The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 7, February 18, 2018, Article 25


Tuesday February 13, 2018 was the meeting night of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova. Our host was Steve Bishop and he'd made reservations for Cyclone Anaya’s Mexican Kitchen in Fairfax, VA.

I was the first to arrive and parked myself at the bar. Arriving shortly afterward was Joe Esposito. We ordered drinks and I munched on a basket of warm chips. We talked about our upcoming dinner at the Baltimore Whitman Coin Expo in March, and the publication of Joe's new book in April. Dinner in Camelot about the evening in April 1962 when President and Mrs. Kennedy hosted 49 Nobel Prize winners and other American intellectuals at the White House.

It wasn't long before other members began to arrive, including Dave Schenkman, Eric Schena, Wayne Herndon, Robert Hoppensteadt and Steve himself. Dave brought along his set of the Carolina TAMS Journal, a publication of the Carolina Token and Medal Society. Eric offered to help me research it before offering it to the Newman Numismatic Portal. The group is defunct, but is the copyright orphaned, or held by another organization?

We took seats at our table and were soon joined by Roger Burdette, Mike Packard and Tom Kays. I had nothing for display this time, but as usual a number of great numismatic items came around the table.

Mike Packard had a nice group of colonial coppers, new purchases from a recent online auction.

fiscal paper engraving 19th Century Fiscal Paper Steel Engravings
Tom Kays writes:

The most interesting items I brought were 19th century steel engravings on fiscal paper from a Pennsylvania collection. These are on notes on indebtedness from the 1870s - 1895.

fiscal paper engraving fiscal paper engraving fiscal paper engraving

fiscal paper engraving fiscal paper engraving fiscal paper engraving

fiscal paper engraving fiscal paper engraving fiscal paper engraving

Postal Savings System Certificates
Eric Schena writes:

Postal Savings System Certificate envelope I brought my collections of Postal Savings System certificates of deposit from the Mid Atlantic - all three of them. The Postal Savings System was a form of postal banking established by Act of Congress in 1910. As the USPS states, it was “aimed to get money out of hiding, attract the savings of immigrants accustomed to saving at Post Offices in their native countries, provide safe depositories for people who had lost confidence in banks, and furnish more convenient depositories for working people.”

The deposits started at $1 and were limited at first to $500 then later to $2,500 and paid a nominal 2% interest rate. The system ceased in 1967 and redemption ceased as of 1985 with any unclaimed deposits held in trust indefinitely by the Treasury. They issued a number of certificates of deposit ranging up to $500 in denomination and were issued all over the US.

I have been looking for examples from our region and have not seen all that many. The DC specimen in my collection has the original envelope, as well. Dave Schenkman pointed me to one issued in Quantico a week or two back and I snagged it and brought it to pass around. I think these are a very interesting segment of our financial history and hope that more research on the certificates themselves is being made.

Postal Savings System Certificates

I had been familiar with these but never collected them. I agree with Eric that they are important financial history artifacts. Thanks for the images!

Token and Medal
Past Token and Medal Society (TAMS) President Dave Schenkman appropriately had a token and medal on display. He kindly supplied these images.

cure all-obv cure all-rev

ship-obv ship-rev

Dave adds:

The token is aluminum, 30mm; that cure-all reverse is found on quite a few merchant tokens. The medal is copper, 70mm.

I can report that there were no nose warts, bicycle face, insanity, delirium tremens, punctured tires or other maladies reported at the meeting. Thanks, Dave!

Toned Dollars
Steve Bishop is a regular buyer of nicely toned dollars, and he had several on display. here are a couple.

1881-S Morgan Toned PCGS MS65

1887 Morgan PCGS MS64

Buick Dollar
Here's the packaging for the Buick Dollar Steve shared with us a couple weeks ago,

Buick Encased Dollar Type II (You Can Bet a Million) #8 with box and card

Buick Encased Dollar Type II (You Can Bet a Million) #8

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Tidy House Dollar
One of Steve's displays was one of the promotional Tidy House dollars along with all of its original packaging. At my request he made scans of the associated flyer in addition to these pictures. Coincidentally, just that morning I had added an article on the Tidy house dollars by Michael Bugeja to The E-Sylum - see it elsewhere in this issue.

1883-O Tidy House Dollar Toned in Holder with Envelope Rev 1883-O Tidy House Dollar Toned in Holder with Envelope Obv

1883-O Tidy House Dollar Toned

Tidy House Flyer

Handwriting Recognition
My neighbor at the dinner table was Roger Burdette, and we had a nice conversation about his transcription project. With a help of a number of volunteer workers Roger is building transcriptions of many handwritten numismatic source documents, primarily U.S. Mint-related record from the National Archives. Eventually these will be added to the Newman Numismatic Portal, where the hand-generated text can be located in searches.

Roger is experimenting with software solutions to the problem of creating these transcriptions. While the optical character recognition (OCR) problem has been largely solved for uniform printed or typewritten text, the recognition of handwriting has largely eluded capture. If a tool for assisting with the transcription task were to come along, it would be a boon for numismatic research.

'Til Next Time
It was a small group and we broke up early, around 8:30pm. Although there were some mixups with our orders, the food was generally quite good and all of us had a nice time. What a great way to spend an evening - surrounded by great numismatics, numismatists, and food and drink.

DWN E-Sylum ad02

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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