The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V6 2003 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 52, December 7, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  On this date in 1941, also a Sunday, the Japanese attacked
  the U.S. Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  "The 7 December
  1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great
  defining moments in history. A single carefully-planned and
  well-executed stroke removed the United States Navy's
  battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire's
  southward expansion. America, unprepared and now
  considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the
  Second World War as a full combatant."  From:

  The Pearl Harbor attack had a direct effect on U.S.
  numismatics in the form of the Hawaii overprint notes of


  Dr. K. A.  Rodgers of  Auckland, New Zealand writes:
  "Greg Burns suggested I send you an e-mail.  I had
  written him as follows:

  "2004 is the sixtieth year since the San Francisco Mint last
  struck coins for Australia. It struck coins in 1942, 43 and
  44 during World War II.

  I am putting together a piece on the Mints of San Francisco
  for an Australian coin magazine to commemorate the
  occasion.  I have received several excellent images from
  various American numismatists but am anxious to try and
  get something truly spectacular of the World War II mint
  building as a high resolution image we might use as a cover
  illustration.  I have seen several such on the web that would
  seem to be aerial views looking obliquely across the mint
  building.  However, I am at pains not to breach other people's

  Can you perhaps help me?  ... if not directly then can you
  steer me to someone who might assist?"


  An informal regional meeting of the Numismatic Bibliomania
  Society has been scheduled for 1:00PM Saturday, May 8,
  2004 during the Central States Convention in Milwaukee
  (May 6-9, 2004).   NBS President Pete Smith will preside
  at the meeting.  If you are an NBS member and are planning
  to attend the show, please put the meeting on your calendar.
  If you would be willing to give a presentation to the group
  about numismatic literature or research, please contact NBS
  Secretary-Treasurer W. David Perkins at
  wdperki at


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "I just received my issue of The
  Asylum and want to congratulate all involved. It is an
  outstanding issue.

  Like any other on-going publication not every issue is a hit.
  But this one is.  I hope that Pete Smith has enough material
  for another article taking us along Dick Johnson's years at
  Medallic Art Co.  This is fascinating and important numismatic
  history. While we have a great many memoirs of coin collectors
  and dealers we are sadly lacking in material on the key figures
  in the field of Medals.  You need only flip through the pages
  of any Johnson & Jenson auction catalogue and read some of
  his lot descriptions to get an inkling of just how broad is Dick's
  knowledge of this often obscure field.

  A few years back I think I mentioned in E-Sylum how important
  and immediate it is to collect and preserve the recollections of
  our major numismatists. Pete Smith's foresight in listening and
  recording Dick Johnson as he 'blue skys' is exactly the
  appropriate modal.  Couldn't we mail mini-recorders and a
  pound of Starbucks and/or a fifth to our veteran Illustrati? We
  would include a SASE to make retrieval of their memoirs all the
  more convenient.  We would certainly get more historical value,
  more bang for the buck than by contributing to yet another
  building fund created by our Numis-politicos.

  I'm sure that every subscriber of this Newsletter has a short
  list of the living people they feel has had the greatest impact
  on numismatics. Those few whose knowledge & experiences
  we can least afford to lose.  My list would include in addition
  to Dick Johnson, George Fuld, Gunther Keinast, Christopher
  Eimer, Joe Levine and Paul Bosco. I believe Dave Bowers
  would have pride of place on most lists.  It would be interesting
  to see who would appear on the short lists of other members.

  I have been selling my duplicate Numismatists and have been
  re-reading them as I go. The Fulds, father & son, had a byline
  in the 50s.   I do think that it would be very interesting to learn
  how the two managed to coordinate all their research, books
  and regular columns while living in two different cities - with only
  snail mail and a telephone."


  Steve Pellegrini writes: "In the current issue of the Asylum it is
  mentioned that this issue may be the last in which past issues
  are offered. Has an Articles Index ever been prepared?  Even
  a bare bones listing of Articles would certainly help the individual
  to ID which issues would be most interesting or useful.  If there
  is such an index would you include info or a link in The E-Sylum?

  [There is a copy of an Asylum index on the NBS web site,
  courtesy of compiler Bill Malkmus and webmaster Bruce Perdue.  Click on Publications.  Then click
  on Subject Index or Author Index.   Indices have been published
  in past issues of The Asylum.  With our 25th anniversary coming
  next year, Bill is already working on a completed updated version.
  So stay tuned.  -Editor]


  John W. Adams writes: "On Tuesday, December 2nd, the
  American Numismatic Society Library was dedicated to Harry
  W. Bass, Jr.  Most of you know Harry as an avid collector of
  numismatic books on his own but only a few of you appreciate
  his success in bringing modern technology to the greatest
  numismatic library of all. This accomplishment, along with
  many others, was described movingly by Frank Campbell, his
  friend of 33 years. The large audience then repaired to the 5th
  floor of the new ANS building, where Harry's widow, Mrs.
  Doris Bass, accompanied by her sons David and Michael
  Calhoun, cut the ceremonial ribbon. Skeptics might say that
  the event will be little noted nor long remembered.  However,
  for bibliophiles, the celebration of one of its most honored
  own in a stunning new facility combined for a truly memorable


  Just after we all breathed a sigh of relief over the Crestline
  fire, there was another close call at the American Numismatic
  Association library in Colorado Springs, CO.   It was the
  Sunday before Thanksgiving (November 23). ANA Education
  Director Gail Baker came in to her office that day and heard
  the sound of running water.  A pipe had burst on a heat
  exchanger, and water was flowing in the basement section of
  the library.  Help was called quickly and the water shut off.
  It is believed that the pipe had burst about an hour before it
  was discovered.

  Although the event could have been a catastrophe for the
  catalog section of the library, damage was minimal and nothing
  irreplaceable was lost.  The area sustaining the most damage
  held videotapes of Numismatic Theatre presentations.  A few
  other boxes of recently donated material, which had been
  temporarily stored on the floor were also damaged.  A disaster
  recovery company swooped in to salvage the damaged material,
  which was quick-frozen and dried out again.  It is believed that
  that video tapes are fine - only the paper inserts in the cases
  were lost.

  The rare book room and main section of the library were
  never in danger, thankfully.  Librarian Nancy Green has
  probably sprouted a grey hair or two, but we all have
  something new to be thankful for.  Hats off to Gail for her
  fortuitous discovery.   The ANA is investigating the
  installation of water sensors to immediately alert the staff
  should something like this happen in the future.


  Len Augsburger writes: "The commercial web site
  now offers fully searchable text of the New York Times and
  Washington Post back into the 1800s.  Local libraries may
  have subscriptions where you can access this for free.  I tried it
  at the Maryland Historical Society this Friday & quickly found a
  ton of leads on topics of interest.  The constant explosion of
  electronic resources really demands that you keep rechecking
  the Internet periodically for any research you have in progress."


  Joseph Lasser, of New York, who admits to being
  "sufficiently computer and typing illiterate" forwarded the
  following item via "snail mail" this summer.  Your editor
  is only now getting a chance to type it up.  He adds,
  "The E-Sylum gives me a weekly lift."  Sorry for the delay.
  Here goes:

  William Swann, the New York bookseller, offered a copy
  of Lord Anson's "A Voyage Around the World in the Years
  MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV" at auction, I wanted it because I had
  several "Lima" minted from Anson's booty.

  Successfully bid -- in due course, the book arrived at my
  home carefully packed -- very carefully packed -- because
  it was in miserable condition.  The spine was broken; the front
  and back covers had fallen off and were stained and split;
  several sections of pages were detached; the engravings of
  scenes and the maps were discolored and improperly folded,
  etc. etc.  Overall, it was a mess; completely useless as a book.

  What could be done?  I made a call to a recognized conservator,
  Jeff Rigby, and asked what I should do.  His reply was simple
  and direct.  "The book is an antique.  Have someone make a
  book box labeled "Anson's Voyage."  Put the book in the box
  and place it on a bookshelf."

