The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 15, April 9, 2023, Article 15


More on Die Radius or 'Basin'
Roger Burdette writes:

From Mine to Mint "In The E-Sylum (April 2, 2023 Computers and Calculating Coin Radius) Mr. William Vanornum offers comments regarding die radius (i.e., basin'). He might find pages 375-431 in my book From Mine to Mint of interest regarding dies, collars, radius adjustment (basining), and other details rarely discussed elsewhere in numismatic literature."

Thanks! -Editor

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Semiquicentennial Coin and Medal Prospects Dim
Mike Costanzo writes:

2026 Cent design "The recent Wall Street Journal article concerning the stymied efforts of the U.S. Semiquicentennial Commission to prepare coinage designs for the approaching 2026 celebrations, along with Wayne Pearson's past contributions, paint a dire and sorry picture for any real progress.

"In July 2015, The Numismatist published my article on American Revolution Bicentennial Medals, commonly known as ARBA medals. While my article focused strictly on the medal program and not coinage, the preparation and timing needed for their completion was critical. As an example, the ARBA Commission had been established ten years prior, on July 4, 1966, by then-president Lyndon Johnson. The real eye opener for me, however, was contained in the ARBA's five-volume final report published in 1977. Titled "The Bicentennial of the United States. A Final Report to the People," the report detailed the difficulties, false-starts, and bureaucracy involved with the medal program between the commission, treasury department, and the mint. Things didn't really get moving until 1971, thanks to then-president Nixon, who was a staunch supporter.

"I revisited my findings (and feelings) in a June 2017 editorial, also published in The Numismatist, and hoped a coinage program would be soon forthcoming. Sad to say, we have since squandered valuable time, and even with modern minting technology on our side, I wonder what, if anything, can be accomplished within the three years we have left.

"We can surely do better than the three circulating coin offering of 1976, along with the $2 bill. Aside from commemorative issues, and a possible revamp of circulating coinage reverses, there are opportunities in paper currency designs, as Wayne mentioned. The ARBA could have offered more in 1976 but declined. This led to private mints, most notably the Franklin Mint, in taking the lead with additional bicentennial-themed medals, most which ultimately ended up in the melting pot after the 1979-80 surge in spot silver.

"Perhaps the biggest problem facing the 2026 celebrations is the official name: Semiquicentennial is a mouthful, and does not roll off the tongue so easily. Hopefully we'll get around the mammoth spelling issue (makes a great spelling-bee entry!) and in the end the commission will find it's footing.

Committees and Commissions are where good ideas go to die, and without clear goals and funding, it's a short stay. -Editor

Mike adds:

"P.S. The bicentennial celebrations of 1976 are long past, but when I Googled "ARBA" I wasn't prepared for the top search results: The main result was the American Rabbit Breeders Association!"

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
LOOSE CHANGE: APRIL 2, 2023 : U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission Rebooted (

International Phaleristics Association Membership Free
Greg Burns writes:

International Phaleristics Association IPA logo "Just thought I'd comment on the piece passed along by Frank Draskovic on the International Phaleristics Association: while content may be hidden behind a members-only firewall, actual membership is free, so for the expense of applying (nothing) anyone can get on the bandwagon.."

Thanks - I missed that detail. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Is It Real by Victor Dubreuil Dubriel Signature
Tony Terranova writes:

"Dubriel signed all of his paintings in black or red paint, in the lower left areas of the canvases. Fairly large, in cursive lettering."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Another Photo from Back in the Day
Dan Hamelberg writes:

"I saw your photo with Harvey Stack and thought you would like another "oldie but goodie" photo. I think around 20 years ago or so. Two good looking guys!!"

