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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 25, June 21, 2009, Article 4

BOOK REVIEW: COLLECTING GUIDE TO THE PIONEER COINAGE OF AMERICAN SALOONS

John and Nancy Wilson submitted this review of a recent book by Fred Holabird. -Editor
Holabird Saloon Collecting Guide to the Pioneer Coinage of American Saloons, 2008, Editor - Fred N. Holabird
Reviewed by: John and Nancy Wilson, NLG

A Collecting Guide to the Pioneer Minor Coinage of American Saloons by Fred N. Holabird is a 144 page soft cover reference with all illustrations in color which was released in 2009. Fred stated the idea for this reference came from his two decades of Holabird Americana Pioneer Minor Coinage Auctions to which he added dozens of city directories from all over the country as sources of information. We have several of these Holabird Sale Catalogs in our library.

The guide explains what a saloon is and the use of these tokens and the history of saloons. Fred says, "Saloon tokens are some of the most sought-after tokens or coins by collectors today." The book covers The Western Saloon, The Western Mining Camp Whisky and Saloon Business, The Western Saloon Illustrated, Tokens as Money, Pioneer Minor Coinage.; Saloons as a Percentage of American Business, Saloon Tokens, The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co, What is a Saloon Token, The End of the Saloon, Saloon Names and Saloon “Good-for Pocket Mirrors.

Saloon coins (tokens) from every state in the union are shown by state with the number of towns with saloon tokens along with the total of saloon tokens known. As an example, CA is listed as having 363 towns having issued saloon tokens with 1558 examples in the census. Three states, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Vermont are listed as having no towns known for issuing these tokens and of course none in the census. The information on each state gives many interesting facts about the saloons and what problems they encountered in operation. Many states and towns outlawed the sale of alcohol and this provided some novel ways the saloon owners handled this law.

Fred says it all in this statement regarding his reference:
"This work is intended as an introduction to the business of the American Saloon and a guide for saloon token collecting."
It goes well beyond this and would make a great addition for any numismatists (collector or dealer), historian, or token and medal collector. This book will show you just how rare saloon tokens are and give you pictures of many known examples. This excellent reference will be a good companion piece to Saloon Tokens of the United States, which was published in 2008 by Al Erickson, which is a 656 page reference on the subject. Information for that book can be found at: umst.tokencatalog.com/umst_index.php .

A copy of a Collecting Guide to the Pioneer Coinage of American Saloons, by Fred Holabird lists for $24.95 and you have several options for purchasing it. You can call (775) 852-8822 or email Fred at: info@holabirdamericana.com You may also write: Holabird-Kagin Americana, A division of Kagin’s, Incorporated, 3555 Airway Drive Suite #308, Reno, NV 89511.

The link to the page with the books for sale at Holabird / Kagin is: www.holabirdamericana.com/HKA_2008_Cat2/HKA_2008_Cat2_Frameset.htm



Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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