  Dismayed, I replied "I bought the book to read about Anson's
  adventure.  I don't want a book box ornament.  His response
  was "You made a mistake.  Antique books are no longer antique
  if you recondition them."  "But, Jeff, I want to read about Anson.
  My coins will have much more meaning,"  "Sorry, Joe, you'll
  no longer have an antique."

 We argued the pros and cons and I won.  Jeff said he would
  restore the book and give it a presentation binding.  I sent it to
  him and four months later it was at my home again -- pristine --
  at a cost of more than the book itself.

  -- And I've had the pleasure of reading a well written and well
  illustrated history of Anson's four year round the world expedition
  to South America, Manilla and Canton; then back to England.

  My book, no longer is an antique but it has brought my coins
  to life -- and it even may become an antique again in another
  hundred years.


  During a web search Christine Smith found Pete Smith's
  online exhibit on the NBS site about an ancestor of hers,
  coin dealer and publisher A. M. Smith.   I put her in touch
  with Pete and he forwarded her a good deal of information.
  She writes: "This is a brief note of thanks for putting me in
  touch with Pete Smith, from whom I heard this morning.
  I am both appreciative and excited to be able to receive so
  much information about my family.

  This is very much thanks to your kindness in forwarding my
  request to Pete: I am most grateful!"


  David Gladfelter writes: "I received a greeting card today
  from a real old time numismatist, and New Jersey historian,
  Bill Dewey. Bill writes: "I'm doing fairly well for a "young"
  man of 98!  I spend part of my time in the summer on the
  deck here in the sunshine, and by the lovely fireplace in the
  wintertime. Your cards and notes are very much appreciated,
  and I enjoy hearing about your lives and families.  My very
  best wishes to you for a very Merry Christmas and a
  Happy New Year."

  Bill was the ANA librarian in the 1940s and is a Krause
  Numismatic Ambassador. His address is: Woodcliff Lake
  Manor, 555 Chestnut Ridge Road, Woodcliff Lake, N. J.

  [I'm sure Bill would be glad to receive cards from well-
  wishers among our E-Sylum readers.   -Editor]


  Alison Frankel writes: "I just wanted to thank you for running
  my query. I just heard from an e-sylumite who collects Woodin
  memorabilia, which should help me a lot.  Thanks again. I love
  the newsletter."


  Chris Fuccione was the first to respond with a correct answer
  to last week's question about the oldest continuously operating
  museum in Manhattan.  Gar Travis was a close second with this
  reply: "The New-York Historical Society, which was formed in
  1804, runs the oldest museum in the city and is the
  second-oldest historical society in the country."

  David Klinger adds: "It is located at: 2 West 77th Street at
  Central Park West  (212) 873-3400"

  [So what's the oldest continuously operating museum in the
  country?  The Peabody Essex Museum of Salem, MA.
  From their web site:  "This museum is one of New England's
  largest and specializes in early American decorative arts and
  Federal period architecture. Begun in 1799 by seafaring
  entrepreneurs, it is the country's oldest continuously
  operating museum."   -Editor]


  About the "Reminiscences of Frederick Ayer", Fred Reed
  writes: "The important things to remember about Fred Ayer

  (1) he was General George S. Patton's father-in-law
  (2) he does not mention encased stamps in his book
  (3) another copy of the rare book will be in the Ford book
       sale by Kolbe, since the copy I used for my book,
       Civil War Encased Stamps, was Ford's"


  David Fanning writes: "Does anybody know what caused
  the animosity between J.W. Scott and Ed. Frossard?
  Frossard was the editor of Scott's "Coin Collector's Journal"
  for its first year, at the end of which he left and started his
  own publication, "Numisma." Based on Frossard's comments
  over the next several years in "Numisma," he and Scott did
  not part on the best of terms and it was no secret that he
  thought Scott a poor numismatist. However, I've never read
  anything that went into detail about this. Did they have a
  quarrel over something in particular? Any info would be
  greatly appreciated. My e-mail address is
  fanning32 at"


  Dave Ginsburg writes: "Does anyone have a copy of, or
  know where I can get a copy of, R.W. Julian's article "First
  Years of the New Orleans Mint" that appeared in the
  November 1977 issue of Coins magazine?  Please contact
  me at ginsburg.d at if you can help."


