The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 25, June 18, 2023, Article 35


Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor

Retail Workers Rant About Making Change

While cash ain't dead yet, it does rile up those who aren't so used to handling it. But these TikTokers have a point - asking a business to change a $100 bill early in the morning is a questionable activity. -Editor

Change for $100 If you've ever worked in retail, you're familiar with a certain type of person who always pays in large bills. No matter how small the total, some people will decide to address their total with a $50 or $100 bill, emptying your register before the day's even started.

Now, a user on TikTok has sparked discussion after calling out customers who do this. In a clip with over 214,000 views as of Friday, TikTok user Jay (@pressed_possum) simply asks, Why do old people treat businesses like banks?

Ma'am it is 9:30 am, they add in the text overlay. I do not have change for a $100 in my till for your $7 order.

One time my FIRST THREE customers paid with 100s, a user recalled. I was giving back change in ones at that point.

I had to break a $100 bill for a 97 cent seltzer once, another shared.

While I do use Walmart for an ATM on occasion, I refrain from using anything larger than a $20 anymore. There was a time before the pandemic when I started carrying fifties to cover restaurant tabs for my family, but we don't go out as much anymore and when we do, I usually pay with a credit card. I took some $100s on vacation recently but luckily didn't get the side eye trying to spend any of them. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
‘I do not have change for a $100 in my till for your $7 order': Papa John's worker calls out ‘old' customers who treat restaurant like it's a bank (

More on the Oily Penny Pile Story

Remember that Georgia autobody shop pile-of-revenge pennies story from 2021? Len Augsburger passed along this follow-up. Thanks. -Editor

greasy penny wheelbarrow A man who paid a former employee's final paycheck in oily pennies has been ordered [to] pay the man and eight other former employees over $39,000.

A consent judgment against Miles Walker and A OK Luxury Autoworks ordered the company to pay former employee Andreas Flaten and several other employees $19,967.09 in back wages as well as the same amount in liquidated damages. The total sum is $39,934.18.

Walker paid Flaten's final paycheck in nearly $1,000 in oily pennies in May 2021. In an interview with Atlanta News First at the time, Walker said It doesn't matter. He got paid, that's all that matters. He's a f*****g weenie for even bringing it up.

In addition to paying Flaten, A OK and Walker must remove all photographs of and references to former employee Andreas Flaten, and is permanently enjoined from posting photographs of or references to Mr. Flaten on [their website] or any other website or social media site.

To read the complete article, see:
Man who paid former employee in oily pennies ordered to pay nearly $40K (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

The destruction of the Hanlin Library

For bibliophiles, here's an article about the sad destruction of the Hanlin Library in Beijing. -Editor

  Hanlin Library

The most famous World's Greatest Library ever consumed by fire is that of Alexandria over 2,000 years ago (thanks, Caesar)—we don't know exactly what was lost but we know that it was a lot. This, perhaps, is what makes such a conflagration particularly tragic: we are tantalized by the eternally unknowable, those lost documents of human genius that may have—that surely!—held the key to wisdom, that would have shown us the way if only they hadn't been destroyed…

And so it is with the destruction of the Hanlin Library, which at the time was certainly in the conversation for World's Greatest Library. Part of the Hanlin Academy, an institution of learning founded in the 8th century in what is now Beijing, the Hanlin Library—and the accumulated wisdom therein—was lost to us in a fire on this day (June 24) in 1900, the result of clashes in the Boxer Rebellion during The Siege of Peking.

The Hanlin Academy, a sizable complex of buildings, had the misfortune of sitting adjacent to the quarters of the British Legation, which is where the Brits had consolidated their people—including Chinese Christians—in the face of the Dowager Empress's ill-fated rebellion. Operating under the assumption that the Chinese would take extra care in their assault—out of veneration for the thousand years of cultural accumulation sitting right next door—the Brits were shocked to see the whole area go up in flames. But things get a little murky when it comes to responsibility: the Brits claimed the Chinese torched the place (as had been their approach to parts of the city abandoned by the colonizers during the rebellion), and the Chinese claimed the Brits set fire to the library as an act of cultural hostility… Whatever the case, the library was destroyed.

Unlike the great Library of Alexandria, we do have some idea of what was lost in the Hanlin fire, despite the fact that no known records of its contents survived. Renowned among its innumerable volumes was a massive 15th-century encyclopedia commissioned by the Ming Dynasty emperor Zhu Di in 1403. Called the Yongle Dadian, the encyclopedia contained some 22,000 sections, into which were crammed 370 million(!) words covering topics as varied as agriculture, drama, geology, medicine, art, history, and literature. To get a sense of the scope of the project, if you stacked every word in the Yongle Dadian one upon the other, they would reach the moon (do not attempt this by yourself).

To read the complete article, see:
On the destruction by fire of the greatest library in the world you've never heard of. (

The New Antiquarians

New York Magazine published a review of a new book on young collectors of antiques called The New Antiquarians. -Editor

The New Antiquarians book cover New Antiquarians, a book by the art historian Michael Diaz-Griffith, features the homes of 22 antiques collectors from the United States and England, filled with Shaker chairs, Regency furniture, Indian textiles, and 19th-century tapestries.

As you write in the book, there's been a noticeable shift in how younger generations are approaching collecting and antiques, and it wasn't what the industry expected.

I'm seeing a widespread recognition in the art and design worlds that a revival of interest in antiques is happening. It's a reversal of how the market was perceived. Post-recession, all that antiques dealers see is decline. 9/11 is a marker used in the antiques world to describe the beginning of a waning of interest. And then it really falls off after 2009. The news in the antiques world was, Young people are finished with this stuff, they're never gonna like it again. We're screwed. We've got warehouses full of material that we'll never sell, we'll never make our money back on. It was an apocalyptic time.

It was hard to point to what was happening in the antiques world for the simple reason that millennials started off on the wrong foot economically. As they came of age, they had less buying power than previous generations. And collecting is not a young person's game. It never has been — except for a lucky few.

At the same time, millennials were obsessing over color and pattern and old things and Sofia Coppola films. And this is when Lady Gaga appeared on the scene. I could see that the sort of ingredients that were contributing to this generation's taste were not minimalism, or, at least, not solely minimalism. My peers weren't high modernists. They didn't think that it was wrong to have old things around. They didn't have an almost ideological narrative about the goodness of modernism and the badness of traditional things. It was a much more well-rounded sense of taste.

And what do these new collectors look for? Is it the same stuff as in previous generations?

Younger people are going to inevitably be interested in different things than previous generations. That's always been the case. You'll go through a period in which Victorian furniture is reviled, and then in the 1930s, there'll be a Victorian revival, and then the stuff will go back out again, and then comes back again in the '70s.

To read the complete article, see:
Why Young Collectors Are Buying Fussy Antiques (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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