The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 26, June 26, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers is Jeff Hawk. Welcome aboard!
We now have 762 subscribers.


Nancy Green, American Numismatic Association Librarian
writes: "Pop the champagne! The ANA's Dwight N. Manley
Numismatic Library catalog is on the air!!! On the ANA home
page, under "Explore the World of Money"; click "Library"
and at the bottom of the page click "ANA Library Catalog".
Just think, I set up the library catalog in the early 80s with the
first ANA computer system and now thanks to Chris Cipoletti
and the ANA Board, we finally have a REAL library catalog!"

[Hooray! Although the following may become obsolete at
some point, here is a direct link to the catalog:
Give it a whirl, everyone! -Editor]


"Thomson Gale, which provides online access to articles
found in newspapers, journals and magazines, unveiled on
Friday a service that's meant to drive more web traffic to
local libraries, which are often discounted in the digital age.

The service steers people using
general search engines, such as Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc.,
to digitized articles available through their local public libraries.
People also can go directly to to
access the material.

The service is scheduled to be officially announced in beta
next week at the American Library Association conference
in Chicago."

"Content owned by Thomson Gale, one of the largest
providers of library reference information, had been available
only through local libraries' websites. To help boost traffic, the
company has made its content searchable by web crawlers,
so it can be displayed among general search results.

People who click on the links will be directed to,
which will authenticate that they are members of a library
before retrieving the information. The library must be a customer
of Thomson Gale, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich."

To read the full article: Full Story

[This could be useful for numismatic researchers. Many
publishers such as The New York Times move articles off
the web into archives. Those researching modern issues,
such as U.S. commemoratives and the state quarter series
quickly lose access to great information, which would become
searchable and accessible again with this new service.


The Chicago Tribune reported on June 23rd that Sen. Barack
Obama (D-Ill.) moved to block the nomination of a Mint
Director Henrietta Fore to a high level State Department position,
"delaying the confirmation until the White House opens a portion
of her FBI file so he can investigate a racial remark attributed to
her nearly two decades ago.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was poised to approve
the nomination of Henrietta Fore as undersecretary of state for
management. But Obama filed a formal objection and the matter
was postponed for at least a week.

Obama said he remains concerned by Fore's comments during
a 1987 speech at Wellesley College in which she lamented how
difficult it was to keep black assembly-line workers employed
at a company she had run. She tried to quell the furor through a
letter to the editor of the college newspaper, saying her comments
that blacks would prefer to go "back to the street to earn more
money" selling drugs referred just to some former employees.

At the time, Fore said her remarks were misunderstood. As
the controversy grew, however, she resigned her position as
a college trustee."

"Obama, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, was
the lone senator to object to Fore's confirmation or to raise
questions about her background. According to Senate rules,
one senator can block a presidential nomination."

To read the full story: Full Story


The Mint has problems other than the potential loss of its
Director. The long-simmering class action suit by employees
of the Denver branch mint gained traction this week:

"The Denver Mint lost its bid Thursday to prevent a sexual
harassment and discrimination complaint from going forward
as a class-action lawsuit.

An administrative law judge denied the mint's request for
reconsideration of a December order that granted class-action

"The lawsuit was filed by 32 women. All 107 female mint
workers are part of the class action."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


An article in the July 4 issue of Coin World (p72) highlights
The E-Sylum's role in David Ginsburg's research on the New
Orleans Mint. The article was based on David's article in the
latest issue of The Asylum, our print journal. Having difficulty
locating a copy of a rare reference on the mint,

"I finally did what I should have done earlier; I subscribed to
The E-Sylum and asked Wayne Homren, the editor, to ask
my fellow subscribers if any of them had a copy," Ginsburg
writes. He added that Homren had never heard of the book

"Much to my surprise and pleasure, shortly after my inquiry,
I received a response from a subscriber who owns a copy..."

Many thanks to Dave for recounting the events in his article,
and also to Coin World for featuring it. Helping researchers
find what they need is always a highlight of my role as E-Sylum


Regarding nickels in circulation, the distribution around the
country seems very uneven. Some are having the same
trouble I've been having in seeing the coins in circulation -
others do see the coins regularly.

Bob Knepper of Anaheim, CA writes: "You asked, in
E-Sylum Vol 4 Number 24, if "others are having trouble
finding" buffalo nickels.

Yes! I've tried several banks several times over a several
month period without being able to get even one buffalo
nickel. I'd like to get a roll or two to give examples to people
(and I'm one) who haven't seen them. A friend in Germany
said a different US friend had sent him a roll.

At a senior center I put Sacagawea dollars into a basket to
pay for coffee. At least half the time the dollars are removed,
presumably replaced with paper dollars. Several people told
me (this year) they had not previously seen the Sacagaweas -
which is hard to believe after all this time."

Howard Spindel of Portland, OR writes: "It's not just the
latest designs that don't circulate. I've kept track (it wasn't hard),
and I've received exactly two Peace Medal nickels, one Keelboat
Nickel, and none of the Buffalo nickels in circulation. If I didn't
buy sets from the mint I might never see these coins."

Bruce Perdue writes: "I frequently work a cash register (much
too frequently) and the new buffalo nickel, while not out in great
numbers, is available in least in Joliet, IL. I see it
perhaps as frequently as 1 in 20. I almost always have one in
the drawer and try to give it to someone who I think will appreciate
it. As always you provide insightful information and interesting

Pete Mosiondz, Jr. writes: "Couldn't help but wonder about
all those folks having a hard time finding the new Jefferson/Buffalo
nickels in change. Plenty of them here in southern New Jersey.
We're about 10 miles due east of the Philly Mint and Federal

Dennis M. Gregg writes: "Since subscribing to your weekly
e-letter, I must say I am very impressed, very informed, and
very entertained. Thank you! I look forward to each "copy"
coming to my mailbox.

The past two issues have mentioned the "scarcity" of new nickels
in circulation. I've come across many of these. In fact, I'd have
to say they're so prevalent where I live, I'd get one in about each
$5.00 in change I'd receive in a day's worth of transactions. I
live in Hagerstown, MD, 70 miles NW of Wash DC and 70 miles
W of Baltimore."

Later in the week, Bob Knepper sent this update: "After commenting/
complaining about not seeing any buffalo nickels, I just a few
minutes ago got ten of them from the post office. Because they had
had, years ago, Sacagawea dollars before my banks, I tossed the
question of "any buffalo nickels?", and was pleasantly surprised
when the clerk offered me ten."


W. David Perkins of Centennial, CO writes: "I’m currently reading
the new book "1776" by David McCullough, a well received father’s
day gift. I came across evidence of the melting of 18th Century
circulating coinage, but not in the traditional sense. Per the author,
this incident took place on August 21, 1776. McCullough writes
that on the night of August 21, “a terrifying storm broke over New
York, a storm as vicious as any in living memory, and for those
who saw omens in such unleashed fury from the elements-…..”

As to the coins being melted, “In another part of town three
officers were killed by a single thunderbolt. A later report described
how the tips of their swords and coins in their pockets had been
melted ..."


Ken Hallenbeck writes: "I enjoy reading The E-Sylum and noticed
comments regarding the lack of a Zebulon Pike coin. For whatever
it is worth, our local Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum will be
producing a Zeb Pike medal next year. I'm heading up the project
and will keep you updated as we progress. Anyone interested in
a medal can contact me and be put on a notification list when they
are released. The medals will be 1-1/2" diameter, silver with gold
highlighting, bronze, and gold. Gold to be preordered and prepaid
only. It will be a nice medal as design features in addition to Pike
will be the Pioneer Museum with Pike's Peak in the background
and, of course, Zebulon Pike. Ken Hallenbeck, 711 N. Nevada
Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903."


Last week, David F. Fanning wrote: "Can anyone tell me if
either of the plates in the January 18-19, 1884 H.P. Smith
sale are of Franco-American jetons? Thanks."

Barry Tayman writes: "Neither of the 2 plates in the H.P.
Smith (Sandham-Cushing) sale of January 18-19, 1884,
depict Franco-American jetons. If any more information is
needed on this sale, please let me know."


David F. Fanning writes: "I have another question for the E-Sylum:
I am interested in hearing from anyone who owns a copy of the
original 1899 edition of Ed Frossard's monograph on Franco-
American jetons. I am thinking of compiling a census of this scarce
publication (only 100 copies were printed) and would appreciate
any help. I can be reached at fanning32 at"


Last week I asked for more information on the 1867 Proof
Set offered in the June 2005 Drew St. John sale by American
Numismatic Rarities. I hadn't realized that the lot description
was continued on the following page, and there were the answers
to my questions. John Kraljevich of ANR provided the full text
of the lot description, and here are two excerpts:

"This set was laid in the cornerstone of Agricultural Hall in
Hingham, Massachusetts on September 25, 1867. One of the
speakers that day was Solomon Lincoln, Vice President of the
Hingham Agricultural and Horticultural Society but also cashier
of the local Webster Bank of Boston. It is easy to speculate
that perhaps he used his connections in Washington (he was a
former political appointee) or his banking connections to acquire
this Proof set for the celebration. The building was used for
town meetings and civic occasions until 1965; it was razed and
the Hingham Public Library now stands on the site. This set was
transferred to the Hingham Public Library, who deaccessioned
it in 1980. A copy of the original notarized bill of sale from the
library will come with this lot."

"Hingham, Massachusetts had a population of barely 4,000
souls in the late 1860s, nearly a quarter of whom served in the
Civil War. The town is located just south of Boston, near Quincy,
the home of the Adams family."


