The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 53, December 14, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers are Yossi Dotan, courtesy of
  Howard Daniel, and Jim Wiley.  Welcome aboard!  We now
  have 609  subscribers.


  On December 9th, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published
  an article about The Sam Fox Arts Center at Washington
  University is St. Louis.  Why should E-Sylum readers care?
  According to the article,  "When completed, one special
  feature of the $56.8 million arts complex will be a 3,000-
  square-foot numismatic museum, the Newman Money

  A gift of $2 million from St. Louis philanthropists and
  civic leaders Eric P. Newman and Evelyn E. Newman
  will endow it. A variety of money-related exhibits are to be
  presented, as well as opportunities for scholarly research."

  "Evelyn Newman is famous for raising money for good
   causes...  Her husband, Eric, is a distinguished numismatist.
   His collection began more than 80 years ago when his
   grandfather gave him a one-cent piece dating from 1859.
   His fascination grew, and his collection has grown to be one
  of the nation's most famous. It is especially important for its
   U.S. and early American coins and paper money. Eric
   Newman, a former Edison Brothers Stores Inc. executive
   and a lawyer, is a graduate of the university's law school."
   The paper's web site is:

  After reading the article I dropped everything and sent a
  quick note to Eric:  "I just read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  article about the new Newman Money Museum.  Fantastic!
  Would you mind sharing some of your thoughts with your
  bibliophile friends via The E-Sylum? "

  Eric replied: "You certainly do not let a piece of newspaper
  publicity stay unnoticed and I thank you for contacting me.
  The Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society
  (Incorporated in 1958) will be allotted numismatic museum
  space of about 3,000 sq. ft. in the new 55,000 sq. ft. Sam
  Fox Arts Center on the campus of Washington University in
  St. Louis which will have a total exhibit space of 15,000 sq. ft.
  open to the public and the balance will be used for art and art
  history education, reading rooms, administration, facilities and
  art collection storage, etc. Our coin and paper money exhibit
  space will include a small Victorian office-library containing
  some of our numismatic library material (major rarities will be
  kept in bank vaults) and the balance of that library will be
  brought to the museum for research from on-campus space
  when convenient. Unusual numismatic books, broadsides,
  and pamphlets will sometimes be on exhibit.   Construction is
  scheduled to begin in spring 2004.   I am delighted to be
  connected with such a prestigious institution which is only a
  couple of blocks away from my home.

  Any suggestions from your readers as to subject matter or
  types of coin, paper money, token or library exhibits are
  more than welcome."

  Several years ago during an Early American Coppers
  convention in St. Louis, I visited an earlier incarnation of
  Eric's museum (twice), with Eric himself as a guide.  John
  Burns and Charlie Davis joined us for a look at Eric's
  numismatic library, which was displayed in a two-story
  high office at the back of the museum.  A balcony circled
  the room, accessed by a spiral staircase.  I felt like I was
  in the numismatic library of heaven.

  I replied to Eric: "I recall your earlier museum at the
  Mercantile Bank.  I remember some simply gorgeous
  high-grade colonial coins.  I also seem to recall you had a
  couple animated figures in period dress.  What became of
  them?   Your exhibits were very nicely done.   Would there
  be both a permanent exhibit and rotating exhibits of coins?
  Could we expect to see your Confederate Half dollar on
  display someday?"

  Eric replied: "What a memory you have!  We had the
  numismatic museum at the Mercantile Bank in St. Louis for
  almost 20 years and the new one at Washington University
  will be bigger and hopefully better. It will emphasize money
  uses, the economic and political history of money, the art on
  money and other matters related to numismatics. We will be
  revitalizing the best of the old displays and adding new ones.
  We are developing a new animated figure of Franklin and
  a few surprises. We will rotate exhibits when deemed
  advisable. You ask about exhibiting the Confederate Half
  dollar and other major rarities and that gives rise to a security
  problem which must be carefully considered.  Anything we
  have would be available for examination to appropriate
  scholars on advance arrangements but the items not on
  exhibit would naturally be kept in bank vaults and not at the

  Our numismatic books and pamphlets are too numerous to
  count but will be available to researchers. Some of our
  library will be in a small Victorian style office in the exhibit
  space.  We invite encourage you and your readers to suggest
  themes, subject matter and categories for displays which will
  increase public interest in numismatics other than commercial
  value. We try to use associated artifacts, pictorial material,
  explanations, broadsides, etc. to supplement the coins, paper
  money and tokens in a display.  If you have any more
  questions please feel free to ask them as you have your eye
  on what encourages the joys and satisfactions of the
  intellectually stimulating discipline of numismatics.  A happy
  holiday to you and your many friends."