  Dan Hamelberg, Wayne Homren

That was in my single days, and I've been married over 25 years. I made a trip to visit Dan and his numismatic library in Champaign, IL. Great memories. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

The Girl on the Quarter

Jim Haas recently came across this April 8, 1917 article on model Doris Doscher. -Editor

  Girl on the Quarter article masthead
  Girl on the Quarter article image

Jim passed along these notes of MacNeil's models from the 2016 manuscript of his MacNeil biography. Thanks. -Editor

Standing_Liberty_Quarter_Type1_1917S_Obverse Shortly after the coin went into circulation questions arose as to the identity of MacNeil's model soon identified as Miss Doris Doscher. Described as an accomplished twenty-two-year-old standing 5' 4 1/2 tall, she was credited with having lectured, written scenarios, trained as a Red Cross nurse and even acted in an educational film titled, The Sculptor and His Art. Karl Bitter had used her ideal measurements 36 x 25 x 39 when modeling his Pulitzer Memorial Fountain for the front of the Plaza Hotel. At the time of his death two years earlier he had created only a small figure and as had occurred once before the sad task of finishing the statue fell to Isidore Konti.

All of her information was factual except for her age, thirty-four and marital status. Record indicate Julia Doris Reiman was born in January 1882 and because she had married Albert Doscher in 1902, she was not a single lady. Additional film work included appearances in two silent features one titled Birth of a Race intended as a response to film maker D. W. Griffith's blatantly racist yet highly successful Birth of a Nation. In the film's opening moments Doris played her one and only scene as Eve in the Garden of Eden. A ten-minute portion of the movie can be seen in a YouTube video, its grainy footage raising the obvious question had the producers stumbled upon a technique called type casting? The film was neither a commercial nor a critical success and quickly faded from public consciousness.

  Birth of a Race movie ad
Advertisement published in the Buffalo Courier on September 28, 1919

The story of MacNeil's models gets even more interesting - there were two, the second being Irene MacDowell. Doscher died in 1970 with deserved acknowledgment of her place in numismatic history. When MacDowell passed away in 1973, it was learned she also claimed to have filled that role.

According to the 1900 census she was born in 1881, the adopted daughter of William W. Weitling a senior partner in the American Hard Rubber Company, successor to the firm founded by Poppenhusen. He also served alongside MacNeil on the Institute's Board of Control. Early in life Irene got into acting and married another thespian George I. MacDowell. Both left the stage and since his father-in-law owned large tracts of farmland in upstate New York, George took over running the family's fruit tree enterprise. Following the move the couple passed summers in College Point, and it was probably in 1916 that MacNeil asked Irene to model.

According to a story published three months before her death she had spent ten days on the job, but also that she had been the model for the figure of Victory in Albany's Soldiers and Sailors Memorial. In the obituaries of both women their acting careers were noted and that their husbands had been MacNeil's tennis partners, a sport at which Hermon excelled. Between 1915 and 1917 his name appeared in newspaper articles reporting success in various tournaments, but not that of Messr's Doscher or MacDowell.

One model or two from its earliest days MacNeil's Quarter attracted very favorable attention and was soon numbered among the most beautiful coins ever minted. He also had the unique experience enjoyed by few artists, knowing his creation would be available to millions, appreciated as a work of art by many, but regarded as pocket change by most.

Interesting - I'd never heard of Birth of a Race. -Editor

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

More on the Numisma Reprints
Chriss Hoffman writes:

"Just a note on the Ed Frossard Numisma reprints; this was in Remy Bourne's Sale #11 catalog, just previous to lot #341 (a green leatherette copy from Money Tree, as mine is) in describing the Numisma Periodicals.

"Here we learn that the Green volume which I have is actually from the second printing, second group, which the Money Tree did; the first group being the Brown hardbound and the first editions would have been the spiral comb bound versions (not hard bound) that Remy Bourne put out. Below is from his Auction Catalog description."

FROSSARD, ED., Irvington, NY

In 1983 I reprinted 100 copies of this classical periodical from my set. They were plastic spiral bound with tan card covers and sent to Cal Wilson to sell, which he did at $128.

Considerably after Wilson left the numismatic literature business, he sent the unsold copies to Money Tree, with my permission to Money Tree to sell. Money Tree had two shipments of the left over unsold copies and apparently bound them both in brown cloth and the second group in green leatherette that is offered below and were originally sold for $100.

  Numisma reprint volume cover Sundman Numisma 1

Thank you - that clears up some loose ends. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JANUARY 1, 2023 : John Igo, Numisma Reprint Information Sought (
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JANUARY 15, 2023 : Another Numisma (
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: FEBRUARY 12, 2023 : More Numisma Reprints (

  Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2023-04-02 Consign

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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