In recent issues we discussed some speculation that coins from
the 1967 duPont robbery may have been in the Ohio coin
fund which has been so much in the news lately. Beth Deisher,
editor of Coin World, put this speculation to rest in an article
beginning on p115 of the June 27th issue. The 1855 $3 gold
coin and the $10 1845 gold coin from the Ohio fund are
proofs, while the duPont coins were business strikes.


Howard Spindel writes: "I'd like to mention that I moderate an
online discussion group about U.S. shield nickels, particularly
shield nickel varieties. If any of the the readers are interested
in joining in, I can send an invitation if they send me private email
at howard at

I also run the website - as far as I know,
the best destination on the web for shield nickel information."


Dave Lange writes: "I can't recall the year or the location of
the ANA convention, but I do remember seeing that one hotel
had posted a sign reading: "Welcome American Pneumismatic
Association. To this may be added another memorable blooper
I witnessed, "Early American Coopers."

Howard Spindel writes: "Can't help on creative spellings of
"numismatics" but how about creative pronunciation? When
my ANA journal arrives, I'm informed that my new issue of
Newsmatist is here!

[I've also heard "Newsmathmatics" -Editor]


To clear up a question about last week's items on Hans
Schulman, George Fuld writes: "Yes, we are confused. The
Dutch Schulman was JACQUES, while Hans was an immigrant
and a first cousin as I recall.

I visited Jacques' store in 1960 and got a royal welcome. I
bought some rare books-- the French Van Loon, and the earlier
one on Dutch medals whose name I've forgotten. The prices
were insignificant in today's world. I bought some tokens, also.

I dealt with Hans in New York certainly as early 1955 and
bought from many of his auctions. Hans was a great promoter
with a large ego but was always pleasant to me and my father.
I hope this clarifies the matter."

Richard Margolis writes: "I am sure that I will not be the first to
write concerning Nick Graver's reminiscences of his visit to Hans
Schulman. Actually, he visited the offices not of Hans, but of his
cousin, Jacques Schulman, who was located for so many years
at Keizersgracht 448 in Amsterdam. Many years ago I hailed
a cab at Schiphol Airport, asked to be taken to Keizersgracht
448, and the driver immediately responded, "Ah, the coin king
of Holland!"

As for Hans, I knew him for many years and although I found
him gracious, helpful, and a real charmer, it was important to
know exactly what you were buying from him."

Ken Bressett writes: "I never met anyone who did not like Hans
and enjoy his humor and stories. One of his best that he told me
was about a time he and his wife were dining with King Farouk.
After dinner the King lit a cigar and offered some to the Schulmans.
Protocol called for them to accept. After nearly gaging on them,
Farouk admitted it was a joke and they all had a good laugh."

Alan V. Weinberg writes: "Jacques Schulman, controlled the
shop at 448 Keizersgracht, Amsterdam on one of the canals for
many decades. Hans never had a shop in the Netherlands and,
as memory serves, left the US for Spain sometime in the 1980s
under questionable circumstances (can anyone speak to this issue?).

Jacques, the older brother, resembled Hans in build and face.
He was gregarious and spoke English well. I recall, on one visit
to his large shop on Keizersgracht, he related that a massive
U.S. Presidential gold lifesaving medal, cased, originating from
him and still in my collection was actually awarded not just to a
Dutch ship captain but a notorious pirate captain, a background
probably unknown to President Lincoln when it was engraved/

The facts surrounding the Jewish Schulman family's survival in
Amsterdam and the safe storage of the numismatic stock and
retention of even their prominently-placed Keizersgracht address
is mystifying given the thoroughness of the Nazi assets confiscation
and expulsion of the Dutch Jews. Even the alleged numismatic
interests of Nazi generals alluded to in E-Sylum cannot account
for the Schulman's survival. It certainly didn't help the Jewish
families' expertise in the fine arts in Nazi-occupied countries.
It's long-ago history but has anyone else had a conversation with
Jacques or Hans on this subject?"

Nick Graver writes: "Yes, obviously, it was Jacques in Amsterdam,
so sorry about the confusion. I do recall Hans at ANA shows, and
there was a strong resemblance. The memories from the visit were
otherwise genuine. Please excuse the error."

[Absolutely! -Editor]


Dick Johnson writes: "I neglected to relate the strongest book
connection to Hans M.F. Schulman in my comments in The
E-Sylum last week. Hans always ordered multiple copies of
numismatic books when they were first published. If you were
ever in his office you will recall walls were filled with bookcases
floor to ceiling. In his private office was his private numismatic
library. Both were extensive.