  The December 22 issue of Coin World has two great articles
  relating to the American Numismatic Society library.
  Q. David Bowers chronicled the recent dedication of the
  Harry W. Bass Jr. Library (p76).  ANS Librarian Frank
  Campbell provided an overview of the library and its
  holdings of 150,000 items beginning on p76.


  Fred Lake writes: "Lake Books announces that its 72nd mail-bid
  sale of numismatic literature is now available for viewing on our
  web site at

  The sale is Part III of the library of Dr. William E. Hopkins and
  features reference material relating to ancient coinage, early
  American coinage, tokens, medals, paper money and the full
  gamut of the numismatic hobby.

  The closing date for the sale is January 20, 2004 at 5:00 PM
  (EST) and email, telephone, FAX, and regular mail bids are

  I hope that you all have a Happy Holiday season and that 2004
  will bring you much health and prosperity.  Cordially,    Fred."


  Howard A. Daniel III, has formally applied for an ANA
  National Money Show club booth in Portland, Oregon,
  where he will promote NBS,  Numismatics International (NI)
  and the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) from March
  26th to 28th, 2004.

  Howard will also be moderating separate meetings and
  educational forums on March 27th (Saturday) for IBNS at
  11 AM and NI   at 12 Noon in the same room.  The booth
  and meetings are regularly approved, so he is not expecting
  any changes.

  NBS members are invited to both meetings, but especially the
  NI meeting because Scott Semans will be speaking about his
  recommendations for creating numismatic catalogs.  Howard is
  still searching for a speaker for the IBNS meeting.  If anyone is
  interested in speaking at it for 20-30 minutes, please contact
  Howard at Howard at

  NBS members are also invited to visit the booth and use it for
  leaving messages for other NBS members or just to take a break
  and rest.  If an NBS member finds a prospective member at the
  show, please send them to the booth and Howard will convince
  them to join us, or at least to sign up for The E-Sylum."


  As announced at the NBS meeting at this year's ANA
  convention in Baltimore, plans are underway for a special
  outing to celebrate our 25th anniversary at next year's
  convention here in Pittsburgh.   We'll visit the E-Sylum
  Ground Zero (my library), as well as the numismatic libraries
  of Asylum Editor E. Tomlinson Fort and the Carnegie Library
  of Pittsburgh.  The latter features the rare first six volumes of
  the ANA's Numismatist magazine, and a shelf of early U.S.
  copper literature from the library of George H. Clapp.

  Separately, if there is enough interest, we may be able to
  arrange a viewing of selected coins from the Carnegie
  collection, which includes Clapp's Large Cent collection,
  some colonials, and some U.S. patterns.  The colonials
  include three Higley coppers (at least two of which are
  likely copies).   Although the bibliophile excursion would
  be limited to NBS members, the coin excursion would be
  open to all ANA members.

  We are currently looking into costs for chartering buses,
  and to gauge demand for these two events, I'd like all
  SERIOUSLY interested readers to respond to this e-mail.
  Please don't respond simply to agree that it's a great
  idea;  respond only if you would be willing to commit
  an entire afternoon of the convention to the outing and
  pay your fair share of the cost in advance.  Please
  specify interest in the BOOK trip, the COIN trip, or
  BOTH.   The convention is August 18-22, 2004.  The
  book trip would be Friday the 20th, following our
  normal general NBS meeting.  No date has been set for
  the coin trip, but it has to be on a weekday during regular
  museum hours.   I'll look forward to hearing from many
  of you.


  The planned Pittsburgh excursion brings to mind the famed
  "Invasion of Louisville."   Coincidentally,  Darryl Atchison
  writes: "I was reading in an issue of Out On A Limb recently
  that Armand Champa had a VHS Tape made of the "Invasion
  of Louisville" which was subsequently shown at one of the
  N.B.S. meetings.  Sorry I don't recall which year this was

  I am hoping that one of our readers may have a copy of the
  tape that I could borrow.  I would really like to watch this
  tape.  If anyone can help me, please feel free to contact me
  at atchisondf at    Thanks."

  [Bibliophile Armand Champa of Louisville, KY chartered
  a bus to bring a few dozen bibliophiles from the Cincinnati,
  OH convention of the American Numismatic Association
  (1988, I believe) to view his library in Louisville.  The event
  became known as "The Invasion of Louisville."   I was one
  of the lucky attendees, and it was quite a day.  Armand was
  never one to do things half-way.  He hired caterers and
  bartenders to dole out refreshments, and had a photographer
  and videographer on hand to record the proceedings.  Later,
  Armand treated everyone to dinner at one of his favorite
  restaurants.  The afternoon's video was shown after dinner.
  Would some of our readers who were present care to tell
  us their recollections of the event?  -Editor]


  Dick Johnson writes: "Several editorial feature syndicates
  furnish lists "This Day In History" or similar to newspapers.
  One of these stated -- erroneously -- that last Friday,
  December 13th, was the 25th anniversary of the day "the
  Susan B. Anthony Dollar WAS ISSUED."

  One writer on the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Bill Blubinger)
  picked up on this item and wrote a story published Friday.
  He got the facts correct and noted the short-lived legacy
  of the Susan B. Anthony dollar.  He called it the "Edsel of
  dollars; the New Coke of coins" and ended with the
  statement that the coin's legacy was rich but short-changed.

  Friday, December 13, 1978, was the day the first Susies
  were struck. The coin was designed and modeled by Frank
  Gasparro, chief engraver at the Philadelphia Mint at the time,
  and were placed into production that day.  They weren't
  issued until July the following year. The date on the first
  coins was 1979, of course.

  The Plain Dealer story goes on to quote one Beachwood
  coin dealer, Jack Griffin, and also former Ohio Representative
  Mary Rose Oakar, who stated "When they wanted to do
  another Miss Liberty, I said, Why not put a real woman on
  the coin?" She had introduced a bill to use the famed women's
  rights advocate image on the coin.

  Here's the full story in The Cleveland Plain Dealer:

  Looking back from a quarter century's perspective, the coin's
  lack of popularity rests -- not with the subject or the designer
  -- but mostly with its size. In a private conversation I once
  had with Frank Gasparro, he even admitted he spent one of
  the dollar coins as a quarter himself!"


  Jim Wiley writes: "For over a year, someone (probably
  Larry Dziubek) has been very nice to me by including me
  on your mailing list even though I am neither a "book collector"
  nor one who has always been able to fully appreciate some
  of the numismatic historical events and references that many
  of your compatriots seem to "get".  I do enjoy reading many
  of the articles and enjoy trying to determine just what "turns
  the engines" of "you folks". ( Can't say I know for sure, but
  it intrigues me to see what kinds of things interest your
  subscribers.)  At any rate, if you will be so kind, I would
  appreciate continuing receiving The E-Sylum at my new
  email address.  With appreciation and admiration,
  Jim Wiley, mere merchant token collector"


  David Gladfelter writes: "You'll get lotsa answers to the quiz,
  from John and Nancy Wilson among others.  Biddle was
  president of the ill-fated Second Bank of the United States.
  Its numismatic output is catalogued in vol. 4 of Haxby; also
  see Hessler, An Illustrated History of U. S. Loans. John and
  Nancy had a specialized collection of the bank's notes."

  Chris Fuccione writes:  "He was the president of the Second
  Bank of the United States until Andrew Jackson vetoed
  rechartering it.  Biddle resigned in protest.  I believe that was
  the start of the downfall of our economy in 1837.  There are
  many references to the Second Bank on Hard Times Tokens."

  Nolan Mims writes: "I enjoyed the article on Roger Wendlick
  and his collection of Lewis and Clark memorabilia, especially
  the reference to Nicholas Biddle and his two volumes written
  from Lewis and Clark's notes. Biddle, later President of the
  Bank of the United States, was a brilliant financier who, I
  believe, graduated from Princeton as class valedictorian at the
  ripe old age of fifteen.  His feuds with Andrew Jackson became
  legendary.  Biddle's influence was felt as far South as Mobile,
  Alabama through the establishment of a branch bank there,
  much against the wishes of many Alabama politicians, including
  then Governor  Murphy. Your QUICK QUIZ question as to
  the bank's connection to numismatics has several possible
  answers.  One, of course, is the highly collectible notes issued
  by the bank and its branches. Another is the famous $1000
  note bearing serial number 8894 which has collectors to this
  day believing they have a rare note worth a fortune. Also,
  many hard times tokens and scrip refer to the Bank of the
  United States and the controversy surrounding it.

  The E-Sylum is a great way to start a Monday morning.
  Keep up the good work!"

  Jess W. Gaylor sends the following, found in
  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

  "In the legislature Biddle quickly became prominent.  He
  originated a bill favoring popular education, a quarter of a
  century in advance of the times.  The bill was defeated, but
  came up again in different forms until, in 1836, the Pennsylvania
  common-school system was inaugurated as a direct result of
  his efforts.  He was more successful in advocating the re-charter
  of the Bank of the United States, which was his first step toward
  a financial career.  The War of 1812 intervened. Moving to the
  state senate, the United States bank was re-chartered in 1819
  and President Monroe appointed him a government director.
  Upon the resignation of bank president Langdon Cheves, Biddle
  ascended to president. During his connection with it he was
  appointed by Monroe, under authority from Congress, to
  prepare a "Commercial Digest" of the laws and trade regulations
  of the world, for many years regarded as an authority.

  The "bank war," inaugurated by President Andrew Jackson in
  1829, undermined the credit of the institution, and after the bill
  for its re-charter was vetoed in 1832, Biddle's efforts to save
  the bank failed. The withdrawal of the government deposits by
  Jackson's order in 1833 precipitated financial disasters that
  involved the whole country. Biddle's friends assert that his
  non-partisanship provoked Jackson's hostility, a claim denied
  by Jackson's admirers. The literature of the "bank war" is
  voluminous, including a series of letters by Mr. Biddle,
  vindicating his own course. In 1839 he resigned the bank
  presidency, and in 1841 the bank failed."

  Paul Horner added a fact I wasn't aware of: "He was the
  president of the 2nd Bank of the United States, and that bank
  received the 1836 Gobrecht dollars."


  Dave Ginsberg writes: "Nancy Green (ANA Librarian, as
  you undoubtedly know) sent me an e-mail today, offering
  me a copy of R.W. Julian's article. Thanks for your help.

  By the way, do you know if Mr. Julian's articles/research
  have ever been collected in one place?  I would think they'd
  be an invaluable resource."

  [Later, Dave heard from Mr. Julian himself.   I recall that at
  one time Ken Lowe of The Money Tree was compiling an
  index of Julian's articles, but do not know what became of
  the effort after Ken died.  I'm not aware of any collected
  volume, unfortunately.  I agree that it would be a very
  useful publication.  -Editor]


  Dave Ginsberg writes: "Recently, I purchased a $5 banknote
  issued by The Farmers' and Merchants' Bank of Memphis, TN.
  The note, which features a central vignette of five figures
  surrounding five Type I gold dollars, is numbered (#3308),
  signed (by [unintelligible first initial] Clarke as Cashier and
  J. Fowlkes as president) and dated March 1, 1854, which
  leads me to conclude that this note was actually issued for
  circulation rather than being an unissued note, as so many
  Obsolete banknotes in the market are.

  In reviewing my copy of "Banking in the American South from
  the Age of Jackson to Reconstruction" by Larry Schweikart
  (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987), I
  discovered that this bank has a particularly colorful history.
  According to Mr. Schweikart (who is a Professor of History
  at the University of Dayton and the author of two other books
  on banking history), "Jeptha Fowlkes, a physician turned financier,
  was elected a director [of the bank] together with Seth Wheatley,
  Joseph Watkins. . ., and General Levin Coe on January 6, 1847,
  and immediately began an intrigue against the other directors,
  especially Wheatley."  The bank was "forced to suspend
  operations in May 1847."  On January 26, 1848, "two eastern
  stockholders" began legal action and three days later, when the
  sheriff served an injunction against the officers of the bank, a
  mob formed and tried to take possession of the bank.

  "After two years of legal wranglings, the court appeared ready
  to turn the bank back over to Fowlkes and the directors.
  Opponents and creditors of the bank persuaded former director
  General Levin Coe, a prominent lawyer, to oppose returning the
  bank to Fowlkes.  [While Coe was regarded by some as the
  only man who could rescue the bank,]. . . others, including E.W.M.
  King and Alanon Trigg, regarded Coe as an enemy of Fowlkes.
  After making a court appearance, Coe and two friends ran into
  Trigg and one of his friends.  In the ensuing gun battle, (emphasis
  added) Trigg was killed and Coe suffered a fatal pistol shot in the
  back.  The deaths of Coe and Trigg and the turmoil surrounding
  the bank took its toll on popular support.  Although the bank
  remained convincingly solvent, its notes dropped to 25 percent
  discounts.  After six years the bank was dead."

  This information raises the question: "What exactly do I own?"
  Was this bank liquidated in 1847, as Mr. Schweikart states in a
  table of antebellum Tennessee banks and is suggested by the title
  of one of his sources: "Chronicles of the Farmers' and Merchants'
  Bank of Memphis (1832-1847), by Jesse the "Scribe", ed. by
  James Roper (Memphis, 1960) or did it resume operations?
  Mr. Schweikart, in the above paragraph, implies the bank's notes
  were still circulating in 1850.  Could new notes have been legally
  issued in 1854?  (Certainly, my note hasn't seen much, if any
  circulation.  Although the edges are a bit worn, the note doesn't
  appear to have any folds.)  This note could not have been printed
  prior to 1849 (as gold dollars didn't exist then), but was it printed
  by a bank that was on its last legs, or was it printed and distributed
  by criminals in order to defraud those who didn't know that the
  bank had ceased operations years before?  Was Mr. Fowlkes'
  signature forged or was he in fact guilty of "pilfering, swindling,
  and perjury" as Mr. Schweikart says he was accused of by the
  editor of the Memphis Eagle?

  I'd appreciate hearing from anyone familiar with this bank, or who
  owns a Counterfeit Detector from the period that mentions these
  notes.  Please contact me at ginsburg.d at


  Ron Guth of writes: "I ran across the following
  tidbits in, of all places, a pair of "New Buffalo Bill Weekly"
  Magazines from 1916.

  From the November 4, 1916 issue:
  If some one hands you a silver coin that has an unfamiliar
  look, don't refuse it immediately in the belief that it is a
  counterfeit or of foreign origin.  The probabilities are that it
  will be a sample of Uncle Sam's new mintage, which has
  been placed in circulation in compliance with the law that
  requires a change in the designs of the silver pieces once in
  every twenty years.

  The new coins consist of half dollars, quarter dollars, and
  dimes.  For more than a month the United States mints in
  Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco have been turning
  them out at a rate of about forty thousand dollars' worth a

  The design of the new half dollars is considered a higher
  type of art than the coins that have for so long been familiar.
  The markings are not so prominently cut, and the coin has a
  much smoother appearance.  On one side of it is the figure
  of the Goddess of Liberty, holding in one arm a bunch of
  olive branches.  Above the figure are the words, "In God
  We Trust;" below it is the word, "Liberty."  On the opposite
  side of the coin there is a spread eagle, grasping an oak twig
  in his talons as he stands upon a rock.  At the top is printed,
  "The United States of America," and at the bottom, "Half

  One side of the new quarter has a full figure of a woman
  coming through a gate in a wall.  On the opposite side
  there is pictured an eagle in flight.  The new dime is of a
  sharper cut.  On one side is the head of a woman.  Over
  the head is printed the word, "Liberty," and in the lower
  left-hand corner the date.  The obverse side of the coin
  has a bundle of Roman "fasces" tied tightly together, with
  an ax and a strong oak stick. Below the cutting is the
  Latin quotation, "E Pluribus Unum."

