David Lange submitted the following observation on the illustrations in a standard work of American numismatic literature. -Editor For years I've been reading in booksellers' catalogs that the Second Edition of John Willem's book The United States Trade Dollar, which was published by Whitman in 1965, included better plates than Willem's self-published 1959 edition. I'd just like to set the record straight on this.
Long before I began reading these book listings I owned only the Whitman edition. Finally, an opportunity came to buy the original from a coin club book auction at a reasonable price. Without really comparing the two, I then donated my Second Edition to the club's next auction. It was only later that I began reading all these reports that the Whitman edition included superior plates, and I kicked myself for making such a mistake.
I recently acquired another copy of the 1965 book, and I can now say with authority that the published reports are baloney. The 1965 edition has fuzzy plates that are obviously second-generation copies of the original. While neither has excellent plates, this is typical of their time frame. I simply don't want booksellers to keep repeating this chestnut. I understand that some corrections and updates were made to the text of the Second Edition, so it may still be superior in that respect. I haven't yet made a side-by-side comparison of the text.
In my library, I have only the Whitman 1965 edition. The images are indeed lousy, but I don't have a first edition to compare them with. What do our readers have to say?
My copy (pictured above) has an original dust jacket. In my experience, these are difficult to find in nice condition. But before I start another unsubstantiated "fact" about the Willem book, what do readers think of that? Who's got another dust-jacketed copy? -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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