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V16 2013 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 5, February 3, 2013, Article 5

NEW BOOK: PATTERN AND EXPERIMENTAL PIECES OF WW-II

Roger Burdette forwarded this announcement of his new book on the Pattern and Experimental Pieces of WW-II. -Editor

Burdette Patterns WWII The new research book Pattern and Experimental Pieces of WW-II has been printed and delivered to Wizard Coin Supply. The press run was small which translated to a higher price than I’d like – but I saw no potential for collectors buying 5,000 copies. It is 8x11.5, color, soft cover, 190 pages. $29.95. http://www.wizardcoinsupply.com/products/pattern-coin-books

This is not only groundbreaking research, but Pattern and Experimental Pieces of WW-II could possibly be the most important contribution of new knowledge to American numismatics of this decade.

Beginning as early as 1940 the US Mint Bureau was under pressure to reduce or eliminate use of certain metals including copper, tin and nickel. From 1941 through 1944, the US Mint conducted multiple experiments to determine the best compositions for the one cent and five cent coins. Sporadic records were kept of the tests and most of the sample examinations were mostly “seat of the pants” than science.

The largest number of tests occurred from May to December 1942 when the mint experimented with metal alloys and private companies, with mint approval, experimented with alternative materials and production methods. Most experiments were failures, but the final outcomes were the zinc coated steel clad composition used in 1943 for cents, and an unstable alloy of silver, manganese and copper for the five cent coin.

Pattern and Experimental Pieces of WW-II follows the development and conduct of these experiments from optimistic hopes to eventual return to conventional coinage alloys. Every company and individual known to have participated is identified along with their role and contributions to the work. Every experimental and pattern piece is identified and cataloged with as much objective information as could be located. Large color photos allow collectors to compare items in their collections with real coins, not faulty catalog descriptions or guesses.

Wow. There - I said it again. I'm really looking forward to Roger's latest book. I've seen parts of the manuscript, and it indeed will be an important contribution to the corpus of knowledge on American numismatics. Roger is one of those researchers that comes along once every generation or so. He is careful, thoughtful, and methodical, considering all that has been written before yet fully trusting only what he can independently verify. He takes the path less travelled, the one ALL researchers would (or at least SHOULD) take if given the opportunity, ferreting out original source material often unknown to numismatic researchers or unseen for decades. He dives deep in the National Archives, spending days sorting wheat from chaff, then gradually pieces together the truest version of events he can from the available evidence. That is what makes a new book both groundbreaking and long-lasting. -Editor

For more information, or to order, see: United States Pattern & Experimental Pieces of WWII (www.wizardcoinsupply.com/united-states-pattern-experimental-pieces-of-wwii.html)

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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