The E-Sylum v6#49, November 16, 2003
whomren at coinlibrary.com
whomren at coinlibrary.com
Sun Nov 16 19:02:56 PST 2003
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 49, November 16, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
AUTHOR BYRON KANZINGER DEAD AT AGE 32
Bob Johnson writes: "This is the obit I saw today in the
Byron Kanzinger, author of the Civil War Token Collectors
Guide, has died. The obituary was published last Sunday,
November 9th. Last week's E-Sylum was published early,
and unfortunately, Bob's news arrived afterwards while your
editor was traveling.
"Bryon D. Kanzinger, 32, a senior manager at the Regal
Marketplace theater complex in Upper Providence Township,
died of melanoma Thursday at his parents' home in Collegeville."
"Mr. Kanzinger was vice president of the Civil War Token
Society and the author of The Civil War Token Collectors
He created the Civil War Token Collectors Hall of Fame,
designing the election process and the special tokens given to
those honored for their contributions to the hobby. He presented
the tokens to the winners at the annual meeting of the American
Numismatic Association. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame
last month as its 12th member."
"Memorial donations may be made the Civil War Token
Society, 26548 Mazur Dr., Palos Verdes, Calif. 90275."
To read the fully obituary, see
Larry Dziubek, past President of the Civil War Token Society
writes: "Bryon's book has standardized pricing for the buying
and selling of Civil War tokens. The book does a good job
on both patriotics and storecards in three grades. The
knowledgeable dealers and collector specialists always had an
advantage for "cherrypicking" at shows or in auctions. Many
people now use this book like the Redbook is used for U.S.
The guide enables a neophyte to instantly make use of the
many years of experience that are built into the pricing
structure. This is possible due to the high level of accuracy
of Bryon's contributors. Things like desirability variables of
geography, strike quality, mintages, die sinkers, and even
pictorial designs are at one's finger tip. This phenomenon
is most evident when following eBay or other auction sales.
Results tend to be center around the Kanzinger price much
like bullet holes concentrate near the bull's-eye of gun range
targets. Bryon was always looking for ways to assist the
collector to enjoy the hobby."
KOLBE FIRE FINALE
Regarding our last issue and its summary of events and
reactions to the recent Crestline fire, Fred Lake writes:
"This is probably the most important email that you have
sent since the inception of The E-Sylum.
George's comments and others are to be treasured.
Many thanks for your dedication to preserving numismatic
[It was also nice to see E-Sylum coverage of the fire
quoted in the November 17th issue of Coin World.
BRUNK COUNTERMARK BOOK PREPUBLICATION OFFER
Rich Hartzog of World Exonumia Press writes: "The new 2003
book by Brunk is in final production: "Merchant and Privately
Countermarked Coins: Advertising on the World's Smallest
This important reference covers all known counterstamped
coins issued by merchants of the United States, Canada,
Mexico and the world. The 480 page book covers over
13,500 countermarks, with over 2000 photographs.
Available in full color cover hardbound and deluxe leather
editions, each includes the supplemental price guide.
For more details, please see
International customers should write for shipping information."
LAKE BOOKS SALE 71 CLOSING
Fred Lake writes: "This is a reminder that Lake Books
mail-bid sale of numismatic literature #71 closes on
Tuesday, November 18, 2003 at 5:00 PM (EST). You
may view the sale at http://www.lakebooks.com/current.html
Bids may be entered by email, FAX or telephone call in
addition to regular US Mail."
1907 CLEARING HOUSE SCRIP PROJECT
In an article in the November 2003 issue of Bank Note
Reporter, Neil Shafer announced that "... after a number of
years of inactivity, the project dealing with the myriad scrip
issues for the Panic of 1907 has now risen to the forefront."
"There are three individuals working together on this massive
project: Douglass Corrigan, e-mail dougcorrigan at yahoo.com;
Tom Sheehan, twsheeh at attglobal.net; and myself,
nelshaf at aol.com. Please send reports of ANY examples of
1907 scrip to any of us as soon as possible."
[Part of my own 1907 scrip collection is now in the hands
of Tom Sheehan to be inventories for the project. If you have
any of these notes, or are aware of any articles or auction sales
in this area, please contact one of the above compilers.
