The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 11, March 17, 2013, Article 7


Another Tom Thumb Medal
Fred Michaelson writes:

This is my Tom Thumb medalet dated 1846, without the "15 lbs. weight".

Tom Thumb obv Tom Thumb rev

Thanks! I didn’t realize there were so many varieties of these. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: P.T. BARNUM'S TOM THUMB TOKENS (

Bureaucracy and the Distinguished Warfare Medal
Dave Ginsburg writes:

As a proud possessor of the Air Force Combat Readiness Medal (which means that I sat in a chair in a "hole in the ground" in central Missouri for a specified amount of time about 30 years ago), I would be among the first to be embarrassed to wear a medal that implied that I could have been shot at when I hadn't been.

Unfortunately, there's a solid bureaucratic reason for medals of this sort to exist: medals give an officer "points" toward promotion and the higher precedence the medal, the more points involved. I wouldn't be surprised if the Distinguished Warfare Medal was created in order to give drone pilots a better chance of becoming the squadron commander of a drone squardron at some point in their future; which, of course, could lead to eagles and/or stars on one's shoulders.

For that matter, you may recall a few years ago there was a bunfight about which awards "real" pilots would continue to be eligible for when assigned to a drone squadron.

While this may be the first time that such a medal has been given precedence over the Purple Heart, it isn't the first time a medal was awarded for bureaucratic reasons. I well recall the first time I was told that Army officers received Bronze Stars as campaign medals during the Vietnam War, that is, it was a routine award upon arrival in the country - without a "V" device, of course.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON THE DISTINGUISHED WARFARE MEDAL (

More on Frank Lapa's Replicas
Bill Rosenblum writes:

Another thought on the Frank Lapa gold wire money coins: The 1973 ANA in Boston was the first that I attended and a local coin dealer in Denver had given me a gold wire piece to try to sell for him. I can't remember the price he wanted but the first person I showed it to was Ira Rezak who immediately told me, "it's a Lapa!". If I remember correctly, which is possible but perhaps not probable, Ira told me it was from a ruler who did not issue gold wire coins. Interestingly the guy who has the coin called me two or three weeks ago and the first thing he said, was "do you know of Frank Lapa"?

Jeffrey Zarit of Wylie, Texas writes:

There was mention of Frank Lapa passing away. Does anyone have any details? I knew him personally as well as his former partner, Ray Yablan, whom he killed while I was living in the Chicago area more than 35 years ago.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON FRANK LAPA'S REPLICAS (

July 1994 Numismatic Circular Found
Last week Adrienne Mayor asked if anyone had a copy of the Numismatic Circular of July 1994, which the American Numismatic Society is missing. Bob Van Arsdell writes:

I have a complete run of NCIRC. I also have a spare copy of the July 1994 issue, which I could send to the ANS library. There are many photos in the article.

I put Bob in touch with Adrienne about copying the article. Many thanks to Bob for his assistance. He will also forward his duplicate issue to the ANS to fill their hole. Bravo! E-Sylum readers are the best. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MARCH 10, 2013: Query: July 1994 Numismatic Circular (

Neils and Aage Bohr
Ken Berger writes:

Crick Nobel medal obverse It wasn't exactly clear in the article and some readers may be confused. The Nobel Prize medal auctioned by Rasmussen was awarded to Aage Bohr, the son of Neils Bohr who was also awarded the Nobel Prize but in 1922.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON NOBEL PRIZE MEDALS (

Augustus Heaton's Bibliomaniac Father-in-Law
Adrián González Salinas writes:

I found the following daguerreotype of Almon Whiting Griswold. Adelaide Griswold (his daughter) was married to the 3rd President of ANA : Augustus Goodyear Heaton (April 28, 1844 – October 11, 1930)

Here’s the eBay lot description:

Griswold, Almon Whiting (1833 -1890) Born in Johnstown, Vermont, and educated at Harvard, Almon Whiting Griswold was a lawyer by profession. His library of approximately 7000 volumes was rich in American history, bibliography, English literature, and the classics. There were numerous sales of his books, at Bangs, 14 May 1868, 28 February 1876, and 19 April 1876, while another series of sales were conducted by Leavitt, on 9 January 1878, 8 February 1878, 1 June 1880, and 6 December 1880. The catalogues of the Leavitt’s sales were entitled: “Gems from the library of a bibliomaniac”. There were also private sales of some of the choicer items from Griswold’s library.

A Shakespeare First Folio purchased by Almon W. Griswold was lost with the New York-bound Collins liner Arctic after the steamship collided with the Vesta in fog off Cape Race, Newfoundland, on Sept. 28, 1854.

To view the complete eBay lot description, see: HALF PLATE Daguerreotype Identified Harvard Almon Whiting Griswold Bibliomaniac (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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