The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 22, May 25, 2014, Article 10


Tom DeLorey writes:

I had not seen the proposed March of Dimes designs before. The first one, with the child walking away from the wheelchair, is unfortunately not appropriate. Having had polio myself before the vaccine was created, I can assure you that the research did not cure polio or its effects, though the vaccines it generated did blessedly prevent new cases of it.

WikipediaRoosevelt_in_a_wheelchair The image of FDR in his wheelchair is most appropriate, though I would rather see the similar image of FDR taken along with a young girl that I believe is representative of the many victims of infantile paralysis. It may represent the only time that FDR allowed himself to be photographed in his wheelchair, a noble concession he made to promote the cause. I do not like the image of the 1946 dime superimposed over the front wheel of the wheelchair, as it will cause some people to not recognize it as a wheelchair.

The other two designs do not do much for me, though the dual-headed one is not that bad. I would like to see the reverse image of the torch on the Roosevelt dime used somehow, as it was a subtle recognition of the "Mothers March Against Polio," also known as the "Torch Drive," because tens of thousands of mothers went out door to door collecting dimes from their neighbors for the cause. This was after dark because they had to feed their families first, of course, and they carried flashlights or "torches" to light their way.

1939MarchofDimesFightInfantileParalysis button I have to agree with Tom. My choice was too hasty; the vaccine indeed only prevents the disease, it does not cure it. So while an empty wheelchair could symbolize children who didn't GET the disease, when shown together with a walking child a viewer could get the wrong impression. I knew better, but my commentary played into that view as well. Sorry!

While searching for the Roosevelt photo, I found a related item, a 1939 March of Dimes button, pictured at right. -Editor

To read the complete article, see: Elizabeth Hayward Causes: March of Dime (

Mel Wacks writes:

Salk medal I still think that most new U.S. coin designs are banal, and that goes for most of those shown here. I would like to show the inspired reverse of the Jonas Salk medal that Hal Reed designed for the Jewish-American Hall of Fame back in 1980, that contrasts healthy children playing with balls and a polio victim holding a balloon, with the Salk Institute in the background. It is one of my favorite medal designs.

Coin World published an article by Paul GIlkes on the outcome of the Commission of Fine Arts design review meeting. -Editor

Recommended Polio coin designs

The review panel scrutinized 22 proposed obverse and 18 reverse designs.

The recommended obverse features the Roosevelt dime, Dr. Jonas Salk, and a dime board. Dr. Salk discovered the anti-polio vaccine and the dime board was used to collect contributions to the March of Dimes. The CFA recommended removing the dime board from the proposed obverse.

The recommended reverse features two fingers and a thumb grasping the edge of a 1946 Roosevelt dime to place it in a March of Dimes donation card. To the right is a pair of empty children’s polio braces. The large size of the fingers and card slot symbolizes the power of thousands who gave their pocket change to a good cause, according to the Mint, and the empty leg braces celebrate the victory over polio.

The CFA recommended removing the two fingers from the design and adding to the design the dime board panel mebmbers recommended be removed from the obverse.

The commemorative silver dollar, with a maximum authorization of 500,000 coins combined in Proof and Uncirculated versions, is authorized under provisions of the March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act of 2012, Public Law 112-209.

To read the complete Coin World article, see: Commission of Fine Arts recommends designs for 2015 March of Dimes commemorative silver dollar (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MARCH OF DIMES COIN DESIGNS (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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