The E-Sylum v6#10, March 9, 2003

whomren at whomren at
Sun Mar 9 18:51:02 PST 2003

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 10, March 9, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   Gary Trudgen, Editor of The Colonial Newsletter, writes:
   "The April 2003 issue of The Colonial Newsletter (CNL)
   has been published.  The entire issue is dedicated to an
   important study on the enigmatic and rare 1694 Carolina
   Elephant Token.  One of the goals of the author, Neil Fulghum,
   "keeper" of the North Carolina Collection Gallery at the
   University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was to place the
   token into its proper historical context.  In this effort, Neil
   has investigated the agents who represented the lords
   proprietors' interests and who personally promoted the
   Carolina colony in London.  From this study, he has
   suggested who might have been responsible for the tokens'
   production and distribution.  Plus, Neil has studied the
   potential connection of the token to the Carolina Coffee-House
   along with its possible ties to like establishments in Cornhill and
   to the Merchants' Walks inside the Royal Exchange.

   For the collectors of Elephant tokens, Neil has identified the
   earliest published American references.  He has provided an
   overview of Elephant Token reproductions and called
   attention to a high-quality electrotype that is often mistaken
   as genuine.  His paper also initiates a project to compile a
   full census of Carolina Elephant tokens.

   CNL is published three times a year by The American
   Numismatic Society, Broadway at 155th Street, New York,
   NY 10032.  For inquires concerning CNL, please contact
   Juliette Pelletier at the preceding postal address or e-mail
   pelletier at or telephone (212) 234-3130
   ext. 243."


   Dave Bowers forwarded the following message from
   newspaper dealer Jim Lyons, who suffered a robbery.
   Bibliophiles are encouraged to keep a look out for
   offerings of the listed missing material.

   "This is to inform you that I was subject to a newspaper
   robbery sometime between May and September, 2002.
   I didn't notice it until some time later and still haven't been
   able to determine the extent of the robbery.  But here's a
   list of what I have found so far:

   Bound Volumes:

   Daily Evening Bulletin, San Francisco:
   Oct 8 (vol. 1 #1) to ca. Apr 7, 1856, may be marked withdrawn from
   the California Historical Society, early 1970s.
   A second volume, from Stanford Library.
   Apr 8, 1856 probably to Oct 7, 1856.
   Jan to June 1857.
   Jan to June, 1858.
   Jan to June, 1860.
   Apr 9 to Oct 6, 1860.
   Oct 8, 1860 to Apr 9, 1861.
   Apr 10 to Oct 7, 1861.
   Oct 8, 1861 to Apr 7, 1862.
   Apr 8 to Oct 7, 1862.
   July to Dec 1862.
   1863 complete
   1864 complete
   1865 complete (lacks Apr 15)
   Many of the above will be stamped Stanford Library.

   Daily California Chronicle, San Francisco:
   July to Dec 1854.
   July to Dec 1855.
   Jan to June 1856.

   Daily Alta California, San Francisco:
   July to Dec 1851, in nice white cloth binding stamped
      Stanford Library.
   July to Dec 1853.
   Jan to June 1857 in pretty red leather binding stamped
     Stanford Library.
   July to Dec 1859 in great near-new black cloth binding.
     Probably stamped Stanford Library.

   Sacramento Daily Union:
   March 19 to Sept 17, 1858.
   March 19 to Sept 18, 1860.
   June to Nov 1860.
   1861 complete (two sets).
   July to Nov 1863.
   July to Dec 1865.
   Jan to June 8, 1866.
   Jan to June 1867.

   Other Civil War volumes of uncertain date.  May be stamped
   Stanford Library.

   Loose Issues:
   Pacific News, San Francisco, 1850 to May 1851, estimated
   25 or 30 issues.  Most or all in very clean white near new
   condition.   California of Civil War date, estimated 75 to 150

   Tombstone Epitaph, 1880 to 1882, estimated 75 issues, all
   in custom cut polyester folders with my notice of deacidification
   at the bottom  right corner.  In typical brittle and chipping
   condition of the run I  got about 1984.  Some may have tiny
   Bancroft Library rubber stamp on dateline.  Of course the
   notice may have been cut off or the whole polyester folder may
   be gone.

   About 50 to 100 single sports pages, all in custom cut polyester
   folders.  Dates between 1907 and early 1950s; titles may
   Chicago Record or Record-Herald, S. F. Bulletin, N. Y.
   American, Stockton (Cal.) Record, San Diego Tribune, New
   York Daily  News, S. F. Daily News, N. Y. World, N. Y.
   Sun, N. Y. Herald Tribune, Boston American, and the Boston

   As I said, this is all I've found missing so far.  Whoever took
   the papers had a key to the office and found my storage
   locker keys in the office desk.  Whoever took the papers had
   a good knowledge of  what I had.

   I ask you to please keep your eyes open for any of this
   material and to contact me (phone (650) 949-1525, mailing
   address: P. O. Box 580, Los Altos, CA  94023) if anybody
   offers you any of it, if you hear about it, if you see it on a list
   somewhere, or if it should appear on eBay.   Thank you.

   Jim Lyons
   jim at"


   My question about Scott's "Coins of the Bible" brought this
   response from Bob Leonard: "My copy was purchased from
   Marlcourt Books of Canada (now out of business) about
   five years ago, but lacks the facsimiles of coins.   It is an
   attractive little book, based (as the anonymous author says)
   on Coins of the Jews by Madden, Recherches sur la
   Numismatique Judaique by de Saulcy, and has "many extracts
   from Rev. Geo. D. Mathew's papers on Jewish Coins in the
   Coin Collector's Journal."

   The introduction explains that the silver coin facsimiles were
   struck, not cast, in "fine white metal," and the mite in copper."


   Regarding last week's excerpt from Mark Twain's story,
   "The Million Pound Note," George Kolbe writes: "C'mon
   Wayne, don't tease.  What happened to the honest intelligent
   electee? And "gorgeous flunkey"? (sounds like a Mickey
   Spillane novel)"

   [Well, to be honest, I haven't read the whole story yet
   myself.  But it's all available at the listed web reference.
   Read on to learn about the Hollywood versions of the tale.

   Bob Lyall writes: "£1,000,000 note!  I believe I was told
   many years ago that there were several million pound notes
   produced for banks to use them for inter-bank settlements -
   they were not for use by the public.  But someone may know
   better of course.  Oh, and there was a classic British film made
   of the same (similar) story, cleverly entitled "The Million Pound
   Note" or something similar.  I seem to recall Alec Guiness was
   in it, but again someone may know better."

   David Klinger writes: "There are may fantasy versions of the
   Million Pound Note, and some highly collectable stage money.
   This is a from a description of a Million Pound Bank Note
   currently offered on eBay:

   "In 1893, Mark Twain published the story. In 1954, J.Arthur
   Rank Film Studios made this delightful story into a movie "The
   Million Pound Bank-Note" with Gregory Peck and a large cast
   of British character actors.  A single banknote in the amount of
   one million pounds was created to "star" in this movie. (The note
   is dated 1903).

   In 1989, this note was sold at auction by Sotheby's for nearly
   2,000 pounds (then about $3,500 US). From that original, a
   Limited Edition of only 1,000 of these unique banknotes have
   been re-issued.

   Another adaptation of the "Million Pound Bank Note" was
   released in 1994, and was titled "A Million to Juan", produced
   by Trimark Pictures and directed by Paul Rodriguez who also
   stars in the title role. I do not known if there was a Bank Note
   produced for that movie."

   Peter Gaspar (Esylum subscriber #1) writes:
   "1.  The Twain story may be found, along with more than
   a hundred other stories and books in the 1997 annotated
   bibliography "Numismatics in Fiction" published by Chris
   Carlisle and me in the print version Asylum.

    2.  Genuine "giant notes" including million pound denominations
    are described in Byatt's (sp?) beautifully illustrated history of
    the Bank of England note "Promises to Pay" published in 1994
    as part of the Old Lady's tercentenary celebration.  I believe
    that I reviewed the book for the Spink Circular.  The
    photographs of notes from the Bank archives are really
    spectacular, including several of the "giant notes."  A canceled
    one was sold at auction in 1997 and I have a photograph with
    permission from Sotheby's to publish it.  It arrived just too late
    for the 1997 Gaspar, Carlisle Asylum publication, but we will
    use it in a forthcoming addendum.  I hope that friends will
    continue to send me suggestions of additional items of
    "Numismatics in Fiction."  We have about 40 items not
    included in 1997, but there must be hundreds more.
   Thanks much!"

   Len Augsburger writes: "I don't know anything about a million
   pound bank note, but there was once a "trillion dollar bill" on
   an episode of The Simpsons, which, by some contrived path,
   ended up in the hands of Fidel Castro.  Perhaps E-Sylum
   readers could cite other numismatic allusions from this most
   perspicacious font of modern American culture."

   Ron Haller-Williams of the U.K. writes:  "First, I think a quick
   trip to "across the pond" is required, to the USA.

   Apparently, the highest denomination ever produced by the
   U.S. Federal Reserve Bank was $100,000 (with the portrait
   of President Woodrow Wilson).  These notes were used only
   for transactions between the Federal Reserve and the
   Treasury Department.

   The highest denomination issued for public circulation was
   $10,000 (with the portrait of 19th-century U S Supreme
   Court Judge Salmon P Close).  The highest denomination
   currently in circulation is $100, as per a 1969 decision, and
   only 200 of the $10,000 bills remain in circulation (or
   "unretired").  Although my sources (
   and )
   state that the $100,000 notes were "issued", I have my doubts
   about this.

   A film was made of Mark Twain's story in 1953, starring
   Gregory Peck as the "victim", with Ronald Squire and Wilfrid
   Hyde White as the brothers.  Script adapt.: Jill Craigie.
   Director: Ronald Neame.  Also known as "Man with a Million"
   (1954, USA).     Runtime: 90 min. See

   The "Guinness Book of Records", c1980, confirmed the
   existence of at least one of these notes.  I no longer have this
   volume, but (if I remember correctly) the account is something
   like:  One such note (or was it two?) was "adapted" by hand
   from a £1000 note in order to use it for internal accounting
   purposes, and (of course!!) it was never issued.   But I
   regarded the date as a problem:  I was sure it was between
   1904 and 1910 !!!  (By the way, by this date all our notes
   were 100% printed;  prior to 1870, some parts were written,
   dated and/or signed by hand.)

   Update on the Guinness Book of Records, as dictated by a
   cousin of mine: 1974 ed: "Two Bank of England notes for
   £1,000,000 still exist,  dated before 1812.  These were used
   only for internal accounting.   The highest notes issued were
   for £1000, issued from 1725 and  discontinued on 22nd April
   1943, being withdrawn on 30th April 1945.  As of May 1973
   (the latest date for which statistics are available),  62 of
    these £1000 notes are unretired, but only 3 of these are in
    the hands of collectors."

   Discontinued 22-April-1943? But Pick shows last issue date
   as Aug '43!  1979 ed. is exactly as above, except that
   * Now "4 of these [£1000 notes] are in the hands of collectors",
      not 3.
   *  "In November 1977 the existence of a Treasury £1,000,000
      note dated 30th August 1948 came to light, and it was sold
      by private treaty for $A18,500, then the equivalent of £11,300
      in Australia."

   Working mainly from Pick but also from other numismatic
   sources:  The Bank of England's highest denomination issued
   for public circulation was £1,000 (which, like those of £100
   and £500, was last issued August 1943).  The £200 was last
   issued in 1929. Our highest denomination currently in circulation
   is £50. There was a ten-shilling note from 1928 to 1970;
   emergency notes of half-a-crown and five shillings were
   produced in 1941 but never issued.

   Meanwhile, the Treasury issued "currency notes" of ten
   shillings and £1 from 1914 to 1928, plus (in 1919 only) notes
   for one shilling, half-a-crown (two shillings and six pence), and
   five shillings. The signature on the Treasury Notes of 1914 to
   1917 was that of John Bradbury, hence the enigmatic name at
   the end of some versions of this song:

     "Abe, Abe, Abe my boy  - what are you waiting for now?
      You promised to marry me some day in June:
      It's never too late and it's never too soon.
      All the family they keep on asking me,
      which day? what day?  I don't know what to say!
      Abe, Abe, Abe my boy  - what are you waiting for now?"
     "John Bradbury!"

   e.g. with unnamed artiste/s, on Ariel Records # 4068 (78rpm).
   "Can you tame wild Wimmen" and "Abe Abe Abe my Boy"
   ( see for example
   although this site gives a "rude" parody for the 5th line:
   "which day? what day?  I'm in the fam'ly way!" )
   For anybody who doesn't quite get it, the young man
   presumably thought he did not have enough money available
   to undertake such a commitment.

   The Bank of England's home page is at

   BTW, you can see a promo £1M at with order form at

   TEN million pounds?  Well, the Turkish "lira" has also been
   called "pound" (check derivation of our "£" symbol!), and
   there are details of a £T10M note at

   Fiction, of course, goes higher than this - but not as high as
   fact! In an episode of The Simpsons, variously called "The
   Trillion Dollar Bill" or "The Trouble With Trillions", a unique
   specimen of the eponymous bill had been printed with the
   intention of relieving depression in Europe in the immediate
   aftermath of World War II.  [It would, of course, have been
   even more impractical than was expected by one of the
   brothers in Mark Twain's "Million-Pound Note".]
   However, the avaricious C. Montgomery Burns stole it
   while it was en route, and ended up with it hanging framed
   on a wall in his house, where Homer Simpson happened to
   spot it ...

   This of course would have been US$ 1 000 000 000 000.
   However, owing to a different system of numbering, we
   "ungrateful" Europeans would not have reckoned it as being
   worth more than a billion!

   Meanwhile, in various parts of Europe at that time we had
   higher notes:
   Greece - 100  000 000  000 000 drachmai
   (03-Nov-1944, Pick#135)  [Pick's interpretation of
   "dis-ekatom-myria" as a milliard is wrong.]
   Hungary - 100 000 000  000 000  000 000 pengos
   (03-Jun-1946, Pick#136)
   and 1 000 000 000  000 000  000 000 pengos
   (03-Jun-1946, Pick#137, not issued)

   At other times:
   Germany - 100  000 000  000 000 mark
    (15-Feb-1924, Pick#140)
   Yugoslavia - 500 000 000 000 dinara
   (1993, Pick#137)  -  half-way there!
   Although this last is claimed to be "the most zeros actually
   printed (11)", including by the current (2003) edition of the
   Guinness Book of World Records, one counter-example
   is the uniface Mengen (Stadtgemeinde) K-3517d
   locally-issued note of 1 Billion mark (1923), visible at

   where you can see the value in numbers and hence showing 12 zeros.

   2 different types of $1M promos (though there are others!)
   can be found at: and at
   The American Bank Note Company is responsible for the
   design and production of the latter of these, which apparently
   was commissioned by and at first exclusive to the "Institute
   of Millionaires", and its design has been copied onto a 4-ounce
   .999 silver ingot, details of which are at

   there's a write-up of the 1 million Euros "banknote art" to
   be found at

   I feel that this is the type of thing which maybe should
   be dealt with by an item in the "ANA Money Talks" series.

   WHY IS IT that some of the E-Sylum's questions open the
   door to what might almost be called "research papers"?


   Nancy Green, ANA Librarian writes: "I think Bill Spengler
   gets the prize for best definition of chits. According to the
   Oxford English Dictionary (OED), 2nd edition; chitty or chit
   is an Indian word which means "a letter or note; also, a
   certificate given to a servant or the like; a pass."
   Just my 2 cents worth for the discussion.


   NBS Board member Joel Orosz spotted an interesting
   article in The New York Times of March 1, 2003.
   The article by Robert F. Woth is titled, "Online Library
   Wants It All, Every Book"

   "The legendary library of Alexandria boasted that it had a
   copy of virtually every known manuscript in the ancient
   world. This bibliophile's fantasy in Egypt's largest port
   city vanished, probably in a fire, more than a thousand
   years ago. But the dream of collecting every one of the
   world's books has been revived in a new arena: online.

   The directors of the new Alexandria Library, which
   christened a steel and glass structure with 250,000 books
   in October, have joined forces with an American artist and
   software engineers in an ambitious effort to make virtually
   all of the world's books available at a mouse click. Much
   as the ancient library nurtured Archimedes and Euclid, the
   new Web venture also hopes to connect scholars and
   students around the world.

   Of course, many libraries already provide access to
   hundreds or even thousands of electronic books. But the
   ambitions of the Alexandria Library appear to surpass those
   of its rivals. Its directors hope to link the world's other
   major digital archives and to make the books more
   accessible than ever with new software."

