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
Mike Packard had a nice group of colonial coppers, new purchases from a recent online auction.
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.
Postal Savings System Certificates
Eric Schena writes:
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.
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.
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!
Steve Bishop is a regular buyer of nicely toned dollars, and he had several on display. here are a couple.
Here's the packaging for the Buick Dollar Steve shared with us a couple weeks ago,
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
QUERY: BUICK, GENERAL MOTORS ENCASED DOLLARS (http://www.coinbooks.org/v21/esylum_v21n05a20.html)
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.
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.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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