The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 49, November 16, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Bob Johnson writes: "This is the obit I saw today in the
  Philadelphia Inquirer."

  Byron Kanzinger, author of the Civil War Token Collectors
  Guide, has died.  The obituary was published last Sunday,
  November 9th.  Last week's E-Sylum was published early,
  and unfortunately, Bob's news arrived afterwards while your
  editor was traveling.

  "Bryon D. Kanzinger, 32, a senior manager at the Regal
  Marketplace theater complex in Upper Providence Township,
  died of melanoma Thursday at his parents' home in Collegeville."

 "Mr. Kanzinger was vice president of the Civil War Token
  Society and the author of The Civil War Token Collectors

  He created the Civil War Token Collectors Hall of Fame,
  designing the election process and the special tokens given to
  those honored for their contributions to the hobby. He presented
  the tokens to the winners at the annual meeting of the American
  Numismatic Association.  He was inducted into the Hall of  Fame
  last month as its 12th member."

  "Memorial donations may be made the Civil War Token
  Society, 26548 Mazur Dr., Palos Verdes, Calif. 90275."

  To read the fully obituary, see

  Larry Dziubek, past President of the Civil War Token Society
  writes: "Bryon's book has standardized pricing for the buying
  and selling of Civil War tokens.  The book does a good job
  on both patriotics and storecards in three grades. The
  knowledgeable dealers and collector specialists always had an
  advantage for "cherrypicking" at shows or in auctions. Many
  people now use this book like the Redbook is used for U.S.

  The guide enables a neophyte to instantly make use of the
  many years of experience that are built into the pricing
  structure.  This is possible due to the high level of accuracy
  of Bryon's  contributors.  Things like desirability variables of
  geography, strike quality, mintages, die sinkers, and even
  pictorial designs are at  one's finger tip.  This phenomenon
  is most  evident when following eBay or other auction sales.
  Results tend to be center around the Kanzinger price much
  like bullet holes concentrate near the bull's-eye of gun range
  targets.  Bryon was always looking for ways to assist the
  collector to enjoy the hobby."


  Regarding our last issue and its summary of events and
  reactions to the recent Crestline fire, Fred Lake writes:
  "This is probably the most important email that you have
  sent since the inception of The E-Sylum.

  George's comments and others are to be treasured.
  Many thanks for your dedication to preserving numismatic

  [It was also nice to see E-Sylum coverage of the fire
  quoted in the November 17th issue of Coin World.


  Rich Hartzog of World Exonumia Press writes: "The new 2003
  book by Brunk is in final production:  "Merchant and Privately
  Countermarked Coins: Advertising on the World's Smallest

  This important reference covers all known counterstamped
  coins issued by merchants of the United States, Canada,
  Mexico and the world.  The 480 page book covers over
  13,500 countermarks, with over 2000 photographs.

  Available in full color cover hardbound and deluxe leather
  editions, each includes the supplemental price guide.
  For more details, please see

  International customers should write for shipping information."


  Fred Lake writes: "This is a reminder that Lake Books
  mail-bid sale of numismatic literature #71 closes on
  Tuesday, November 18, 2003 at 5:00 PM (EST). You
  may view the sale at

  Bids may be entered by email, FAX or telephone call in
  addition to regular US Mail."


  In an article in the November 2003 issue of Bank Note
  Reporter, Neil Shafer announced that "... after a number of
  years of inactivity, the project dealing with the myriad scrip
  issues for the Panic of 1907 has now risen to the forefront."

  "There are three individuals working together on this massive
  project: Douglass Corrigan, e-mail dougcorrigan at;
  Tom Sheehan, twsheeh at; and myself,
  nelshaf at  Please send reports of ANY examples of
  1907 scrip to any of us as soon as possible."

  [Part of my own 1907 scrip collection is now in the hands
  of Tom Sheehan to be inventories for the project.  If you have
  any of these notes, or are aware of any articles or auction sales
  in this area, please contact one of the above compilers.


  The November 28-29, 2003 Michigan State Numismatic
  Society sale by Craig Whitford features five lots of
  correspondence relating to the New Orleans mint, including
  letters written by Director Robert Maskell PAtterson, New
  Orleans Branch Mint Superintendents David Bradford and
  Joseph M. Kennedy and coiner Rufus Tyler.  The sale also
  includes letters signed by such numismatic personalities as
  Mint Directors David Rittenhouse and James Pollack,
  engravers John Sinnock and Frank Gasparro, and artist
  Augustus St. Gaudens.


