The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 41, September 25, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Bill Snyder, Dan Lucas and
Daniel Breen Jr. (No, he's not related to Walter Breen - I asked).
Welcome aboard! We now have 794 subscribers.

Many thanks to Ray Williams for promoting The E-Sylum on the
colonial coins mailing list this week - some of our new subscribers
likely came as a result of that posting. As luck would have it, there
was a news item this week regarding a colonial coin, and for our
featured web site we have a work of fiction which had a role in
promoting an old story relating to colonial coinage.

This issue brings some good news about two minting institutions,
one very old, and one so new it hasn't been built yet - the old
U.S. Mint building in New Orleans, and the new Gallery Mint
Museum in Arkansas. As if that weren't enough, we also have
word of a forthcoming first all-literature auction from dealer
Allan Davisson.

This week's questions: April Kaas won a lawsuit this week against
which U.S. numismatic institution? Who was Lawrence K. Roos,
and what was his role in numismatics? What was author Nathaniel
Hawthorne's connection to numismatics? And what did Daniel
Laidlaw do 90 years ago today to earn the fabled Victoria Cross
medal? Read on to find out...

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Today (Sunday, September 25, 2005), published
a story about a rare and important medal being given to the
National Museums of Scotland:

"A Victoria Cross, awarded for one of the most famous acts of
gallantry of the First World War, will be gifted to the nation today.

Scottish piper Daniel Laidlaw defied poison gas and his own fear
to climb from his trench, play 'Blue Bonnets over the Border' and
inspire troops to advance on the enemy during the Battle of Loos.

He was awarded the ultimate battlefield honour and went down in
the history books as the Piper of Loos.

Today, on the 90th anniversary of the battle, the piper's grandson,
Victor Laidlaw, will donate his Victoria Cross - worth £100,000 -
to the National Museums of Scotland.

The medal, one of only 74 awarded to Scots during the conflict,
and arguably the most famous, will be handed over at a low-key
ceremony at the Loos Museum, Belgium."

"Laidlaw said his father was adamant the medal should eventually
go on display, but that the piper's regiment, the Kings Own Scottish
Borderers, could not accept it.

He said: "My father was quite adamant that these things should
not be hidden in vaults. The regiment had great difficulty with this
because of insurance problems."

"Daniel Laidlaw was born in 1875 in Little Swinton, Berwickshire.
He joined the 2nd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (DLI) on April
11, 1896, and was immediately posted to India, where he served
for two years until June 1898.

After returning to Britain he transferred to the KOSB as a piper
and 17 years later found himself in the middle of one of the most
savage battles of the First World War.

But it wasn't until an assault near Loos and Hill 70 on the morning
of September 25, 1915, that he made his way into the history books.
During the worst stages of a bombardment on German trenches,
Piper Laidlaw saw that his men were shaken by the effects of gas.

With complete disregard for his own safety, he mounted the
parapet, marched up and down and played 'Blue Bonnets Over the
Border' on his pipes, inspiring the regiment, the 7th Battalion King's
Own Scottish Borderers to advance."

"Allan Carswell, principal curator of military history at the
National Museums of Scotland, said: "Victoria Crosses are
extremely rare in comparative terms. They are the highest form of
award for gallantry awarded by the British Crown. There have
only ever been about 1,300 awarded. In military museum terms
they really are the things the vast majority of our public will
recognise and respond to.

"What makes it additionally interesting is that it is a very archetypical
Scottish story. It is awarded to a piper doing exactly what pipers
in Scottish regiments are best known for which is encouraging the
men into an attack."

"I have a very vivid picture of him standing there playing the pipes
walking along unscathed but nevertheless under heavy fire encouraging
other people. You can't get more of an exemplar of grace, coolness
under fire, than the Piper of Loos."

Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "I have been privileged to be present
at the birth of many numismatic organizations, institutions and
events -- Coin World, Token and Medal Society, the new
Philadelphia Mint Dedication, my own companies and many,
many others. Last week I was present at the birth of what
is sure to become a very prominent institution in the numismatic

I sat with nine other individuals who are pledged to create the
Gallery Mint Museum in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Four of
the thirteen board members were absent because of Katrina
affecting their own institutions, or other pressing duties. For
three days, however, the board members present discussed
site locations for the building to house this museum, hiring the
dedicated talent to manage this museum, the collections this
museum will house and exhibit, the finances and fund-raising
necessary to raise this institution to its proper level, and the
educational projects which such an institution could perform,
all for the numismatic community.

