cog wheels, washers, or any flat small part that
  requires precise specifications required in large numbers with
  or without design.

  Also the use of the word "medallion" here is misleading.  To
  numismatists, a medallion is a large medal, larger than 3-inches
  in America, 80mm in Europe. To the public medallion sounds
  better than medal.  So everything is a medallion.  We are more
  precise in numismatics.

  From the equipment I observed at Osborne I doubt if they
  could strike a 3-inch item or larger. (I may be wrong, or they
  may have acquired newer equipment in the 20 years since my

  In addition to transit tokens, Osborne is also well known to
  collectors for casino and amusement tokens,  Mardi Gras
  doubloons, sports items and 'promotional' coins [i.e. tokens or
  medals], including such items as sobriety coins given to
  members of Alcoholics Anonymous on the anniversary of the
  day they stopped drinking.

  Osborne Mint, Osborne Coinage, Osborne Register, is a fine
  old firm with a heritage deep in midwest history. Collectors
  should be aware of their many products created for more than
  150 years. We only wished they would have marked every
  item they struck for the high quality die work and striking they
  have achieved. They deserve their fine reputation."

  Dick forwarded the following note by Dave Blumenfeld of the
  Osborne  company.  He writes: "I wish I could find the time to
  write a new history on Osborne. So much has changed over
  the past 10 years, but there isn't' anything in print. Cliff Stegman
  passed away some years ago, and the business has been
  owned and operated by his brother Tom and nephews Jeffrey
  and Todd.  We have become less involved in transit tokens -
  most transit authorities have transitioned to magnetic fare cards.
  Between '95 and '00 we became the market leader in casino
  tokens, selling tokens with the X-Mark anticounterfeiting
  optical codes on them. We have over 150,000,000 X-Mark
  slot tokens running around casinos here and abroad. We've
  become international, with sales in Latin, central and south
  America, Europe, even Russia. Current initiatives include old
  favorites like advertising specialties and video tokens, along
  with some Mardi gras doubloons like in the old days.

  We now strike medallions as large as 2", and have coining
  presses that run 700 strokes per minute.  It's very exciting to
  see them run.

 You might find some interesting info on our web site:"

  [David asked to be added to the E-Sylum mailing list, and
  he is our newest subscriber.]


  John and Nancy Wilson, Ocala, FL. write: "While doing
  some research on politicians we came across the site  which is great for researching
  deceased politicians and other famous people.  Though it
  deals with politicians it also includes many other categories
  of individuals.  We think it is a useful tool for numismatists
  who do research or just want to know some information
  regarding deceased politicians and others.  Thanks for a
  great E-sylum."


  Regarding last week's query, Tom DeLorey writes: "I can't
  decipher the name, but would like to add the comment that
  "U.S.B.Mint" is probably "United States Branch Mint" rather
   than "United States Bureau (of the) Mint."

  Steven Olson wrote:  "Wow - your newsletter seems to have
  an active readership!  I got two answers at almost the same time;
  I assume it was the day or day after your newsletter went out.
  Question answered and problem solved!

  I've updated my query page (
  to show the results.  My sincere thanks for your help in solving
  this puzzle, (and also for the spelling correction!)."

  The page notes: "Sincere thanks to Rich Kelly & Nancy Oliver
  who identified the addressee. According to their records he
  was: "Joseph A. Souther, a receipt clerk for the first San
  Francisco Mint. He was hired December of 1861 and records
  still show him working at the mint in 1864. In 1864 he was
  being paid at the rate of $2000 per year."

  [Bob Leonard also pointed out that "B" stood for Branch.


  The Mercury News of San Jose, CA, published an article
  about a new search feature at online bookseller

  "Call it a Google for books: Amazon's latest feature allows
  readers to search millions of pages online to browse before
  they buy.

  The question now is whether they will buy after they browse.

  The nimble search engine unveiled by mammoth online retailer makes 120,000 of its books -- or 33 million
  pages -- fully searchable for free. When the reader types in a
  word or phrase, the ``Search Inside the Book'' technology
  will call up every reference in each book, along with the page
  numbers. Readers can also call up the two pages before and
  after, if they sign in and provide a credit card number, which
  is not charged unless they buy.

  The feature is already drawing rave reviews from librarians
  and researchers.