  Darryl Atchision writes: "I am looking for a listing of American
  Numismatic Association Hall of Fame members with their
  years of  induction.  If anyone can help me it would be greatly
  appreciated.  My email address is atchisondf at"


  In response to the "Brahmin Nummulariist" item in the
  October 19, 2003 E-Sylum (v6#42), Ron Haller-Williams

  "Magpies, jackdaws and other members of the crow family
  are often attracted by bright objects such as rings (see e.g.
  the poem "The Jackdaw of Rheims", about a bird which was
  eventually forced by curses to return the ring it had stolen
  from a cardinal).

  The centennial medal of the British Numismatic Society shows
  a magpie in front of a coin cabinet, with a gold coin in its beak.
  In Matthew Chapter XVII verses 24-27, we have an account
  of how a fish paid the the temple tax of two drachmae each
  for Jesus and Peter, because it had swallowed a 4-drachma

  Of course, there is always the alleged hospital bulletin on
  a child who has swallowed a dollar or pound coin:  "No

  On this note, a great-great-uncle of mine is said to have died
  as a baby or toddler, from choking on a small coin (farthing?)
  that he had apparently tried to eat."


  A web site visitor wrote: "While searching the internet for info
  about a 1/2 pint bottle I have, I've come across your web page.
  I  have a bottle that advertises:

  A.M. Smith
  249 Hen Av
  Wine Depot
  Full 1/2 Pint

  The web page he refers to is Pete Smith's online exhibit
  about the numismatic ephemera of A. M. Smith.  The
  page is on the NBS web site at:
  The exhibit on the Howland Wood award at the 1996
  ANA convention in Denver.  The web version has attracted
  the attention of descendants of Smith's, and I've put them
  in touch with Pete.  Publishing on the Internet is a great way
  to bring together people that may never have found each
  other any other way.  I encourage authors and exhibitors to
  make their work available the way Pete has done - any work
  related to numismatic literature could find a home on our web


  A story published November 11th in the Rocky Mountain
  News notes that an audit has found many potential problems
  at the U.S. Mint.

  "The agency that makes your money has trouble keeping track
  of it.

  For each of the past three years, the U.S. Mint's private auditor
  has warned of serious security problems with  computerized
  records in its coin division.  The mint's financial controls also
  were riddled with holes, the auditors  found.

  Specifically, the auditors said, employees could tinker with
  computerized records, including financial transactions. And
  mint staff didn't sufficiently check bills, payroll, and credit
  card accounts before paying them, the audits said."

  "In response, mint officials in Washington said they have
  corrected many problems, and auditors found the mint's
  year-end financial reports to be accurate.

  No financial losses have been found, either from errors or
  hackers, the mint said.

  But sloppy documentation cost the mint $13 million in silver in
  a 2001 dispute that's still in court."

  For the full article, see,1299,DRMN_15_2418890,00.html


  The Rocky Mountain News also published a companion
  article about the gold stored at the Denver Mint facility.

  "Few people in Denver know that the Italianate mansion
  downtown is home to 18 percent of U.S. gold reserves.
  But U.S. Mint spokeswoman Becky Bailey says it's public

  Piled together, the pure gold bricks in the mint would fill
  three 10-foot-by-11-foot rooms to a height of 8 feet.

  Each bar weighs 27.5 pounds, according to the Treasury
  Department's Web site.  Altogether, the Denver gold weighs
  3 million pounds."

  "Not long ago, tourists lined up on Cherokee Street
  downtown for tours of the coin factory. But those tours
  ended after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

  Tours for schoolchildren still can be arranged, but adults
  hoping to see the mint must ask their congressman to
  arrange a visit."

  "The city of Denver plans to build a jail on the current site
  of the Rocky Mountain News building, just west of the mint.

  That would put hundreds of prisoners next door to $17 billion.

  [Treasury Department's inspector general Louis] King was
  startled to hear that Denver hopes to build a prisoner tunnel
  from the planned jail to the courthouse, which is just east of
  the mint. The tunnel would go past the mint's basement.

   "We'll have to keep an eye on that," he said."