In effect, we planned the thrust of this institution, the course
it should take, and the dream of what it could become!

The discussions were always positive because this museum
will be different from every other museum in America, numismatic
or otherwise. This museum will concentrate on the tools and
techniques of how coins, medals and paper money are created.
It may display numismatic specimens, but it will more importantly
exhibit how these artifacts were made -- the engraving of dies,
the tools of the field, the equipment necessary to produce them,
with the great current of interest "how were these coins or
medals or paper money made?" running through every exhibit,
every publication.

E-Sylum readers will be hearing more about this organization
in future weeks. You will be asked to furnish ideas of what you
would like to know about minting technology, you will be asked
to contribute to this project, and – once it is established and in
place – you will be asked to visit it. We will all learn a lot at
this new museum."

[This is an exciting prospect for numismatics, and I encourage
all E-Sylum readers to support this project with vigor. -Editor]


The Advocate of Baton Rouge, LA published a story on
September 22nd describing minimal damage to archives
and artifacts stored at the New Orleans Mint building:

"Put the people who run Louisiana State Museum in the optimist

By Oct. 17 they hope to get some employees back to work in
the French Quarter for the first time since Hurricane Katrina
struck southeast Louisiana on Aug. 29.

By Nov. 1 they hope to reopen the Cabildo, the 18th-century
territorial capitol where France turned over the Louisiana
Territory to the United States."

"Hurricane Rita, an uncertain sewage system and other problems
have stalled the area-by-area repopulation of New Orleans. But
the French Quarter, which was not flooded and suffered mostly
modest damage, is high on the return list."

"The exception is the Old U.S. Mint on Esplanade Avenue by the
French Market, which lost most of its roof. But he said the
collections inside appear in good shape, even the French and
Spanish colonial records and other historical documents that are
part of a research center.

"The archives are dry. We were amazed how cool and dry it was
when we went in a week after the storm," Wheat said.

"We were very fortunate," he said.

He said state officials are working quickly to get the documents
relocated temporarily and to get a new roof built."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


Allan Davisson writes: "A numismatic literature auction of 425 lots
has just been mailed by Allan Davisson, Davissons Ltd. A strongly
British and European oriented sale, Auction 23 is the first all-literature
sale they have published, though literature has been a part of several
of their earlier sales. It is anchored by two well put-together working
libraries from collectors who have sold their coins. One collector was
particularly interested in Viking coinage and the coinage of Poland.
He also lived near a specialist bookbinder and had many works
bound that were originally issued with card covers.

The other collector did an extensive die study of Plantagenet voided
long cross pennies and collected this area as well as later hammered
and early milled English coins. His library included a set of the
BRITISH NUMISMATIC JOURNAL complete from volume 1, 1904
through 1998. The sale is filled out with several works on medieval
German coinage, British trade tokens and important sale catalogs
including a small consignment of United States related sale catalogs.
Comments, discussion and brief histories of some publication series
round out the catalog. The text is available in a PDF file at and a paper-and-ink copy is available by mail
from Davissons Ltd., Cold Spring, MN 56320 (the entire mail address)
or email, coins at There is no buyer’s fee in the sale
which closes on October 25, 2005. "


Howard Daniel forwarded the following information about
a new book on Ukrainian paper money by Dmitri Kharitonov:

"Catalogue of state paper money issued in Ukraine from
declaration of independence in 1917 to 2005

• The first and only specialized catalogue for Ukrainian state banknotes
• Detailed description more than 300 banknotes including Proofs,
Color Trials and Specimens
• Indication of variety, rarity and market valuation in Euro for three
• More than 160 original color photos
• Many notes are published for the first time
• Bilingual English and Ukrainian edition
• 112 pages, 15 x 21 cm (A5) , laminated soft cover
• Promises to be the standard reference for years to come
• ISBN 966-8679-03-2
• Price: 19.00 Euro
• Postage within Europe – 6.00 Euro, outside Europe – 9.00 Euro

Larisa Kharitonova
P.O.Box B-31
Kiev 01001

E-mail: kharitonov at
Fax: + 380-442796505"


Dave Bowers writes: "Mary Counts, president of Whitman,
advises me that it is planned to launch the brand-new 9th edition
of the Judd book, now with the simplified title, United States
Pattern Coins, at the Whitman/Atlanta Coin Expo at the end of
the first week of October. A number of Whitman authors will
be on hand to give talks, sign books, etc., including Ken Bressett,
Jeff Garrett, and me—and perhaps some others, too. The event
is held in the Cobb Galleria, Atlanta, next to the nice Waverly
Renaissance Hotel with other accommodations nearby. Exhibits
will include the unique 1783 Nova Constellatio silver pattern set,
the unique 1872 gold Amazonian pattern set, and the finest known
original 1861 Confederate States of America copper-nickel cent.
Additional displays and exhibits are being finessed, including notable
rarities, and more information will be forthcoming. There will be
nearly 100 bourse tables and an auction will be held jointly by
American Numismatic Rarities and Stack’s."


George Polizio writes: "I would like to ask our subscribers if
anyone owns a named copy of the Worlds Greatest Collection
of Silver Coins catalogue (Part II, March 3rd, 1945)? If anyone
does, could they please let me know who the buyer was for lot 24
(the 1806 B8 quarter)? Thanks for your help. I look forward to
every new E-Sylum in my email."

[The "World's Greatest Collection of U.S. Silver Coins" was sold
by Numismatic Gallery in several sessions in 1945. The "World's
Greatest Collection of U.S. Gold Coins" was sold in 1946. The
coins were from the collection of F.C.C. Boyd.

My set of the WGC sales are hardbound leather presentation
copies inscribed by Abe Kosoff and Abner Kreisberg. The
owner's name, Adolf Friedman, is in gilt on the covers. The
copies are priced, but alas, not named. I spoke to Abner
Kreisberg on March 31, 1992 to learn more about this set.
According to my notes of the conversation, "Adolf Friedman
of Mt. Vernon, NY was an avid collector of $5 Liberty Gold
pieces by variety. He was not a consignor to the sale, but
was a good client and friend of Kosoff and Kreisberg. All three
gentlemen came from the same part of New York. Only 20-25
sets of hardbound catalogs were produced."
So .. does anyone have a named copy of the sales? Does
anyone else have a set of presentation copies? -Editor]


Hal V. Dunn writes: "Regarding the Carson City Mint coin
collection held by the Nevada State Museum, the high value of
the collection is not the reason it is not currently on display. The
museum is undergoing some renovation, including the vault that
has housed this collection since the late 1980s. For several months
it has not been possible to view the collection, however, when the
renovations are complete I have been assured the collection will
be back on display. Normally the entire 109 piece collection is
housed in specially made holders that are suspended in the vault
behind bullet resistant glass and protected by alarm systems. It
is unfortunate that some visitors to this great western treasure
have been unable to view the collection.

The collection contains 109 specimens of the 111 coins struck at
the Carson City Mint. It is missing only the 1873-CC No Arrows
dime and the 1873-CC No Arrows quarter. Formed by the late
Norman H. Biltz of Reno, in 1971 it was sold for a fraction of its
value to the old First National Bank of Nevada. By the terms of
the agreement the bank must never sell the collection, the collection
must never leave Nevada, and it must be displayed on a regular
basis. The agreement was drawn by John M. “Jack” Barry, a
prominent Reno attorney and member of the 1967 Annual Assay
Commission. Wells Fargo became the successor to FNB. In
December 1999, after being on loan for display in the museum, the
collection was donated by Wells Fargo to the State of Nevada.
On August 28, 2004, during the annual Carson City Mint Coin
Show, for the first time in history, specimens of all 111 coins were
on display together, when Rusty Goe of Reno displayed the two
No Arrows coins together with the 109 specimens collected by Biltz.
That was an event that will probably never be duplicated."


Longtime E-Sylum subscriber Ray Williams promoted The
E-Sylum on the colonial coins mailing list on Yahoo! this week.
It wasn't the first time, and we appreciate Ray's efforts. He
forwarded last weeks' Featured Web Site on Columbian cobs,
and noted: "For those that are not receiving the FREE E-Sylum,
I highly recommend signing up. It is a weekly post dealing with
numismatic literature primarily, and numismatics in general."
I would expand "numismatic literature" to"numismatic literature
and research", but that pretty well summarizes our basic purpose.

In a subsequent message, Ray forwarded the entire contents of
Sunday's issue "as an example of what I receive every Sunday
night. Sometimes there are topics directly related to colonials too.
You can click on the below web sites to look at books for sale
or being auctioned. This is a great way to enhance your library.
I find that in scanning through the topic headers, I can quickly
find the topics of interest to me. If you think this is worth receiving
each week, sign up and get your name on the list - it's free. Give
it a try for a few weeks. If it's not for you, it's simple to unsubscribe."

[Ray also included the standard subscription management link
published in each E-Sylum:

Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers
(or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following
web page: Subscribe to Esylum

"Word of mouth" (or should I say "keyboard") is our primary
means of promotion. Please feel free to mention us on other
online forums where you feel readers might also appreciate
receiving The E-Sylum.

To subscribe to the ColonialCoins group, send an email to
colonial-coins-subscribe at or go to
Subscribe to ColonialCoins


An article in the September 19th issue of Leesburg Today
(of Virginia) reports that "Earlier this summer, the county lost
five colonial coins that were stolen from an archaeological
display at the Loudoun County Courthouse. But a part of that
loss was made up yesterday when a Purcellville homeowner
donated a rare 1774 half penny coin, minted during the reign
of George III, to the county to start a new coin collection.

Under blue skies late yesterday afternoon in a shaded garden
in the Locust Grove community of Purcellville, Loudoun
Supervisors Jim Burton (I-Blue Ridge) and Jim Clem (R-Leesburg)
accepted the coin from Don Kraper, owner of the historic Locust
Grove house after which the subdivision is named. The earliest
part of the house dates to 1817."

"Kraper bought the house last December and moved in late
February. He managed to persuade a longtime friend, dating back
to college days, David Chicelli, to relocate from Rocky Mount, NC,
to Locust Grove, where he is “staying in the service quarters,”
Chicelli quipped yesterday. A coin collector, Chicelli was doing a
spot of metal detecting in the front garden, only a few feet from the
walkway to the front door of the stucco house. The halfpenny was
the first thing he found, in less than 30 minutes, about four inches
below the surface. Since then, Chicelli noted wryly, the only items
he’s found are modern coins."

"Burton said after the ceremony, as guests toured the redecorated
house and well-established garden, “it’s great to see a newcomer
in the county who’s willing to show his appreciation for the county’s

To read the full story, see: Full Story

[Can anyone tell us more about the theft of colonial coins from
the display at the Loudoun County Courthouse? -Editor]


Another colonial coin find was posted to the Colonial Coins
list this week. A subscriber published a link to a web page
describing the recent unearthing of a Pine Tree Shilling by a
metal detecting enthusiast. Warning - jargon ahead:

"I then knelt down and dug my usual three inch plug and
rescanned the hole, now the VDI climbed to 83 and I got
really excited cause I knew a coin was there. I dug another
three inches or so and rescanned and the MXT signaled the
object was still in the ground, I then dug another three or so
inches and rescanned the hole, this time the object was no
longer in the hole. I quickly found the coin in my dug up dirt
and wiped the dirt off of it and couldn't believe my eyes. The
date read 1652 and after seeing the tree on the back I
recognized the coin as a Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling !!!
What a rush, I could not believe it. Just trying to figure out
what this coin is worth but I doubt I'll ever sell it."

To read the complete account, see: Full Story


Relish, a Northwest North Carolina publication, today featured
an article interviewing artist Jamie Franki:

"Franki's illustration of the American bison appears on the the
new nickels released earlier this year by the United States Mint.
His original bison drawing is among more than 50 of his proposed
coin-design images and related works in a pair of exhibitions,
"Coinage Design for the U.S. Mint" and "Liberty," on view through
Nov. 5 in adjoining galleries at the Waterworks Visual Arts
Center in Salisbury.

Franki lives in Concord. Since 1996 he has taught illustration at
UNC Charlotte, where he is an associate professor and coordinator
of the illustration program. His drawing of a bison was one of nine
that he submitted to the mint to be considered for its "Westward
Journey" nickel series, commemorating the Louisiana Purchase
and the cross-country expedition of Lewis and Clark."

"Franki listed John James Audubon, Norman Rockwell, Maxfield
Parrish, N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle as important influences
on his work. He said that before he began designing coins his
work as an illustrator consisted primarily of rectangular illustrations
for magazines such as In Business, Stock Car Racing and BioCycle.

Franki said he never considered designing coins until November
2003, when his older brother Bill alerted him to a notice on the
mint's Web site asking for applications to the mint's Artistic Infusion
Program, established to interest artists in doing designs for coins.
Franki said he was among several hundred artists who applied
to the program."

"The new nickel features Franki's bison and, on the obverse side,
another artist's portrait of Thomas Jefferson. It's the first redesign
of the nickel since 1938. Franki said his bison design was inspired
in part by the one on the original buffalo nickel, minted from 1913
to 1938. Sculptor James Earle Fraser's design pays tribute to
the strength of the bison and American Indians and, for that reason,
Franki said, it's probably the U.S. coin most revered by collectors.
He said he was careful to take a different approach with his design.

"Fraser's buffalo faces left, and mine faces right," he said. "His
is a more classical, stylized interpretation of the subject, like a
gorgeous piece of bas-relief that could be found on the side of
a Greek temple. My design is more of an illustration." He also
said that the image on Fraser's nickel is rendered in significantly
higher relief than his own bison."

"While one of Franki's two shows at the Waterworks highlights
his coin designs, the other consists of formally related works that
explore a theme of his own choosing. In characterizing the latter
show, he said: "The 'Liberty' exhibition, directly inspired by my
federal subcontracting work, is brand new and delivers messages
about our legacy of freedom as Americans."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


On Saturday, September 24th the Rocky Mountain News
reported that "A federal jury on Friday awarded $80,000 to
former Denver Mint employee April Garcia Kaas after concluding
that she was forced to work in an environment hostile to women.

"I don't feel like I've won," Kaas, tearful and clutching a Bible,
said afterward. She said Psalm 35, a prayer for deliverance from
enemies, best expresses how she felt."

"Kaas went to work at the mint in 1993 but left in March 2000
after an argument with her boss, Louis "Bud" Woodard, in which
she alleges he struck her. Lawyers for the mint accused her of
exaggerating what happened for personal gain.

Kaas got a restraining order against Woodard from a Denver
county judge, but mint officials refused to keep the two separated,
arguing that the mint is a federal enclave where county court orders
don't apply.

Kaas said she doesn't expect working conditions to improve quickly
at the mint, despite her legal victory."

"Former and current mint workers testified during the trial that
male managers ruled by fear and intimidation, made unwelcome
sexual advances toward female employees and made smutty
remarks, displayed offensive pictures and graffiti, and exchanged
nasty e-mails about women. Witnesses also testified that managers
were prejudiced against Hispanics.

Mint officials argued that Kaas was a difficult and unreliable
employee who often missed work unexpectedly and without good
reason. They said the mint employs numerous Hispanic managers.
They also said Kaas participated in the sexual jokes and dated
two co-workers."

To read the full story, see: Full Story


The following is from the Saturday, September 24th St. Louis

"Lawrence K. Roos, one of the most influential St. Louis-area
political leaders of the 20th century, died Friday evening after
a short battle with stomach cancer. He was 87."

"Mr. Roos was born in St. Louis on Feb. 1, 1918, and graduated
from St. Louis Country Day School and Yale University. He
entered the U.S. Army as a private in 1941 and rose to the rank
of major in 3 1/2 years of service in Europe during World War II.
His military service earned him a Bronze Star and five battle stars.

Upon his return to St. Louis after the war, Mr. Roos was elected
a Republican state representative from the 1st District in 1946 -
at 28, the youngest member of the state Legislature. He served
two terms in the state House before beginning his banking career."

"In the presidential campaign of 1952, he was chairman of
Missouri Citizens for Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1954, he was
named Missouri chairman of the Crusade for Freedom and
was a member of the delegation that traveled to Europe to
observe the operation of Radio Free Europe.

In 1955, Mr. Roos was appointed a member of the United
States Assay Commission by President Eisenhower. Meanwhile,
Mr. Roos was beginning years of service on the boards of
numerous civic and philanthropic organizations in the St. Louis

"In 1975, he was elected executive vice president and a director
of the First National Bank in St. Louis, and served in that
capacity until becoming president of the Federal Reserve Bank
of St. Louis in March 1976."

"As president of the local Federal Reserve Bank, Mr. Roos
supervised the activities of more than 1,200 employees providing
central banking functions to a seven-state area. In 1980, he
became a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee,
on which he was an outspoken advocate of a conservative monetary
policy, including controls on the growth of the money supply and
reductions in federal spending."

To read the complete story, see: Full Story

[Also serving on the 1955 Assay Commission was numismatist
Mrs. R. Henry Norweb. -Editor]


Dick Johnson writes: "In answer to Carl Honore’s recent
discovery of a World War I Victory Medal (in last week’s
E-Sylum) I must relate he does not have a die trial. It is
just a "junky" (read very poor quality) medal. And here is
the story of this medal.