  ``This is a really great feature for the public,'' said Mary
  McGrath, librarian at the Redwood City Public Library.
  ``It crosses over into being a real reference tool. Definitely
  a value add.''

  To read the entire article, see:


  Russell Hibbs wrote: "Pertaining to the issue of the 1909 ANA
  "official" picture taken on 10 August 1909 on the porch of Hotel
  Burean, Bout de l'Isle, has anyone noticed that there are two
  different pictures of this event, probably taken only minutes
  apart?  One is the "Adams" picture on page 68 of Vol.2 of his
  book and the second is the "ANA" picture on page 259 of THE
  NUMISMATIST, 1909.  There are subtle but definitely different
  aspects of each picture, but the wearing or not wearing of hats
  seems to be the easiest way to differentiate between them. In the
  Adams picture the fifth seated man from the right in front row is
  wearing his white hat, whereas in the ANA picture, he has taken it
  off. However in Adams the gentleman third from the left has his
  hat off and has put it back on in the ANA photo. My question
  to you readers of E-sylum is: which picture was taken first and
  why? And also does it really matter? It also brings up for
  discussion why there are two pictures and how and why did
  John Adams use one that was not in ANA for his book and
  where did he get it?  And awwaay we go! Russ Hibbs,
  jruss57 at"


  The Fort Worth, Texas Star-Telegram recently published
  an article about the city's prolific coin promoter, B. Max

  "A small, lively Fort Worth man gained an international
  reputation as a rare-coin dealer, a reputation that lasted
  through much of the 20th century and still exists posthumously.
  His name was B. Max Mehl."

  "Mehl was also a natural advertising and public-relations
  expert. Born in Lithuania in 1884, he started in the United
  States as a teen-age shoe clerk. But he was always interested
  in rare coins. It was in December 1903 that he ran his first
  coin advertisement in the Numismatist magazine. The next
  March he published a booklet called Catalogue of Fine
  Selections of Choice United States Gold, Silver and Copper
  Coins, Private and Territorial Gold, United States Fractional
  Currency. This was possibly his  first publication, (and
  certainly the one with his longest title).

  Soon, he began publishing his own monthly magazine. He
  even started a radio program beamed to countless coin and
  stamp collectors avidly listening to this brand new broadcast

  By 1910, his innovative advertising caused the Fort Worth
  Post Office to double the number of mail carriers on Mehl's
  route. Mail addressed to him that first year accounted for
  more than half the business of the Fort Worth postal system."

  "The headquarters of B. Max Mehl's coin and catalog business,
  which he built in 1924, is still a south Fort Worth landmark on
  the corner of Henderson Street and Magnolia Avenue. The
  brick-and-limestone, three-story building has a unique design. '
  B. Max Mehl's name is prominently inscribed in the limestone
  in the center of the building.

  The building is scheduled for renovation and is listed on the
  National Register of Historic Places as well as being on Fort
  Worth's list of Most Significant Buildings."

  To read the complete article, see


  The September 28, 2003 E-Sylum (v6n39) described how
  counterfeiters in Taipei shove fake bills at weddings. The
  following is an amusing non-numismatic item about money
  and a wedding, this time in Japan:

  "A Japanese "prince and princess" looked unlikely to live
  happily ever after Tuesday when they were arrested on
  suspicion of defrauding 13 million yen ($117,900) from
  guests at a fake royal wedding in Tokyo.

  Yasuyuki Kitano and Harumi Sakamoto, both in their 40s,
  issued 2,000 invitations to "Prince Arisugawa's celebration
  banquet" in April, attracting 400 people including celebrities,
  domestic media said."

  "The couple deny having pretended Kitano was a member
  of the now-defunct Arisugawa branch of the Imperial family."

  "Guests at Japanese weddings are expected to bring cash gifts.
  In this case they are also said to have been charged 10,000
  yen a time for taking pictures with the happy couple."

  For the complete story see:


  This week's featured web site is recommended by
  Adrián González Salinas of Monterrey, N.L. México.
  He writes: "This site may be be useful readers of The
  E-Sylum (it's in English).  It contains information about
  the newest bimetalic coins of Mexico commemorating
  every Mexican state and, in descending order (Z-A),
  that is, Zacatecas thru Aguascalientes (32).

  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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