The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 7, February 12, 2012, Article 23


I actually do read more than just numismatic literature. One of my other interests in the history of business, science and technology. One book I dipped into this week was Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World by Jill Jonnes (Random House, 2003). On p29 I learned that following Benjamin Franklin's famous May 10, 1752 experiment where he flew a kite in a thunderstorm to capture electricity in the Leyden jar

"The Royal Society in London conferred the Sir Godfrey Copley gold medal and inducted the Philadelphian and fellow British subject into its exalted ranks."

So naturally I wondered, what does this medal look like? With a quick web search I found an image and some background information at

Mendeleev Copley medal

But here's another question: does Franklin's gold Copley medal still exist? If so, where can it be found today?

WheresGeorge stamp on $1 Youth of America graffiti on $5 On Monday I noticed a couple bills in my wallet with some extras added. One was a dollar bill with a "Where's George?" stamp. The other was a $5 bill where someone had written "The Youth of America is lazy". Someone else, perhaps an enterprising youth, added "And whose fault is that?"

Tuesday was the highlight of my numismatic week - the monthly meeting of my numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. But my numismatic adventures began on the drive there. While stuck in traffic I got an email notification that I'd been outbid on an item. I noticed that the auction was closing in ten minutes or so, and tapped out an increased bid. Long story short, I won the item before I was out of the traffic jam. Described by the seller as a " Andrew Carnegie Hero Fund Table Medal", I thought it might be a die trial or splasher.

Carnegie Hero table medal

Eventually I arrived at Panache, a restaurant in McLean, VA. Our host was Joe Levine. Attending were myself, Joe, Dave Schenkman, Mike Packard, Gene Brandenburg, Ron Abler, Jon Radel, Howard Daniel, Eric Schena and Chris Neuzil. We were all delighted and relieved to see Eric, who relayed details of his hospital ordeal following our last dinner. He's still not 100%, but recovering well.

Dave Schenkman took me to task for not bringing in my recent purchase, a copy of a book by John "Colonial Jack" Krohn. I promised to bring it next month. Dave had actually inspired me to make the purchase when he gave me an example of one of Krohn's tokens last year. Dave had with him examples of all three types of Krohn's tokens, and forwarded images for The E-Sylum after the meeting. Krohn's story was highlighted in a January 2008 Numismatist article by Bill Hyder.

To read the complete article, see: In His Shoes: The True Story of Sailor Jean and Colonial jack (

Hyder's article missed one of the three types of Krohn's tokens. Here are all three.

Sailor Jean token Sailor Jean token reverse
The Sailor Jean token

Colonial Jack token Type 1 Colonial Jack token Type 1 reverse
Colonial Jack Type 1

Colonial Jack token Type 2 Colonial Jack token Type 2 reverse
Colonial Jack Type 2

The evening was a great deal of fun. Before leaving I passed around my phone to show off the picture of the Carnegie hero medal I'd purchased. Dave and Joe thought it was a neat item - they'd never seen one like this.

Later in the week at lunchtime I caught up on Coin World, reading Fred Reed's superb article, "The Real Lincoln: New Research Pinpoints Original 1864 Photograph" from the February 6, 2012 issue. I saw an image I recognized on p36 - a bronze portrait plaque of Lincoln by Brenner from the Pittsburgh City-County building. I'd provided the image to Fred a while back, and I was glad to see it in print.

The rest of my numismatic activities were confined to working on this newsletter. It was a fun week all around. Til next time...


RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE: Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor for Roger Burdette's three volume series that won NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at .

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster