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V15 2012 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 22, May 27, 2012, Article 5

BOOK REVIEW: A CONCISE CATALOG OF U.S. MILITARY PAYMENT CERTIFICATES

David Klinger submitted this review of A Concise Catalog of U.S. Military Payment Certificates by Carlson Chambliss. Thanks! -Editor

Chambliss MPC book I just received my copy of A Concise Catalog of U.S. Military Payment Certificates by Carlson Chambliss.

I like the book, partly because it is the first MPC reference book I know of with color illustrations. The title page says SPECKLES PRESS - which I wondered about. Carlson explains in his introduction: "This is a self-published book. Who then was the Speckles of the Speckles Press? He was my pet king snake whom I had for 20 years from 1973-93." Did I mention that Carlson, a retired astronomy professor, is somewhat of an eccentric? That's a trait that I admire in a person, and with which I can personally identify.

This book in no way is, nor attempts to be, a replacement for The Comprehensive Catalog of Military Payment Certificates by Fred Schwan. By calling this latest MPC book a Concise Catalog, rather than a Comprehensive Catalog, Carlson is saying that he is sticking to the subject of MPC only. However, he violates that premise to the extent that he also includes military POGS near the end of this 150 page, soft covered book. The Schwan book, last published in 2002, remains the standard reference on the subject.

All-in-all this book is a well-researched and well written reference on the subject of MPC. I recommend it. Don't you agree with me that all reference books on paper money should have color illustrations? And, you can never have too many books!

Warner Talso (a reader and contributor to the MPC Gram, an email newsletter for collectors of Military Payment Certificates and other military numismatic items) supplied an answer to my Quiz Question, "What are POGs?" Thanks! -Editor

Warner writes:

Any MPC GRAMster worth his/her FEST T-Shirt can tell you what a POG is. This is the name for a children's game played with the caps of a fruit drink bottle (passion-orange-guava) originally in Hawaii in the 1920s or 1930s. The term was resurrected to describe the change used by U.S. (and some coalition) troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. government decided to stick with Federal Reserve Notes (not MPC) in these areas, but coins are too heavy and complicated to transport to the Theaters. POGs were created by the military to have small change. Note they are not money, they are "gift certificates". Only the feds can create official currency. POGs are accepted in any U.S military exchange in the world. For collectors, see the British versions created by EFI (Expeditionary Forces Institute) to be used in NAAFI facilities.

Joe Boling added this explanation of POGs scanned from Carlson Chambliss' book. Thanks! -Editor

Pogs

David Klinger adds:

Here is a numismatic footnote on Carlson Chambliss.

The Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award is awarded by the American Astronomical Society for an achievement in astronomical research made by an amateur astronomer resident in North America. The prize is named after Carlson R. Chambliss of Kutztown University, who donated the funds to support the prize. The award consists of a large 224-gram (½-lb) silver medal and $1,000 cash. It has been awarded annually since 2006.

Chambliss medal obverse Chambliss medal reverse

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NEW BOOK: A CONCISE CATALOG OF U. S. MILITARY PAYMENT CERTIFICATES (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v15n21a06.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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