The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 22, May 28, 2000: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 
Copyright (c) 2000, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   We have one new subscriber this week: Paul Schultz. 
   Welcome aboard!   This brings our subscriber count 
   to 302. 


   Some subscribers with email addresses at may 
   have stopped receiving The E-Sylum.  Apparently we've 
   been marked as "spam".   Perhaps this is a side effect of the 
   growing size of our mailing list, and NBS should be flattered. 
   But I'm not amused, and will investigate to see what can be 
   done.  Luckily this only affects four subscribers, but I hate 
   to see even one delivery miss its mark.  Whatever happened 
   to "Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night..."? 


   David Cassel writes: "May 31, 2000, marks the six-year 
   anniversary of my research into Postage Currency pattern coins 
   and the beginning of my Postage Currency research collection. 
   The book I have just completed, entitled: "United States Pattern 
   Postage Currency Coins", a survey of U. S. pattern Postage 
   Currency 10 cent coins of 1863 and the related issues dated 
   1868 and 1869,  is complete and at the book binders right now 
   being assembled and bound.  The anticipated delivery date to me 
   is June 12th. 

   My research has led to many discoveries that I have revealed 
   for the first time regarding these historic coins and the method 
   in which they were manufactured.  I have disproved many Judd 
   classifications and have added some new classifications. The 
   book has 234 pages with more than 100 enlarged,  mostly 
   color photographs of Postage Currency coins. 

   Due to the very high cost of printing, I will be producing only 
   110  perfect-bound numbered copies of my book.  Forty-four 
   of the 110 have already been spoken for.  The remaining 
   sixty-six   copies are available on a first come, first served basis. 

   My published price is $145 per copy, but,  for E-Sylum readers 
   I will offer the remaining copies  for $125 ppd.for a limited time 
   only."   For more information, contact Mr. Cassel at this address: 


   Ken Barr writes: "I'm surprised that no one mentioned 
   Michelle Johnson (15 minutes of topless fame for "Blame It on 
   Rio") who bought an 1894-S Barber dime for $50,600 in the 
   Jerry Buss sale (Superior, 1985).  Her current claim to fame is 
   being married to Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Matt 

   Bill Rosenblum writes: "A few  "CELEBRITY" numismatists 
   that I know of: Angie Dickenson, the actress, whom I met at a 
   show in the LA area in the early 1980's; James Earl Jones was 
   a customer of a number of LA firms and thus was persuaded to 
   narrate the video that David Lisot produced, the ANA and PNG 
   sponsored a number of years ago that was seen on PBS ... 
   (And I can't remember the name of it).  Also,  the ex-mayor of 
   Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, was an avid numismatist and two other 
   collectors (or more likely investors) were Randy Gradishar, 
   ex-linebacker for Ohio State and the Denver Broncos, who 
   helped us with some free advertising work for coins shows we 
   ran in Denver in the early 1980's and Julius (Dr. J) Erving.  I also 
   know a few other comparatively famous people who collect 
   (and are serious numismatists) but since I value my clients' 
   privacy I can't reveal their names at the moment.   I'm sure there 
   are plenty of similar people out there." 


   Over the past few weeks your editor has been squeezing in 
   time to read "The Book on the Bookshelf" by Henry Petrosky, 
   first profiled in The E-Sylum on October 25, 1999.  The book 
   is a fascinating account of the evolution of the bookshelf, 
   something we bibliophiles take for granted today. 

   One step in the evolution was the chained library.  In the era 
   preceding the modern printing press, books were laboriously 
   hand-made and thus all were quite rare and valuable.  "To 
   assure that books were not moved from their rightful lectern, 
   they were chained to it.  This constraint led to other 
   developments, for 

      A chained book cannot be read unless there is some 
      kind of desk or table on which to rest it within the 
      length of the chain; that fact conditioned the structure 
      of the bookcase.  Again, since a chained book cannot 
      be moved to the window, the window must be near 
      the book; that determined the plan of the building... 

   Among the first implications of chaining was to obviate the 
   need for the constant availability of keys to unlock rooms, 
   chests, or armaria.  The books were openly available but 
   secured by chains that ended in rings strung on a long rod, 
   as shower curtain rings are on a shower rod." p60. 

   About a week after reading this passage I was struck with 
   a realization that the evolution continues today, and in one 
   sense has come full circle.  Today's scholars sit not just in 
   front of books, but computer screens as well.  While 
   becoming less expensive each year, computers are still a 
   valuable item that the owners don't want to "walk away". 

   At my office I use a laptop computer, and when I'm not 
   carrying it with me, it remains fastened to the desk by the 
   means of a long, low-tech chain.  Someday technology 
   will further reduce the cost of the device such that the 
   chains will once again disappear from desks, no doubt to 
   return again to secure the next generation's newfangled 


   Another nomenclature debate around the hobby surrounds 
   the proper term for medals, tokens, and other numismatic 
   items depicting or relating to George Washington.  In the 
   May 15, 2000 issue of The Coin Collector, Q. David Bowers 
   writes: "The preference of "Washingtonia" (this being the 
   modern term for Washington collectibles) over the traditional 
   "Washingtoniana" (used in the 19th century by the likes of 
   W. Elliot Woodward, Joel Munsell, Franklin B. Hough, et. 
   al.) seems to be fading, perhaps at least in part due to the 
   comments made at the "Washingtonia" conference held by 
   the American Numismatic Society in New York last 

   Citing comments by David T. Alexander and George Fuld, 
   Bowers states that "for the meantime it will be 
   "Washingtoniana"  in our catalogues." 


   This week's featured web site is "Dawn's Virtual Currency 
   Collection", a nicely done site containing images of U.S. 
   currency.  Site owner  Dawn Banks writes:  "The site started 
   off as a hobby, to try to make a currency site that'd cover 
   US currency in a fairly complete way.  It kind of grew."  Be 
   sure to check out the page on currency myths. 

  Wayne Homren 
  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.   For those without web access, 
  contact Dave Hirt, NBS Secretary-Treasurer, 
  5911 Quinn Orchard Road, Frederick, MD 21704 

  (To be removed from this mailing list 
   write to me at   

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