WHITFORD SALE FEATURES NEW ORLEANS MINT LETTERS
The November 28-29, 2003 Michigan State Numismatic
Society sale by Craig Whitford features five lots of
correspondence relating to the New Orleans mint, including
letters written by Director Robert Maskell PAtterson, New
Orleans Branch Mint Superintendents David Bradford and
Joseph M. Kennedy and coiner Rufus Tyler. The sale also
includes letters signed by such numismatic personalities as
Mint Directors David Rittenhouse and James Pollack,
engravers John Sinnock and Frank Gasparro, and artist
Augustus St. Gaudens.
ANA HALL OF FAME LISTING SOUGHT
Darryl Atchision writes: "I am looking for a listing of American
Numismatic Association Hall of Fame members with their
years of induction. If anyone can help me it would be greatly
appreciated. My email address is atchisondf at hotmail.com"
ANIMALS (AND HUMANS) EATING MONEY
In response to the "Brahmin Nummulariist" item in the
October 19, 2003 E-Sylum (v6#42), Ron Haller-Williams
"Magpies, jackdaws and other members of the crow family
are often attracted by bright objects such as rings (see e.g.
the poem "The Jackdaw of Rheims", about a bird which was
eventually forced by curses to return the ring it had stolen
from a cardinal).
The centennial medal of the British Numismatic Society shows
a magpie in front of a coin cabinet, with a gold coin in its beak.
In Matthew Chapter XVII verses 24-27, we have an account
of how a fish paid the the temple tax of two drachmae each
for Jesus and Peter, because it had swallowed a 4-drachma
Of course, there is always the alleged hospital bulletin on
a child who has swallowed a dollar or pound coin: "No
On this note, a great-great-uncle of mine is said to have died
as a baby or toddler, from choking on a small coin (farthing?)
that he had apparently tried to eat."
A. M. SMITH BOTTLE FOUND
A web site visitor wrote: "While searching the internet for info
about a 1/2 pint bottle I have, I've come across your web page.
I have a bottle that advertises:
249 Hen Av
Full 1/2 Pint
The web page he refers to is Pete Smith's online exhibit
about the numismatic ephemera of A. M. Smith. The
page is on the NBS web site at:
The exhibit on the Howland Wood award at the 1996
ANA convention in Denver. The web version has attracted
the attention of descendants of Smith's, and I've put them
in touch with Pete. Publishing on the Internet is a great way
to bring together people that may never have found each
other any other way. I encourage authors and exhibitors to
make their work available the way Pete has done - any work
related to numismatic literature could find a home on our web
MINT AUDIT FINDS PROBLEMS
A story published November 11th in the Rocky Mountain
News notes that an audit has found many potential problems
at the U.S. Mint.
"The agency that makes your money has trouble keeping track
For each of the past three years, the U.S. Mint's private auditor
has warned of serious security problems with computerized
records in its coin division. The mint's financial controls also
were riddled with holes, the auditors found.
Specifically, the auditors said, employees could tinker with
computerized records, including financial transactions. And
mint staff didn't sufficiently check bills, payroll, and credit
card accounts before paying them, the audits said."
"In response, mint officials in Washington said they have
corrected many problems, and auditors found the mint's
year-end financial reports to be accurate.
No financial losses have been found, either from errors or
hackers, the mint said.
But sloppy documentation cost the mint $13 million in silver in
a 2001 dispute that's still in court."
For the full article, see
THE DENVER MINT'S GOLD
The Rocky Mountain News also published a companion
article about the gold stored at the Denver Mint facility.
"Few people in Denver know that the Italianate mansion
downtown is home to 18 percent of U.S. gold reserves.
But U.S. Mint spokeswoman Becky Bailey says it's public
Piled together, the pure gold bricks in the mint would fill
three 10-foot-by-11-foot rooms to a height of 8 feet.
Each bar weighs 27.5 pounds, according to the Treasury
Department's Web site. Altogether, the Denver gold weighs
3 million pounds."
"Not long ago, tourists lined up on Cherokee Street
downtown for tours of the coin factory. But those tours
ended after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Tours for schoolchildren still can be arranged, but adults
hoping to see the mint must ask their congressman to
arrange a visit."
"The city of Denver plans to build a jail on the current site
of the Rocky Mountain News building, just west of the mint.
That would put hundreds of prisoners next door to $17 billion.
[Treasury Department's inspector general Louis] King was
startled to hear that Denver hopes to build a prisoner tunnel
from the planned jail to the courthouse, which is just east of
the mint. The tunnel would go past the mint's basement.
"We'll have to keep an eye on that," he said."