  U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow was interviewed by
  Time magazine for their November 10th issue.  Asked
  "How do you feel about spending money with your
  signature on it?" he replied: "It's made me a hero to my
  grandchildren.  And it's been the occasion for my meeting
  any number of people in restaurants and airports and ask
  me to sign their money.  I try to oblige."


  Darryl Atchison writes: "I need to know if any E-Sylum reader
  has a named copy of the McKay-Clements sale conducted
  by Frank Rose in May 1976.

  I am specifically trying to determine who the purchaser was
  for lot no. 512 which is noted as " a possibly unique pattern
  St. John's, N.B. halfpenny". The coin is obviously an error
  piece since it should read St. John, N.B. However, the
  question that has to be asked is whether the piece is a pattern
  or a remainder from an returned order since corrected pieces
  were issued.  By the way, this sale is the only place that I
  know of where this particular token was auctioned since I
  cannot find any previous or later mention. It is also the only
  place where the token is illustrated to my knowledge.

  If any E-Sylum reader can me help with the name of the
  purchaser I would be greatly appreciative.  I can be
  contacted by email at ."


  Great collections deserve great catalogs - and great libraries
  deserve hardbound catalogs.   I've heard from several
  collectors wondering if I've heard if/when Stack's will make
  available for sale hardbound copies of the John J. Ford sales.
  I've seen no announcement, but understand the firm is aware
  of the demand and is considering options for producing some
  hardbounds.   I'll reserve a space next to my sets of other
  important modern U.S. sales, such as Taylor, Garrett, Norweb,
  Champa and Pittman.


  Joe Boling writes: "You printed Amanda Rondot's confession
  about becoming a numismatic bibliomaniac  I had already
  responded to the ANA as follows:

  Amanda Rondot, in writing about some of the books in her
  library, had this to say about one of them:  "Official ANA
  Grading Standards for United States Coins is helpful not only
  for those of us who doubt our grading abilities and wish to
  improve them, but also for all coin collectors.  Since few
  people are familiar with the grading standards for series
  outside their collecting specialties, this book is good for
  acquainting oneself with a new series before buying unfamiliar
  coins.  I find it to be an especially useful study guide when I
  am acquiring type coins for my collection."

  I took the ANA grading course last month [October 2003].
  I found, when comparing the ANA grading set (graded by
  NGC) with the book, that the book no longer reflects market
  practice. If you are using it to familiarize yourself with a new
  series, expect the circulated coins that you find in recent slabs
  to be at least one full grade different from what you will see in
  the photographs in the book. In other words, if you want a
  coin that looks like one called fine in the book, you will have
  to buy a coin slabbed as very fine to find one with that degree
  of wear. If the grading service is one of the ones reputed to
  use even more liberal standards than NGC and PCGS, you
  might find two grades difference between the slabbed grade
  and the book's illustrations.

  If you are trading by mail with another collector, and you both
  agree to use the standards of the book, that will work OK.
  But if you are buying from a dealer, and you find one who is
  still using the standards of the ANA's official grading book,
  you had better cultivate that relationship."


  In recent issues of the Colonial Coins email discussion
  group, two books of interest were discussed.

  "The Economic Rise of Early America" by Gary M.
  Walton & James F Shepherd was described as a
  readable look at the financial side of the period.

  "From Dependency to Independence: Economic
  Revolution in Colonial New England", by Margaret
  Ellen Newell was also mentioned as a favorite.

  "Financing The American Revolution" by Udo Hielscher,
  published by the Museum Of American Financial History
  in New York was described as "a very easy read and
  great photographs of various Colonial and Early American
  notes of commerce."


  The Dallas/Ft. Worth Star-Telegram published an article
  about the designer of next year's Texas state quarter.

  "[Daniel] Miller's winning design, announced by Gov. Rick
  Perry's office Nov. 17, features a five-pointed Lone Star
  superimposed on an outline of the state. A rope design will
  border the coin."

 "Miller rejected a longhorn and an armadillo after deciding
  that no single critter could represent the entire state.  He finally
  put about 100 hours into the design before rushing to the post
  office on the day of the deadline for the competition."

  "... Miller isn't worried about how many Texas quarters are
  made. The honor is enough for Miller, who is an art director
  for Practitioners Publishing Co. in Fort Worth. Much of  his
  work involves creating materials for CPAs.

 "You can imagine how exciting that is," he said."

  To read the full article, see:

  [Now we know why many of the state quarter designs are
  so shallow.  They are designed by laypeople and graphic artists
  who work in two dimensions and may have little understanding
  or appreciation of the sculptural arts.  The third dimension of
  relief never comes into play.   The paltry $1,000 stipend the
  mint is offering to "artists"  seems likely to attract more writers
  of accounting manuals than true artists.   Medallic artist Alex
  Shagin is quoted in an article on coinage redesign in the January
  2004 issue of COINage magazine as follows: "The fact that the
  mint won't credit the artists who designed the coins, as opposed
  to the engraver who simply takes someone else's design and
  sculpts it, indicates to me it does not care about art." ("The
  New Counterrevolution: Coinage Redesign Champions Are
  Concerned About the Future" by Jon Blackwell)  -Editor]


  Gar Travis sent a link to a Forbes magazine article about
  currency redesign in Vietnam.  (The article was from the
  Reuters news service).

  "In an effort to foil counterfeiters and promote the use of
  vending machines, Vietnam said on Thursday it will introduce
  a 500,000 dong ($32) currency note, redesign its 50,000
  dong note and mint three types of coins."

  "Vietnam decided on the changes "to make the money
  structure more reasonable and to better fight against
  counterfeits.  ... the new Australian-made polymer-based
  notes were more durable, dipping one specimen into a
  glass of water to demonstrate.

  "People selling vegetables and fish in the market will be
  very happy with this money," he said to laughter.


  Peter Koch writes:  "I had planned a trip to Baltimore for this
  past Friday, but weather forecasts of blizzard conditions
  convinced me my usually pleasant 4-5 hour journey from north
  Jersey to the Inner Harbor would be nightmarish so I reluctantly
  canceled. Don't mind the snow, and never cared about how
  cold it gets, but, man, that ice. Lookout!

  Really sorry to miss this show. Joe Levine (Presidential Coin)
  had an important auction and I planned on some serious table-
  hopping.   I participated in the auction via last-minute fax but
  doubt any lots will come my way.  I dislike mail bidding; you're
  at a distinct disadvantage.  Especially on unusual items where
  no published price guides exist or no past performance can be
  leaned on. How do others feel about mail bid sales? Any
  special strategies you could share?

  I don't know if the Baltimore show took a hit because of the
  weather.  Anyone hear anything?  It would be tough to cancel
  a coin show/convention, but has it ever happened?  The recent
  California fires caused a postponement of the Kolbe MBS, and
  auctions and any shows surrounding 9-11 were moved.  Down
  through the years I wonder how many numismatic events,
  auctions, or shows were cancelled/postponed for whatever
  reason.  Anyone know?

  [The topic comes up periodically in The E-Sylum.  For example,
  some events were postponed due to the September 11, 2001
  terrorist attacks, and a coin auction was postponed due to the
  Lincoln assassination.  Has anyone ever compiled a
  comprehensive list?  -Editor]


  Peter Koch writes: "This may have been covered somewhere
  along the line, but for the life of me, I simply cannot find it.
  What do we call ourselves?  Those that study and collect
  coins are numismatists; what are those who study and collect
  numismatic literature, and likely to may or may not collect
  coins also?

  If 'Bibliomaniacs' is the choice, it was a term I recall that did
  not sit well with many collectors. Of course, 'Bibliophile' seems
  to make the most frequent appearance.

  I thought I saw somewhere the derivative use of the words
  Numismatic and Literature.  Numis-Lit-Matist? Numis-Lit-Mist?
  Numis-Lit-eratti?  Any thoughts??  My genuine thanks for any

  [One who loves books is a "bibliophile"; coin book lovers are
  "numismatic bibliophiles".   The term "bibliomaniac" is related,
  and I take it to mean one who takes bibliophilic urges to
  extremes.  Perhaps some of our readers will chime in with
  their current thoughts on the topic.  I hadn't heard these other
  terms before.  I do like "numisliterati" !  -Editor]


  Anyone who would mortgage their home to buy books
  is a bibliomaniac in my opinion, although in the end many
  such hobby maniacs turn out in the end to be crazy like a
  fox.  One numismatic example is John Pittman, who I
  believe put a second mortgage on his home to obtain funds
  to purchase rare U.S. coins in the fabled Farouk sale.  His
  investment paid for itself many times over.   The Wall Street
  journal ran a front-page profile of a bibliomaniac in another
  field.  The December 5, 2003 article describes "A Man's
  Pursuit Of Lewis and Clark - Construction Worker Builds
  A University's Collection."  Some excerpts follow:

  "In 1805, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark reached the
  Pacific Ocean ....  at the end of their epic journey across
  North America.

  In 1986, Roger Wendlick embarked on his own daunting
  quest: to buy everything ever written about the expedition.
  Every book, journal, article and government record. In
  English, German and Dutch. From the first report by President
  Jefferson in 1806 to the 1979 paperback bodice-ripper about
  Sacagawea and beyond.

  "I'm just a construction guy," says the 58-year-old Mr.
  Wendlick, who laid sewer lines in the Portland drizzle, never
  married and didn't go to college. But he needed a hobby, he
  says, and "there's no better story in American history" than
  Lewis and Clark."

  "The weathered and wiry Mr. Wendlick says his interest in the
  expedition began with a souvenir plate from the centennial and
  an eight-volume set of the journals that a Wisconsin
  newspaperman named Reuben Thwaites published in 1904,
  the first time the journals were printed. When he inherited the
  plate from his grandmother, Mr. Wendlick says, he decided to
  start collecting centennial knickknacks -- crockery, buttons and,
  in 1986, a first-edition set of the Thwaites journals that cost him
  $695, or about $395 more than his weekly take-home pay.

  The books, he quickly realized, were a bigger challenge and a
  better investment than the tchotchkes. There were so few of
  them, and with the expedition's bicentennial approaching, he
  figured their value could soar. So, for $1,000, Mr. Wendlick
  next bought an account of the expedition that was written in
  1814 by a banker named Nicholas Biddle, who wasn't on the
  trip but had read the captains' journals. After that, for $200,
  came a copy of a journal kept by Patrick Gass, a sergeant
  on the expedition and the first member of the corps to get to

  "In 1991, 1993 and 1995, he refinanced his house to buy
  books. He ran up $142,000 in debt on nine credit cards.
  He worked six days a week, bulldozing trenches even in
  Portland's raw winter, as a crew foreman for a construction
  company that laid utility lines for housing developments."

  "Finally, in what Mr. Wendlick calls the perfect sale, he
  moved his Lewis and Clark library to Lewis and Clark
  College, which already had a small collection about the
  expedition and wanted more. In 1998, the college agreed
  to pay Mr. Wendlick $375,000 in cash and $30,000 a
  year for a decade, and gave him a desk in the library.

  Mr. Wendlick retired from his construction job the next
  day and then, for the first time, began to read his books.
  "I dove in," he says, working his way through everything
  except the novels in three years."

  [See the Journal for the full article.  QUICK QUIZ:
  What famous bank was Nicholas Biddle affiliated
  with?  And what is the bank's connection with numismatics?


  Inspired by Myron Xenos' coin quiz last week, Col. Bill Murray
  writes: "After a recent conversation with a numismatic friend,
  I got to thinking about how much fun I have had with a
  presentation I make to non-numismatists of all ages above

  I had no trouble with Myron's trivia quiz, primarily because I
  have a 30 minute presentation, based on the cent, originally for
  grade school kids, then to Kiwanis, Rotary, other service clubs
  and once to a group of bank employees.  While the presentation
  varies based on the audience (words, techniques), the base
  information remains the same.  The point of the presentation, at
  whatever level, is to point out how little we know about our coins,
  which we see and handle every day.  It's fun for me and seems
  to be enjoyed at all levels. Here's an outline.

  Issue a coin to each person.  Whose picture? They respond.
  Why his picture on the coin?  Not "because he was president,"
  but because the 1792 law (Act of April 2, 1792) required a
  "device emblematic of liberty" to be on coins.  Lincoln surely
  qualifies. The word liberty - same law.

  Ask about the date  - usually answered correctly.  Why the
  small letter below the date?  Most know about mint marks.

  How many Mints? (None know West Point.)

  Read "In God We Trust" above Lincoln's bust.  First on 1864
  2-cent piece (tell that story, including, not on paper money and
  not a national motto until after 1956 when Eisenhower signed bill).

  What's the name of this coin?  Unanimous answer, "Penny."
  "Turn it over.  What does is say at the bottom?" "One cent."
  "We've never had a U. S. penny.  That's just a nickname, held
  over from the English coin (1792 law)."  "See United States of
  America at the top?  Required by 1792 law on gold and silver
  coins, but always on the penny, oops! One cent."

  "How many times does Lincoln appear on the cent?"  This piece
  of trivia frequently is known by non-numismatists.

  Most times, I cut some cents into two pieces, and before
  handing them out, ask what is the cent made of.  Usual answer,
  "Copper."  Not since 1857, I tell them.  Then bronze until 1982
  and then copper plated zinc.  Hand out cut coins and prove it.

  Believe me, this is an attention holding presentation, fun to give
  and educational about something few people know."


  From a December 2nd Reuters report: "A Frenchman who
  burned his life savings to a cinder before swallowing two
  bottles of pills is facing life with an empty bank account after
  neighbors foiled his suicide attempt."

  "The man, who lived alone, had cleared out his bank balance
  of 240,000 euros ($288,500) and set fire to the pile of 500
  euro notes in his bath before swallowing the pills, hoping to
  leave nothing behind after his death."


  Burning cash must be the latest fad.  A December 1st report
  noted: "A British radio station is under investigation after it
  burned 5,000 pounds ($8,600) rather than give it to charity
  -- or to a listener for her breast enlargement operation.

  Birmingham-based Galaxy radio torched the cash after listeners
  voted to burn it rather than give it to a competition winner ..."

  Galaxy ignored its appeals for the money to be given to charity.
  "There are some bloody good charities in Birmingham doing
  good work week in, week out," said the church spokesman.
  "There is quite a groundswell of resentment."


  This week's featured web page is a short section from
  Q. David Bowers' book, The History of United States

  "In January 1895 the readers of The Numismatist were
  treated to an interesting article, "A Tour Among the Coin
  Dealers," by Augustus G. Heaton, a frequent contributor
  to The Numismatist and the person who had several years
  earlier advanced the interest in collecting mintmarks of
  United States coins by publishing a monograph on the subject."

  Dealers mentioned include J.W. Scott, David Proskey,
  Ed Frossard, Henry Chapman, J. Colvin Randall, Edward
  Maris, E. B. Mason, Jr., E. B. Mason, Jr., W. Von Bergen,
  Charles Steigerwalt, and Dr. George Massamore.  Interesting
  how information lives on in new forms - from Heaton's
  original article to Bowers' book, to a web site and now this
  email, 108 years later.

  Wayne Homren
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society 

Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the 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.  Visit the Membership page. Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link.

PREV        NEXT        V6 2003 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

NBS Home Page    Back to top

NBS ( Web