After the Great World War the news of a proposed Victory
Medal (of course, it was not known as World War I then until
World War II occurred) set the sculptural community in New
York City abuzz. The order came from the Secretary of War
for such a medal (later the Quartermaster Corps would handle
orders for military medals and decorations, and even later, the
Army Institute of Heraldry, which in turn became the Institute
of Heraldry under the Department of Defense).

The Secretary of War in 1919 named sculptor Herbert Adams
to oversee the creation of sculptural art for production of this
medal. James Earle Fraser jumped right in and started working
on a design and models. He convinced Adams right away who
gave him the green light to proceed. (It’s great to have the right
friends, now called networking.)

Here is a quote from the Felix Weil manuscript on the history
of Medallic Art Company (which he and his brother, Henri,
founded): "At about this time James Fraser was working on
the models of the Victory Medal. We procured an order [from
Fraser] without any mention of price to make wax reductions.

"Quite a number of these were made to allow Fraser to
change his model until he was fully satisfied and then made
hubs for each side and a set of dies from which we made
sample medals."

Felix went to the studio of Daniel Chester French (again
networking) to obtain a letter of recommendation to the
Secretary of War stating the Weils were capable of producing
these medals. (They could make the dies but striking such a
large quantity would require subcontracting. They got Scovill
Manufacturing Co in Waterbury to agree to strike the medals,
which the Weils would then patina, add the ribbon drape
and package.)

"When sample medals were completed, the government
sent out large quantities of specifications -- written with our
help -- to a number of firms to bid. I believe the required
amount of medals were three million pieces."

The Weils bid 70 to 75 cents each. "When the bids were
opened we learned the bids ranged from 17 cents to $1
each. The firms that had bid the lowest prices were firms
who had never made medals but had equipment sufficient
to do the work."

"Well the contracts were awarded, the firm of Aronson of
Newark get the contract for one million medals at 17 cents
each. Other firms out west got the rest."

Felix comments on the quality of Aronson medals. They
produced it cheaper but of such poor quality that, as he said,
"they should not have been accepted." The process included
striking, creating the patina finish, adding the ribbon drape and
packaging. The cost of the bronze, the ribbon, and cardboard
box had to be included in that 17 cents.

Carl Honore’s medal was undoubtedly from that Aronson
batch. They took short cuts which, of course, ended with a
shoddy product, still evident today. It is interesting to note
that Aronson was never asked to strike any more military
medals – and that Medallic Art Company was a prime
supplier of these (striking many millions even through the
second World War).

There is another story of how the Weils got paid for all their
work they did for Fraser. I’ll leave that for a later time. But I
will say I have in my collection the obverse galvano of Fraser’s
Victory Medal from that period.

In regard to the loop on these medals. I know it is a different
variety for collectors – with and without loop – however a
professional medalmaker can add or remove a loop at will.
You can never know if or when this has been done."


In earlier E-Sylum issues we discussed Google's grand plan
to digitize and index the contents of the world's leading libraries.
On September 21st Reuters reported that a group of U.S. writers
are suing the company, alleging that the plan infringes individual
author copyrights.

"The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York against Google and its Google
Print project, names as co-plaintiffs The Authors Guild and
writers Herbert Mitgang, Betty Miles and Daniel Hoffman.

Hoffman was Poet Laureate of the United States in 1973-74.
Mitgang is a historian, critic and former New York Times editorial
writer. Miles is a children's book author.

The lawsuit seeks class action status, asks for damages and
demands an injunction to halt further infringements."

"Google Print ( has exploded into the top
ranks of U.S. Internet sites, rising to the 30th most visited site
for the week ending September 17 from 90th a week earlier,
according to data from Internet traffic researcher Hitwise Inc.
Global data was not immediately available."

"Google Print directly benefits authors and publishers by increasing
awareness of and sales of the books in the program," Google said
in a statement. "Only small portions of the books are shown unless
the content owner gives permission to show more."

A year ago Google began working with five of the world's libraries
-- at Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, the University of Michigan and
the New York Public Library -- to make large parts of their book
collections searchable on the Web.

The action by the 86-year-old Authors Guild is part of a push by
the organization to roll back efforts by Web sites to make the contents
of books freely available online."