   "The library has scanned only about 100,000 pages of its
   own material, mostly medieval Arabic texts, Mr. Serageldin
   said. But it has embarked on a plan to digitize thousands
   of books over the next several years, most of them Arabic
   texts, with French and English translations, he said. Other
   works are scheduled to be scanned elsewhere in Africa,
   including a whole library of crumbling medieval manuscripts
   in a monastery in Timbuktu in Mali, Mr. Serageldin said.

   The library will also have access to one million books that
   are now being scanned by Carnegie Mellon University, which
   is creating its own vast digital archive and is one of
   Alexandria's partners."

   "And putting everything in one place is no longer as risky
   as it was in the predigital era, said Brewster Kahle, the
   founder of the Internet Archive. "One lesson of the
   original Library of Alexandria," he said, "is don't just
   have one copy."

   For the full text of the article, see:


   John M. Kleeberg writes: "In a recent posting, John W.
   Adams comes to the defense of William Herbert Sheldon
   and asks us "not to be glib with the truth."  Actually, if we
   examine the truth more carefully, we can understand
   Sheldon's life of crime better.  Sheldon made many
   extensive thefts of large cents: in the course of ten years
   of litigation and many more of research, I have found
   that he stole not only from the American Numismatic
   Society, but also from many of the leading dealers of the
   day - Abe Kosoff, Stack's, New Netherlands, Celina
   Stamp & Coin - and from collectors (the T. James
   Clarke Estate, the Gaskill estate, and Ted Naftzger)
   through coin switches.  Yet many have been puzzled,
   asking "Why would a tenured professor at an Ivy League
   university do this?"  One answer is that he didn't
   have tenure at an Ivy League or any other university.

   We can understand the motive for these crimes by
   reading J. E. Lindsay Carter & Barbara Honeyman Heath,
   Somatotyping - Development and Applications (Cambridge
   University Press, 1990).  This has an extensive introduction
   discussing Sheldon.  Sheldon's career fell apart after the
   "Starlight" crisis of 1936.  A woman he thought he was
   engaged to, whom he nicknamed "Starlight," married
   another doctor.  Sheldon wrote a foul, abusive letter.
   Her husband circulated this letter among medical academia.
   His bizarre letter led him to being squeezed out of the
   profession, and after 1936 Sheldon did not ever hold
   again another formal, salaried academic post (Carter &
   Heath, p. 6).

   His chief income was his full disability as a major after
   he developed Hodgkin's disease while in the army in
   World War II C & H p. 7).  Heath, who worked as
   Sheldon's research assistant, broke with him after she
   discovered him altering his data to fit his theories.  He
   wanted her to trim photos to fit certain somatotype
   measurements (C & H p. 12).  At the University of
   Oregon Medical School, Sheldon was given desk space
   and the title of "clinical professor," but no salary and no
   benefit under the grant.   In 1953 Columbia University
   threw him out of his space at the hospital (C & H p. 14).
   Sheldon insisted rigidly on a 7 point scale for somatotypes
   (C & H p. 13).

   Sheldon had many mystical beliefs, in particular about the
   number 7, which explains why he fit both somatotypes
   and coin grades into Procrustean scales of 7 and 70.

   After the Second World War, Sheldon had no substantial
   pension and no large salary - except for whatever he got in
   disability - and he turned to theft to pay for his retirement.
   He wrote his cent books and created his grading system as
   part of his plan - after all, I can always fool you into believing
   it is colder than it is if I make the thermometer.  He was a
   talented, charming man, but also a psychopath and a thief.
   We do not do justice to history or to numismatics when we
   sweep his crimes under the rug."


   This week's featured web site is Jersey Coins and Banknotes
   by H.K. Fears

  Wayne Homren
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society

  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a
  non-profit organization promoting numismatic
  literature.   For more information please see
  our web site at
  There is a membership application available on
  the web site.  To join, print the application and
  return it with your check to the address printed
  on the application.   For those without web access,
  write to David Sklow, NBS Secretary-Treasurer,
  P.O. Box 76192, Ocala, FL  34481.

  For Asylum mailing address changes and other
  membership questions, contact Dave at this email
  address: sdsklow at

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