To read the full article, see:
A WHIRLWIND NUMISMATIC TOUR OF NEW YORK
Your editor spent a few days this week in New York City
on business. With a couple hours to kill I took a walk uptown
for my first visit to Stack's. At 123 West 57th Street, the
storefront has some famous neighbors, including piano maker
Steinway and Carnegie Hall. The narrow little shop looks just
like many of the other coin shops scattered around the nation,
but for the discerning visitor, many telltale clues note that this
is no ordinary coin shop. For one, security is formidable, with
two burly (but friendly) armed guards milling about. And just
how many U.S. Fractional Currency Shields does one shop
need to stock? The back wall displayed five of them,
suggesting that perhaps there was stack of others somewhere
in the back room. No time to visit, unfortunately, and the
staff was noticeably busy in preparation for an upcoming
auction. So off I went on my merry way.
The next morning (Thursday) I stopped briefly at the
American Numismatic Society's exhibit at the Federal Reserve
Bank of New York downtown. It was very nicely laid out and
filled with a number of gems that would wow any knowledgeable
numismatist. The U.S. highlights were featured in a case in the
center of the hall, including an 1804 dollar, a Confederate Half
dollar, a Brasher doubloon and other colonial-era gold coins
stamped with Brasher's "E.B." countermark. The ancient coins
in the exhibit were in superb condition. Having witnessed a
huge crowd viewing a free Brittney Spears concert off Times
Square on Monday, I was sad to see that I was the solitary
visitor to the exhibit that morning. It's hard to sex up a
exhibit, but it was chock full of things of beauty. It was nice to
see a group of schoolchildren arrive as I was leaving - hopefully
some of them will come away with a new appreciation of our
My next stop was the New York Stock Exchange, where I
was treated to a visit to the floor of the exchange for a first-hand
view of how it operates. The post-September 11 landscape
was eerie, made more so by street resurfacing that had Wall
Street and adjacent streets scraped of asphalt and devoid of
traffic. Two NYPD vans were parked out front, and two
officers with riot gear and machine guns patrolled the street.
George Washington's statue in front of Federal Hall surveyed
the scene, which was oddly quiet as the wind kicked up and
rain began to fall.
Once inside and past security, my floor trader friend escorted
me through the floor to his work station. I'm not the excitable
type, but it was truly a thrill to walk that famous floor, which
held more computer and communications equipment per square
foot than than I'd ever seen in my life. (and I've been to the
belly of the Internet, visiting key hosting centers for search
engine server farms). And the number of people crammed
into that space is equally amazing. Brokers and specialists
each have what amounts to a couple feet of allocated space,
and no one would bother to sit even if they had a chair -
everyone is on their feet and constantly interacting with others.
As I looked up past the matrix of hanging conduits I noticed
the ornate old ceiling above. A beautiful architectural feature,
but one obscured by the practicalities of doing the exchange's
business. I would be surprised if any of the traders, even those
who've worked there for years, ever noticed the ceiling.
The wooden floor was reminiscent of a high school gymnasium,
and yes, it was littered with scraps of paper and other trash
(and it was only 11am). Workers' cubbyholes, although
bedecked with the latest electronics, were built of well-worn
wood which looked like they had been installed in the 1970's
and never repaired or touched up in 30 years. Very institutional.
It was a bit sad to realize what an anachronism the place is.
Computer technology has already automated much of the
process, and the human element which remains could just as
well be automated, too. Many of these people would still have
their jobs, but they could work from cushy offices blocks,
miles, or continents away. Someday the exchange could be
just another musty tourist attraction, with actors going through
the motions of trading like the "technicians" at amusement park
Technology has eliminated the need for toll tokens, which have
disappeared from the New York subway system and many
highways around the country. Physical stock certificates are
on the way out, and the exchange itself may be next. Coins
and paper money are still with us, but credit and debit cards
are gaining share rapidly. Someday numismatists could no
longer have anything new to collect - we'll have to content
ourselves with the old.
AGINCOURT GOLD COIN REDISCOVERED
Arthur Shippee writes: "Here are two coin notes from
Explorator, the e-newsletter I've told you about. I just
sent him the lottery & Maria T. Taler sites mentioned in
last week's E-Sylum.