To read the full Reuters story: Full Story

Going to and entering the search term
"numismatics" leads to 186 books with 30,100 pages relating to
"numismatics". At random I choose "Early Hellenistic Coinage
from the Accession of Alexander to the Peace of Apamea" by
Otto Morkholm, a publication of Cambridge University Press.
I was able to see only p209 of the book, plus the table of
contents and index. All the pages are marked "Copyrighted
Material". According to the "Why can't I read the entire book?"
link, "We respect copyright law and the tremendous creative
effort authors put into their work. So you'll only be able to see
a limited portion – in some cases only a few sentences – of books
that we treat as under copyright. If the book is not under copyright,
then you can browse the entire book. In general, Google Print
aims to help you discover books, not read them from start to finish.
It's like going to a bookstore and browsing – only with a Google

The pages have links enabling the viewer to purchase the book
from the publisher, Cambridge University Press, Amazon, Barnes
& Noble, Booksense and Froogle.

Another search for "colonial coinage" led to a passage in the book
"A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America" by Ivor Noel Hume
(University of Pennsylvania Press) about halfpennies and farthings
of George II and George III.


In the August 14, 2005 E-Sylum (v8n35), Dave Lange
forwarded a link to an article on his firm's web site about
a previously unknown 1854-S $2.50 gold piece certified
by his firm at this summer's ANA convention. A September
19th Associated Press story reported the results of the
coin's recent auction by American Numismatic Rarities:

"A rare Gold Rush-era coin owned by a descendant of
Chinese immigrants who worked in the California gold fields
sold for $253,000 at a Beverly Hills auction.

The coin has been confirmed by numismatists as one of only
12 "Quarter Eagles" known to exist from the 246 that were
made at the San Francisco Mint in 1854."

The anonymous seller's great-grandfather acquired the coin
between 1856 and 1858 while working the gold fields,
according to the American Numismatic Rarities of Wolfeboro,
N.H., which auctioned the coin Sunday.

"They took exceptional care of this important piece of American
history for nearly 150 years," said John Pack of American
Numismatic Rarities. "In fact, it is the second finest known
surviving example."


Dick Johnson writes: "To add a little bit more to last week's
item on Chris Schenkel: He collected American Indian items
and his collection of Indian medals, including Indian Peace
Medals, was sold by Bowers & Merena in November 1990.
David Ganz wrote an article the same month about his Indian
medal collection which appeared in Coin World.

In addition to this, his portrait appeared on a medal struck
by Medallic Art Company a decade earlier. It was called
"The Chris Shenkel Medallion" yet it was only 2 1/2-inch
diameter -- far smaller than what medallists and numismatists
consider a "medallion" -- 80mm or 3 1/8-inch. He should
have been aware of the correct term."


Wendell Wolka writes: "The transparent "window" is virtually a
standard feature of notes printed on polymer substrate rather than
conventional paper. They come with and without designs on them
and are becoming more sophisticated on newer designs. Most
notes are printed by Note Printing Australia (NPA) along with the
Canadian Bank Note Co. and one or two central governments.
Some twenty-six countries have issued or are issuing polymer notes."

Don Cleveland writes: "I really enjoy E-Sylum. I thought I
would sit back and let someone else set the record straight about
see-through currency. Since no one has, I feel the following might
be of interest.

The first see-through device, or "window" appeared on the
all-polymer, Australian ten-dollar banknote of 1988,
commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the founding of
Australia. Not only was the banknote a commemorative, but
it was an experiment by Note Printing Australia (NPA) to see
how well they held up in circulation. For approximately one
year, all paper $10 banknotes were withdrawn. The banknote
was a huge success and a couple of years later, all Australian
banknotes of each denomination were printed on polymer with
windows. NPA has since produced polymer banknotes for a
significant number of countries around the world, including New
Zealand, Brazil, Romania, Singapore, Indonesia and others.
As far as I know, the Bulgarian banknote with a see-through
window may be the first with that device totally produced
outside NPA. I say "totally produced", because Taiwan bought
polymer sheets from NPA a few years ago, but printed the
banknotes on the sheets in Taiwan."


Kerry Wetterstrom writes: "Another excellent E-Sylum (Vol. 8,
no. 40). In reference to the story on the old New York Metropolitan
coin shows (one of my favorite shows, by the way, and sorely
missed by many) there is one small correction. The NYINC moved
to the World Trade Center Tower No. 1 in June of 1996 for their
5th Annual Spring convention (which is no longer also) and then
the 25th Annual Convention in December of 1996, hence the
NYINC was held at the WTC for five years prior to September

Kevin Foley did an outstanding job finding new accommodations
at the Waldorf-Astoria in midtown Manhattan starting with the
30th Annual NYINC in January of 2002. I cannot comment on
his "uncanny ability to get high priced hotels to quote bargain
rates" and his use of hypnosis as a bargaining tool, but Kevin
certainly deserves a medal for his efforts in maintaining the quality
and consistency of the NYINC."


Phil Carrigan writes: "I've tried to contact Bruce Burton at an
obsolete email address. Could Bruce or anyone else let me
know his current email address? Thanks. I can be reached
at philrph1892 at"


Scott Semans writes; "Well, this is getting pretty far afield,
but since I was in at the origins of this discussion, I feel I
should kick back in: First, I looked into the VOIP provider
Vonage and it does seem like a good deal, though in costing
it out I have yet to estimate how many minutes I use monthly
in LOCAL calls, which Vonage counts against your minutes
allotment just like long distance. Also, there was nothing at
their site about sound quality, the sales rep was unable to
give me a trial number where I could try it myself, and their
promised call-back never came. But a local friend who uses
Comcast Internet cable as I do says it is clear as a bell and
she is a very satisfied customer. But since we have frequent
cable and electrical outages I am reluctant to disconnect from
the local phone company. Finally, I would not recommend
that MCI card sold by Costco. It's one of the few things I've
bought at Costco that I dislike, and can't return. The main
problem is that in order to keep users from being billed during
the time a phone is ringing, Costco required MCI to allow only
five rings before giving the caller a "try later" recording - bad
news if your party takes some time to pick up the phone, or
has an answering machine set to pick up beyond five rings.
It's hard to send an overseas fax using this card. Also, the
MCI equipment sometimes fails to recognize tones, and it gets
irritating inputting your number twice or more every so often.
I have also experienced random disconnects. A card I've
used to get through to numbers the MCI card won't reach is
Extreme Talk Time" sold by, which allows 8 rings
before cutting off and has a lower minute rate then the MCI,
though they deduct weekly charges."


Dave Kellogg writes: "Here's one my father used when I was
anxious to spend my just-received allowance: "That dime is
burning a hole in your pocket." (That was back when candy
was a penny and a nickel would purchase a coca-cola.)
Then there is Ben Franklin and, "A penny saved is a penny


Fred Schwan writes: "After seeing several items in the
E-Sylum about the 1964-D Peace dollar I got thinking
about it, the 1933 double eagles, and the fantasies that
we see advertised on television not to mention newspapers.

It seems to me that using the skills demonstrated by the
firms selling the various copies/replicas that a person could
have 1964-D dollars struck and sell them without the "Copy"
marking because 1) they would not be counterfeit because
they did not copy any legitimate US coin 2) and they would
not fall under the Hobby Protection Act for the same reason.
If that is too close to a call, the person could create the same
dies and strike copper or other patterns of the non-coin.
What a hoot it would be!"

[I'm not so sure that technicality would get one off the hook
for manufacturing a copy. The date is a relatively minor
portion of the design, and by that reasoning I could safely
produce nice, legal replicas of 1996 series $100 bills with a
"1995" date. J.S.G. Boggs has never been convicted of a
crime for imitating U.S. currency, but his bills have many, many
points of difference with real U.S. paper. Thoughts, anyone?


Ron Abler writes: "I have two examples of larcenous ravens
(or maybe magpies, since I don't know the difference). I
went to high school in Santa Barbara, and on Sundays I would
give public tours of Old Mission Santa Barbara. There was a
raven (okay, a large black bird, and I don't remember the
color of its beak) that lived in the bell tower. The bird was well
known for stealing bright objects, including jewelry, by
dive-bombing the hapless wearer and zooming right back to the
tower. I personally retrieved items from the tower on three
occasions, and heard of many more.

My wife had a pet raven (or magpie) that had fallen from the
nest and became domesticated during the recovery period.
That bird went after anything and everything shiny, including
the removable tabs from the old-style beer cans. Once, the
bird terrified the postman by diving after the shiny pen in his
shirt pocket!

I know this "evidence" is only anecdotal, but I have strong
doubts about the validity of the claims that nothing shiny was
ever found in "hundreds" of nests. (Maybe it was a particularly
unenterprising species of raven/magpie?) Personally, I favor
Ralf's magpie story for the provenance of his gold coin.
That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!"


This week's featured web site is an excerpt from Nathaniel
Hawthorne's 1840 story, "Grandfather's Chair", which retells
the story of John Hull and the Pine-Tree Shillings. His account
helped popularize the legend of Hull's daughter's dowry of her
weight in "bright pine-tree shillings, fresh from the mint."

Full Story

  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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