When he sold off Schulman Coin and Mint his extensive holdings
of numismatic literature were not part of the deal. Sol Kaplan of
Cincinnati owned a couple warehouses in addition to being a
coin dealer. Hans shipped hundreds of boxes of numismatic books
for Sol to store. Later he asked me to look at these with the intent
of cataloging them for a separate numismatic literature auction sale.

I spent one day in Sol’s warehouse and cataloged less than a dozen
books. The temptation to read the books overrode my desire to
accomplish any cataloging chore. I recognized the job was greater
than the time I could devote to it. Ultimately, the books went back
to New York City. Hans had rented two rooms several floors
below his office and he cataloged the books himself. I don’t recall
the year, but I believe he sold off this extensive holdings in several
auction sales.

Perhaps an E-Sylum reader can identify when these sales occurred.
Do you have a Schulman auction catalog with hundreds (thousands?)
of books offered?"


Regarding the explanation of Tom Culhane's business
name, The Elusive Spondulix, discussed in the last issue,
Tom DeLorey writes: "His web site explanation is quite
eloquent, but I once asked him if the reference was to
W.C. Field's usage of the same phrase (I cannot recall in
which movie), and he said yes. Actually, I believe he said
"Ah, Yesssssss."

Col. Bill Murray writes: "The quote, below, from the Oxford
English Dictionary offers more quotations showing examples
of usage, but I thought if this is worth anything, no more are

Spondulicks, slang. Orig. U.S. Also –ics, ix Money, cash.
1857 in R. H. Thornton Amer. Gloss. (1912) He lost…All
the brass and all the needful. All the spondulicks and buttons
1863 Ibid. Those ordering job work should come down with
the spondulicks as soon as the work is done."


Dick Johnson writes: "Coinstar, the firm that puts those coin-
counting machines in supermarkets, comes up with some
interesting statistics on coins occasionally. Last Wednesday
they say an Alabama man set the record for the largest number
of cents redeemed, breaking a previous million-cent exchange.

Edmond Knowles of Flomaton, Alabama, cashed in 1,380,459
cents. A gas-station operator, he began tossing cents into five-
gallon cans in 1966. But how do you store 1.3 million cents?
By increasing the size of his containers. It required four 55-gallon
drums and three 20-gallon drums to contain all those coins.

But what wasn’t mentioned in the story was that Coinstar
charged him over $1100 for their fee."

To read the original article, see: Original Story


The Motley Fool, a popular investing newsletter, published
a story on June 24th by Richard Gibbons on Hetty Green,
"The Witch of Wall Street." Green's son, Col. E.H.R.
Green, also known as Ned, became one of the greatest
collectors of U.S. coins (and many other things). I've
excerpted part of the story here; it's pretty well known,
but so fascinating it bears repeating.

"Hetty's attire was distinctive, if not fashionable. The cheapest
and longest-lasting footwear she could find were fisherman's
boots, so she clomped around in rubber boots while conducting
business in prominent investment banks. Every day, she wore
the same long black dress, only buying new clothes when her
outfit became threadbare. And her clothes weren't really even
clean. Hetty would not wash her bedding or underclothes, or
even her entire dress. She would only wash the hem of the dress,
where it dragged on the ground, since she could do that for less
than it would cost to clean the entire thing.

She worked, surrounded by most of her possessions and
securities, inside a vault in the Chemical National Bank, now
a subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Chase. The bank manager ignored
the boots and allowed her to use the vault as her "office" for free.

Probably the most extreme example of her miserliness was
when Hetty's son, Ned, injured his leg in a sledding accident.
She didn't want to pay for a doctor, so she dressed Ned in
rags and took him to a charitable clinic. Unfortunately, the
doctor recognized Hetty and demanded $150 for the treatment.
She refused and attempted to take care of Ned herself. It didn't
work out so well. Ned developed gangrene and the leg had to
be amputated. At the time, Hetty was worth about $50 million."


On June 23 Snopes, the web site devoted to debunking
Internet rumors and hoaxes, addressed a rumor about the
new U.S. Buffalo nickel. Readers were asking, "Are the new
buffalo nickels going to be recalled because of obvious an
"male" part of the animal's anatomy being included?"

Researcher Barbara "buffaloed bison" Mikkelson wrote:
"While it is true the animal on the new buffalo nickel is
most decidedly male, it is not true there is a move afoot
to rescind the coin from circulation or that the coins have
been recalled by the U.S. Treasury. That rumor is an
expression of the current state of anxiety regarding
matters of a graphic sexual nature finding their way into the
mainstream, a trepidation often voiced as "Children might
see this!"
Full Story

[Perhaps we should have some fun by starting our own
off-the-wall rumor. Did you know that the bison body
part in question is the only feature of a coin which, when
rubbed, becomes MORE prominent? -Editor]


This week's featured web site is an article on the Heritage
web site by Carl N. Lester titled " Numismatic 'Gumshoe:'
On the Trail of King Farouk"

Featured Web Site
  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.

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