"A gold coin which was found at Agincourt and once
included as part of a private album put together by JMW
Turner has been found again:
It appears the Republic (and its gold) has been found:
TERRY, PELTON & COMPANY, BANKNOTE ENGRAVERS
Larry Mitchell writes: "Numismatic articles aren't found ONLY
in numismatic publications. PRINTING HISTORY, the annual
journal of the American Printing History Association (APHA),
contains in its current issue (no. 45 [Vol. XXIII, no. 1])
"Donald O'Brien's article on the nineteenth century banknote
engraving firm of Terry, Pelton & Company. Working from a
small group of business letters written by Oliver Pelton to his
partner William Terry over the course of the year 1834, the
author traces each letter's many references and reveals the
complex and fascinating world of American banknote printing...."
For further information on APHA, click on:
NUMISMATIC WORD: TOREUMATOGRAPHY
Dick Johnson writes: "Finding the definition of "bloviation"
was easy: onelook.com gave the answer from the 1897
period. Joel O. was certainly correct. David Q. has never
But if you want to add a new word to your numismatic
vocabulary, try this: I found "toreumatography" as the
description of ancient metal reliefs. Would that mean that
a "toreumatographer" catalogs ancient coins?"
A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW
NBS Vice President John Adams writes: "At the October
meeting of the Council of the American Numismatic Society,
Wayne Homren was nominated to become a Fellow of the
Society. I am pleased to report that he has accepted this
honor which he has so richly earned. In addition to his inspired
and faithful editorship of E-Sylum, Wayne has been an active
member of the Library Committee at the ANS as well as a
staunch contributor to a long list of other organizations.
Way to go, Wayne !!!"
FRANKLIN MINT LAYOFFS
A November 13th article in The Daily Times of Delaware
County, Pennsylvania noted that "... up to 300 Franklin Mint
employees could lose their jobs in a restructuring that will
transform the company to an Internet and wholesale business,
according to officials.
Workers were asked yesterday to pack up their belongings
and go home with pay, according to mint spokesman Howard
Lucker. He said they will return over the next few days to
discuss their transition out of the company.
"We are going to have some layoffs over the next several
months," he said. "We are developing a new, smaller business
focusing on product development and marketing."
"Despite popularity and revenues in the millions, the business
has been faltering for some time. Layoffs have been announced
three times since 1999 and the facility, that once employed 1,500
full-time workers, as of Tuesday employed only 300."
"Everyone right there now is crying," a Bethel resident who
works in the mints collections department said. But, she
added, the move wasnt a total surprise.
"Every year before Christmas, its always the way it was,"
she said. "Here comes the layoffs."
A followup article titled "Ex-mint workers ponder prospects"
was published November 14.
"I cant think of anything negative to say about the Franklin
Mint, except, the owners Im not too happy with right now,"
she said. "But, I understand they do what they have to do."
"Its kind of," Rogalski said, "an end of an era."
The history of The Franklin Mint was chronicled in the June
2003 issue of COINage Magazine.
THE DROOLING DOLLAR
Web site visitor Jim Driscoll writes: "I have a question that
you probably cannot answer, but I will try.
Around 1992 I received a copy of American Numismatic
magazine, as I was a trial member at that time. In it was an
article on a certain "drooling dollar" which was a printed dollar
of a foreign prince drooling of all things. I of course had gotten
rid of the publication before I spotted the dollar.
Of course this stood out in my mind due to its bizarre nature.
The article said that this dollar was released but corrected
immediately and if anyone got a hold of one of the drooling
dollars it could fetch a dandy price.
At an antique shop I found one of each, the drooling and non
drooling dollar featuring this prince's portrait, and a stunning
leopard or tiger on the back. I am wondering if I can find out
what country it is from and what it is worth. Thank you if
you can assist me in any way."
So, E-Sylum readers - does anyone recall a "drooling
FEATURED WEB PAGE
This week's featured web page is Shannon and Paul
Burkhard's page on U.S. Fractional Currency Shields.
"Fractional Currency Shields consisted of a printed shield-
shaped background (nearly always gray in color, but
sometimes pink or green) on which were pasted by hand
39 different Specimen (printed on one side only) Fractional
Currency notes, typically consisting of 20 fronts and 19
backs, all from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd issues."
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a
non-profit organization promoting numismatic
literature. For more information please see
our web site at http://www.coinbooks.org/
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 W. David Perkins, NBS Secretary-Treasurer,
P.O. Box 212, Mequon, WI 53092-0212.
For Asylum mailing address changes and other
membership questions, contact David at this email
address: wdperki at attglobal.net
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