  From the November 11, 1916 issue:
  Ever wonder what has become of the two-cent and
  three-cent coins?  Doctor William G. Graus, of Cleveland,
  Ohio, knows about the disappearance of some of them.

  "I have two hundred two-cent pieces and one hundred
  three-cent coins," he said.  "I've been collecting them for
  fifteen years.  Two-cent pieces have disappeared from
 circulation, but a few three-cent coins are still seen."

  These were the 217th and 218th issues of the magazine, so
  I suspect that additional interesting anecdotes are sprinkled
  throughout earlier issues. Anyone have a set of these?"


  David Cassel  writes: "This is a news release of sorts addressed
  to members of The Numismatic Bibliomania Society who bought
  my book, United States Pattern Postage Currency Coins.

  It has taken me three years since the publication of my book in
  2000 to complete my Postage Currency coin collection.  With
  the recent acquisition of the only collectible Judd-642, the only
  other example is housed in the Mitchelson Collection of the
  Connecticut Library acquired 100 years ago, I now have what I
  consider to be a complete variety collection consisting of at least
  one coin of each known variety.    The collection numbers
  thirty-three coins with few duplicates.  The Judd numbers include:
  325 through 331 a,b, & c and 641 & 642, and 644-646, and
  714 through 717a. plus multiple variations within the numbering
  system."    [Congratulations!  -Editor]


  Morten Eske Mortensen of Copenhagen, Denmark writes:
  "Following a number of enquiries from professional market
  players the owners of the publishing rights have agreed by
  special orders to produce an utmost and extremely strictly
  distributed minor number of 2003/2004 yearbooks which
  alone can be bought by those who previously are known to
  the publishers on a serious and professionally level . Printing
  run will not be allowed to exceed 99 copies (ninety-nine).
  The order of reservations will be according to the dates of
  receivings of the advance orders. (aka: first come, first serve).

 For details, prices, order form etc. check this direct link:"


  Ron Haller-Williams writes: "So imagine this description at
  some future auction:  USA dime, 1910, slabbing grade MS-63,
  slab XF-40, coin EF-55.    It could happen!

  Reminds me of where we often need to specify different grades
  for a counterstamp and for the host coin (where we'd also have
  the complication of genuine stamps on false coins, and vice


  Joe Boling writes: "Reference your note about state quarter
  designs, "The third dimension of relief never comes into play."
  That's because the mint won't allow it.  For years now they
  have designed coins with extremely flat relief, in the name of
  manufacturing efficiency.  Look at how the dies for the half
  dollar were changed in the late 1980s  (I don't have enough
  half dollars here to tell you what year the hub was changed)
  - the shield on the reverse went from having a conspicuously
  raised chief to having a very flat chief. Similarly with the cent -
  the relief is now so flat that a road kill coin has its date
  obliterated very quickly. The old bronze cents take a hard
  beating before becoming illegible (and it's not just because
  bronze is harder than zinc)."


  Doug Andrews writes: "The Pearl Harbor anniversary that you
  mentioned in the December 7th issue of E-Sylum reminds me
  of the 2001 movie, "Pearl Harbor," and an egregious error
  that was made during its production.

  In one scene, there is a boxing match involving the character
  played by actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. Set just before the attack
  staged by the Imperial Japanese forces, several sailors are
  seen gambling on the fight on the deck of the ill-fated USS
  Arizona. Clearly visible on the back of some of the Silver
  Certificates and Federal Reserve Notes they were betting
  with are the "Hawaii" overprints!

  Of course the movie presents an impossibility, since the
  overprints first appeared in July 1942 - in response to the
  attack that had not yet taken place! - so the US currency
  could be quickly demonetized in the event Hawaii was

  Perhaps other NBS members and readers can contribute
  other movie "bloopers" made involving numismatic items."

  [We did touch on this particular blooper in the v4n27
  issue of The E-Sylum (July 1, 2001), when Tom Delorey
  and Michael Schmidt reported it.   In the previous issue,
  Alan Luedeking reported a blooper in the 1997 movie
  Titanic.  Some others, anyone?  -Editor]


  Regarding the Ford catalogs from Stack's, Steve Pellegrini writes:
  "About a month before the first Ford sale I called Stacks to ask
  about getting a copy. I was told that not only were they all 'sold
  out' but that a waiting list was developing.  When I offered to
  send a check for $50 'just in case one showed up.' I was told
  that I really shouldn't because one was not likely to turn up.
  Hopefully Stacks will come out with a deluxe re-print but I sure
  would have liked to get hold of an original.  Pretty amazing
  demand for a look at what is probably the most interesting,
  diverse collection of American material ever assembled."


  Roger deWardt Lane submitted the following item, which he
  titles, "Happy Thanksgiving!"

  For the past three years, I have had a Yahoo!
  site for my numismatic related information. Pages for the two
  local clubs; Gold Coast Coin Club, for which I am their
  Treasurer and bourse chair, and Fort Lauderdale Coin Club,
  where I am currently the Vice President.

  Another page promotes my e-book - Brother Can You Spare
  A Dime?  So when I first built the site I posted the several page
  INTRODUCTION from my e-book and titled the page,

  Like many "webmasters", I have known that the site provider
  has statistical information on my site, as they like to also know
  the number of hits a particular site is receiving.  It's good for
  their pop-up advertising that supports the free sites.

  Now the story begins, the other day I was looking at some
  of the statistics as I had just posted a new Mutt and Jeff story
  on the Ft. Lauderdale Coin Club page - Much to my surprise,
  my site has received over 2,000 hits since inception.  When you
  consider the specialty of a numismatic site and pretty much only
  word of mouth references, I was greatly pleased, but a little
  inquisitive.  From their summary statistic page, I could see that
  the "Introduction" page was getting all the action, over 800
  hits and a closer look at the statistics showed that between
  6 and 10 people looked at it every day recently.  Why, was
  the question I asked myself?  So, I looked at another statistic,
  known as the KEYWORD used to reach this page.
  Here is what I found:

  Top search word used to find this page 42.71% typed
  "illustrations of a turkey"

   ... Turkey minted coins name lira and 2 piastres. ... The
  illustrations shown are from an earlier catalog published by
  JW.Scott Co., Ltd. 1913. ...

  For you computer non-literate people, there are many
  search engines, two very popular are Yahoo! and MSN.
  To update their search engine database they use a program
  known as a web-crawler. This program looks for prominent
  words and creates a Keyword list for the search engine.
  Sometimes they do not understand the subject matter, like
  numismatics and therefore you get this weird result.

  All during November, when Internet users were looking for
  a picture of a TURKEY for a greeting card or invitation to
  family members, they kept being directed to my site.  I wonder
  if this introduced any new people to the science of numismatics."


  Chris Fuccione writes: "Great newsletter.  You were writing
  about how old timers should be interviewed to preserve their
  story.  Further down you mention Bill Dewey. Has anyone
  contacted him about his story?  It would be a great story."

  Nolan Mims writes: "Steve Pellegrini has an excellent idea in
  preserving the recollections of major numismatists and has made
  a good start to a list of persons deserving of recognition.  One
  who should definitely be included is Eric Newman.  Although
  many noted numismatists are deserving, I would have a hard time
  choosing those to honor."

  Dick Johnson writes: "I sincerely appreciate the kind words
  by Steve Pellegrini in last week's E-Sylum. What Steve
  proposed ? sending mini-recorders to selected numismatists
  for their recollections ? is one method of gathering information
  (often used with aged family members in genealogical research).
  What is better, of course, is a one-on-one interview. In effect,
  creating an Oral History.

  If the interviewer is well prepared, has done his homework
  in advance, to determine the questions and sequence to ask,
  he can guide the direction of the response instead of a rambling
  discourse of questionable value. Ask the right questions and
  you can get the data you are seeking -- and often, a whole lot

  This came to mind recently for Donald Scarinci and myself
  on a research trip to Cape Cod and the Boston area. We
  were interviewing people for the book Don is writing on
  The Society of Medalists. We interviewed the widow of
  one sculptor (Ralph Menconi), my old boss at Medallic Art
  Co (Bill Louth), a couple who managed the Society for a half
  dozen years (the Crams), and one sculptor (Mico Kaufman).