  To read the full article, see:,1299,DRMN_15_2418888,00.html


  Your editor spent a few days this week in New York City
  on business.  With a couple hours to kill I took a walk uptown
  for my first visit to Stack's.  At 123 West 57th Street, the
  storefront has some famous neighbors, including piano maker
  Steinway and Carnegie Hall.  The narrow little shop looks just
  like many of the other coin shops scattered around the nation,
  but for the discerning visitor, many telltale clues note that this
  is no ordinary coin shop.  For one, security is formidable, with
  two burly (but friendly) armed guards milling about.  And just
  how many U.S. Fractional Currency Shields does one shop
  need to stock?   The back wall displayed five of them,
  suggesting that perhaps there was stack of others somewhere
  in the back room.   No time to visit, unfortunately, and the
  staff was noticeably busy in preparation for an upcoming
  auction.  So off I went on my merry way.

  The next morning (Thursday) I stopped briefly at the
  American Numismatic Society's exhibit at the Federal Reserve
  Bank of New York downtown.  It was very nicely laid out and
  filled with a number of gems that would wow any knowledgeable
  numismatist.  The U.S. highlights were featured in a case in the
  center of the hall, including an 1804 dollar, a Confederate Half
  dollar, a Brasher doubloon and other colonial-era gold coins
  stamped with Brasher's "E.B." countermark.   The ancient coins
  in the exhibit were in superb condition.   Having witnessed a
  huge crowd viewing a free Brittney Spears concert off Times
  Square on Monday, I was sad to see that I was the solitary
  visitor to the exhibit that morning.  It's hard to sex up a
  exhibit, but it was chock full of things of beauty.  It was nice to
  see a group of schoolchildren arrive as I was leaving - hopefully
  some of them will come away with a new appreciation of our

  My next stop was the New York Stock Exchange, where I
  was treated to a visit to the floor of the exchange for a first-hand
  view of how it operates.  The post-September 11 landscape
  was eerie, made more so by street resurfacing that had Wall
  Street and adjacent streets scraped of asphalt and devoid of
  traffic.  Two NYPD vans were parked out front, and two
  officers with riot gear and machine guns patrolled the street.
  George Washington's statue in front of Federal Hall surveyed
  the scene, which was oddly quiet as the wind kicked up and
  rain began to fall.

  Once inside and past security, my floor trader friend escorted
  me through the floor to his work station.  I'm not the excitable
  type, but it was truly a thrill to walk that famous floor, which
  held more computer and communications equipment per square
  foot than than I'd ever seen in my life. (and I've been to the
  belly of the Internet, visiting key hosting centers for search
  engine server farms).  And the number of people crammed
  into that space is equally amazing.  Brokers and specialists
  each have what amounts to a couple feet of allocated space,
  and no one would bother to sit even if they had a chair -
  everyone is on their feet and constantly interacting with others.

  As I looked up past the matrix of hanging conduits I noticed
  the ornate old ceiling above.  A beautiful architectural feature,
  but one obscured by the practicalities of doing the exchange's
  business.  I would be surprised if any of the traders, even those
  who've worked there for years, ever noticed the ceiling.

  The wooden floor was reminiscent of a high school gymnasium,
  and yes, it was littered with scraps of paper and other trash
  (and it was only 11am).  Workers' cubbyholes, although
  bedecked with the latest electronics, were built of well-worn
  wood which looked like they had been installed in the 1970's
  and never repaired or touched up in 30 years.  Very institutional.

  It was a bit sad to realize what an anachronism the place is.
  Computer technology has already automated much of the
  process, and the human element which remains could just as
  well be automated, too.   Many of these people would still have
  their jobs, but they could work from cushy offices blocks,
  miles, or continents away.  Someday the exchange could be
  just another musty tourist attraction, with actors going through
  the motions of trading like the "technicians" at amusement park
  "movie studios."

  Technology has eliminated the need for toll tokens, which have
  disappeared from the New York subway system and many
  highways around the country.   Physical stock certificates are
  on the way out, and the exchange itself may be next.  Coins
  and paper money are still with us, but credit and debit cards
  are gaining share rapidly.   Someday numismatists could no
  longer have anything new to collect - we'll have to content
  ourselves with the old.


  Arthur Shippee writes: "Here are two coin notes from
  Explorator, the e-newsletter I've told you about.  I just
  sent him the lottery & Maria T. Taler sites mentioned in
  last week's E-Sylum.

  "A gold coin which was found at Agincourt and once
  included as part of a private album put together by JMW
  Turner has been found again:,11711,1078596,00.html

  It appears the Republic (and its gold) has been found:"


  Larry Mitchell writes: "Numismatic articles aren't found ONLY
  in numismatic publications.  PRINTING HISTORY, the annual
  journal of the American Printing History Association (APHA),
  contains in its current issue (no. 45 [Vol. XXIII, no. 1])

  "Donald O'Brien's article on the nineteenth century banknote
  engraving firm of Terry, Pelton & Company. Working from a
  small group of business letters written by Oliver Pelton to his
  partner William Terry over the course of the year 1834, the
  author traces each letter's many references and reveals the
  complex and fascinating world of American banknote printing...."

  For further information on APHA, click on:"


  Dick Johnson writes: "Finding the definition of "bloviation"
  was easy:  gave the answer from the 1897
  period. Joel O. was certainly correct.  David Q. has never

  But if you want to add a new word to your numismatic
  vocabulary, try this:  I found "toreumatography" as the
 description of ancient metal reliefs.  Would that mean that
  a "toreumatographer" catalogs ancient coins?"


  NBS Vice President John Adams writes: "At the October
  meeting of the Council of the American Numismatic Society,
  Wayne Homren was nominated to become a Fellow of the
  Society.  I am pleased to report that he has accepted this
  honor which he has so richly earned. In addition to his inspired
  and faithful editorship of E-Sylum, Wayne has been an active
  member of the Library Committee at the ANS as well as a
  staunch contributor to a long list of other organizations.
  Way to go, Wayne !!!"


  A November 13th article in The Daily Times of Delaware
  County, Pennsylvania noted that  "... up to 300 Franklin Mint
  employees could lose their jobs in a restructuring that will
  transform the company to an Internet and wholesale business,
  according to officials.

  Workers were asked yesterday to pack up their belongings
  and go home with pay, according to mint spokesman Howard
  Lucker. He said they will return over the next few days to
  discuss their transition out of the company.

  "We are going to have some layoffs over the next several
  months," he said. "We are developing a new, smaller business
  focusing on product development and  marketing."

  "Despite popularity and revenues in the millions, the business
  has been faltering for some time. Layoffs have been announced
  three times since 1999 and the facility, that once employed 1,500
  full-time workers, as of Tuesday employed only 300."

  "Everyone right there now is crying," a Bethel resident who
  works in the mint?s collections department said. But, she
  added, the move wasn?t a total surprise.

  "Every year before Christmas, it?s always the way it was,"
  she said. "Here comes the layoffs."

  A followup article titled "Ex-mint workers ponder prospects"
  was published November 14.

  "I can?t think of anything negative to say about the Franklin
  Mint, except, the owners I?m not too happy with right now,"
  she said. "But, I understand they do what they have to do."

  "It?s kind of," Rogalski said, "an end of an era."

  The history of The Franklin Mint was chronicled in the June
  2003 issue of COINage Magazine.


  Web site visitor Jim Driscoll writes: "I have a question that
  you probably cannot answer, but I will try.

  Around 1992 I received a copy of American Numismatic
  magazine, as I was a trial member at that time.  In it was an
  article on a certain "drooling dollar" which was a printed dollar
  of a foreign prince drooling of all things.  I of course had gotten
  rid of the publication before I spotted the dollar.

  Of course this stood out in my mind due to its bizarre nature.
  The article said that this dollar was released but corrected
  immediately and if anyone got a hold of one of the drooling
  dollars it could fetch a dandy price.

  At an antique shop I found one of each, the drooling and non
  drooling dollar featuring this prince's portrait, and a stunning
  leopard or tiger on the back.  I am wondering if I can find out
  what country it is from and what it is worth.  Thank you if
  you can assist me in any way."

  So, E-Sylum readers - does anyone recall a "drooling


  This week's featured web page is Shannon and Paul
  Burkhard's page on U.S. Fractional Currency Shields.

  "Fractional Currency Shields consisted of a printed shield-
  shaped background (nearly always gray in color, but
  sometimes pink or green) on which were pasted by hand
  39 different Specimen (printed on one side only) Fractional
  Currency notes, typically consisting of 20 fronts and 19
  backs, all from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd issues."

  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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