The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 14, April 3, 2022, Article 7


  Charlie Davis M N Daycious flyer Charlie Davis Mehl Building photo

Charlie Davis writes:

"It hit me several days ago that Len Augsburger's article on the April fools prank mendacious flyer represented a rebirth of a 30 year old cold case. The dastardly devil has never been identified. I remember well a phone call at the time from John Adams asking if I had received the flyer which I had not as I was out of town. He described it to me and I asked if the envelope gave any clues. He said they could not find it and had all the waste paper baskets in the office dumped on the floor and staff were sifting through it with no luck. It was not until I returned home and found my copy that I realized there was no envelope as it was a single sheet folded over, stapled and mailed.

"In addition to John Ford, Armand Champa was taken in by the hoax, especially as B Max Mehl was his idol. When it became apparent he'd been duped, he commissioned a Dallas photographer to go to the address and take photos of the building in several views - Mehl's poorly preserved office. As I remember he had copies made in small and larger format, one of which he presented to me and which now graces my office wall. Len's illustration was of one side of the flyer and it would interesting to see other recipients send in scans of the address side of theirs. Sort of like laying together all known 1804 dollars or 1913 Liberty Head nickels out for comparison. Perhaps a poll could be conducted to see who we think was the jokester."

Pete Smith writes:

"I was interested in the posting last week from Sam E. Coudin from Montreal. I wondered if he might be related to Elise Coudin who received a Ph.D. from the University of Montreal in 2007.

"She is an economist noted for her paper Finite-sample generalized confidence distributions and sign-based robust estimators in median regressions with heterogenous dependent errors.

"I am not as comfortable with Canadian biographical sources as I am with American sources. I contacted Sue C. Damion, membership secretary at the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Montreal. She was able to provide a little information about Coudin. I also wrote to the email address published in The E-Sylum.

"Sam collects Canadian municipal trade tokens. He is also expanding into twenty-first century commemorative issues from the Canadian Mint as his funds permit.

"I asked Sam for some biographical information and he asked me for a DNA sample. I declined his request and he declined mine."

Some pranks just keep on giving. Here's the address portion of my flyer. I was living elsewhere in Pittsburgh at the time, but used this address for my book business correspondence. -Editor

  Homren copy M N Daycius flyer address side

I'm pretty sure this April 1st announcement from the National Park Service isn't for real... -Editor

Lincoln Memorial statue turned around As the Lincoln Memorial approaches its 100th anniversary in May of this year, the National Park Service has unveiled a proposal to ensure the preservation of the colossal statue of the nation's 16th president well into its second century. Under a plan announced this morning, the seated marble figure of Abraham Lincoln would be rotated 180 degrees, so that the backside of the statue would face the colonnaded entrance to the memorial.

Preservationists are concerned that the statue, constantly subject to the elements in the open-air memorial and exposed to direct sunlight each morning, is aging unevenly and the front may eventually fade, not unlike DaVinci's The Last Supper or Coolidge's Dogs Playing Poker.

Rather than let nature continue to take a toll on Daniel Chester French's masterpiece, the National Park Service convened a blue-ribbon panel of historic architects, art conservators and HGTV interior decorators to study the process and make recommendations. Their exhaustive report, presented to the National Park Service on President's Day, outlines their preferred alternative for protecting the statue.

In the summer of 2022 the National Park Service would rotate the statue 180 degrees, so that the back of the statue would face the chamber's entrance, and the front of the statue would face the memorial's back wall. This action would not only relieve the front features from ongoing deterioration but would give the public an opportunity to admire some of the lesser-known features of the statue that are often overlooked, including Lincoln's wavy hair and the United States flag draped over the back of the chair upon which Lincoln is seated.

Less popular was the commission's alternate proposal, which would place the statue on a turntable, allowing it to be rotated throughout the day. Officials dismissed the more expensive Lazy Susan Proposal as dizzying and too Las Vegas.

To read the complete article, see:
National Park Service Announces Plan to Turn Abraham Lincoln Statue Around (

Quick Quiz: Who can tell us numismatic connections to the republic of San Serriffe? -Editor

Map of San Serriffe And today is April Fools Day, a day for the celebration of practical jokes. One of the best was played by The Guardian newspaper in London 1977. They published a 7 page supplement commemorating the anniversary of the independence of San Serriffe, a completely imaginary small island nation in the Indian ocean. The nation consisted of 2 main islands which together form the shape of a semicolon. The larger island was called Upper Case and the southern island called Lower Case. The day it was published The Guardian was flooded with calls for more information, including calls from travel agents and airline companies.

On this day in 1992 NPR announced that Richard Nixon was running for President again. They crafted a fake sound bite of Mr. Nixon saying I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again.

To read the complete articles, see:
April fool - San Serriffe: teaching resource of the month from the GNM Archive, April 2012 (
The Writer's Almanac for Friday, April 1, 2022 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Bell E-Sylum ad 2022 Toronto Expo (1)

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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