  The first three were most successful. For Mico Kaufman,
  however, the taped record is a disaster.  Mico was so
  excited his mind jumped from one subject to the next. He
  started a new sentence before he finish the last. He wanted
  to give us so much information it was difficult to stay focused.
  Also there were six people in the room. Often there were
  more than one person talking at the same time (myself
  included).  It became difficult to direct the interview (and
  impossible to transcribe).

  I have been interviewing people for print since I was 18.
  For a high school journalism class ? and with more gravitis
  than my youthful age warranted ? I interviewed the editor
  of the Kansas City Star. In my mind he was like a journalism
  god. I entered that newsroom, it was the size of a half city
  block, as if this was the Holy Grail.  His desk was in the
  center of that newsroom, no private office, he was in the
  midst of all the action. But he was so kind to me, his responses
  were so great, the interview literally wrote itself.  He set the
  tone and gave me confidence for my interviewing for the rest
  of my life.

  I never feared people in  high positions after that. I learned
  I could approach anyone, numismatic biggies included, and
  sincerely show an interest in what they had to say.  After all,
  everyone is an expert on themselves, their work (and their
  collections!). And most people will talk about all (for hours
  if you let them).

  I remember an early interview of Reverend Arthur Braddan
  Coole, who built a fantastic collection of Chinese coins and
  compiled the ?Bibliography on Far Eastern Numismatics? and
  the ?Encyclopedia of Chinese Coins.? The interview was
  published in the Kansas City Kansan, the paper I was
  working for at the time (despite the fact I was in the advertising
  department). It was published the same month I received the
  letter from the publisher of the Sidney Press to come to Ohio
  and start a coin publication (which resulted in Coin World).

  Steve, if you want interviews of prominent numismatic
  personalities. I'm ready. If you have a motor home and can
  spare the time, I've got a computer and a tape recorder. We
  can travel the country together and interview whomever you


  On December 11, Reuters reported that a mysterious "bundle
  of 17th century coins from Java, Indonesia, has been found
  buried in mud on the banks of London's River Thames.

  The 90 copper alloy coins are pierced with hexagonal holes
  and inscribed in Arabic with the words "Pangeran Ratou ing
  Bantan" (Lord King at Bantam)," according to experts at the
  London museum where they will be displayed."

  "These are the first Javanese coins ever found in Britain, the
  museum said in a statement.

  "How they got to London remains a mystery," it added.
  "Even in the 17th century they would have had no value in


  Q. David Bowers' "The Joys of Collecting" column in the
  December 8 issue of Coin World touched on the subject of
  cleaning coins and the use of a cyanide solution as one good
  method, with a deadly drawback.   Bowers quoted from the
  August 1921 issue of The Numismatist:

  "J. Sanford Saltus, an international figure in the numismatic
  world, died suddenly at the Hotel Metropole, in London, on
  June 24.  Apparently in the best of health up to the time his
  body was found in his room, the manner of his death was for
  a time a mystery until an official investigation revealed that it
  was due to accidental poisoning....  A verdict of 'death by
  misadventure' was rendered by the coroner's jury.  The
  evidence at the inquest disclosed that on the day before his
  death he had purchased a small quantity of potassium cyanide
  for the purpose of cleaning some recent purchases of silver
  coins and retired to his room.  Shortly afterward he ordered
  a bottle of ginger ale.  A glass containing the poison and a
  glass containing the ginger ale were found side by side on
  the dressing table, and it is believed that while interested in
  cleaning the coins he took a drink of the poison in mistake
  for the ginger ale."


  This week's featured web page is "Turkish Money"   From the
  page: "The first thing to mention here should be the difficulty for
  a foreigner to get used to the zeros. We are not use if there is
  another money with so many zeros on it...

  The national monetary unit is the Turkish lira (TL.). The coinage
  is in 25.000, 50.000 and 100.000 lira pieces. Bank notes are of
  250.000, 500.000, 1.000,000, 5.000.000, 10.000.000 and
  20.000.000 Turkish Lira."

  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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