David Powell submitted this article on using non-numismatic resources to solve numismatic puzzles. Thanks. -Editor
Following your article last week on useful numismatic resources, may I mention that non-numismatic articles in resources like the various online Newspaper Archives can also be very helpful for resolving numismatic problems, particularly in the area of exonumia/paranumismatics. With tokens, you often have some unknown which does not appear on the piece, or you wish to establish more accurately the period of issue. A couple of British examples to encourage readers to venture in this direction:
Example 1: Advertising piece. H.Pickles, Top of Green Market This is listed in Paul & Bente Withers' "Token Book 2".
We need to know what town it comes from, and who is H.Pickles. Anything which links him to Top of Green Market will do; all Mr.Pickles has to do is commit some act which will get him and his address in the press together. It may be a business advertisement, or a birth/marriage/death announcement; but equally he may have got involved in a fist fight, fiddled his weights and measures, stolen or been stolen from, or witnessed someone else's criminal incident. The precise details of why he was there do not matter; anything which makes that link will do the job. Like this report in the Bradford Observer of 13 September 1849 regarding the awards given by the Bradford Floral and Horticultural Society at its annual show.
In all, Henry features four times, in 1849/52/55/57; all just about the time when the usage of these tokens was at its most popular. Glad you were a keen gardener, Henry, because otherwise we might never have known where your token came from.
Example 2: Uncertain piece, but almost certainly a sack deposit token. Alonzo Mills, East Ham
The token depicts a picture of a mill, with the words "ALONZO MILLS" above and "EAST HAM E" below. The area is a few miles to the east side of the City of London, in what was them still partly rural but has now long been heavily built up. The reverse contains a value and nothing else.
The question is, is Alonzo Mills a person or an industrial premises? From local newspapers in 1887 and 1892.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
USEFUL NUMISMATIC RESOURCES (https://www.coinbooks.org/v23/esylum_v23n19a25.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2012 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster