The E-Sylum v6#49, November 16, 2003

whomren at whomren at
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.


   Bob Johnson writes: "This is the obit I saw today in the
   Philadelphia Inquirer."

   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."


   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.


   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."


   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

   Bids may be entered by email, FAX or telephone call in
   addition to regular US Mail."


   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;
   Tom Sheehan, twsheeh at; and myself,
   nelshaf at  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.


   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.


   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"


   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 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:

   A.M. Smith
   249 Hen Av
   Wine Depot
   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


   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
   of it.

   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,1299,DRMN_15_2418890,00.html


   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:,1299,DRMN_15_2418888,00.html


   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
   "movie studios."

   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.


   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:,11711,1078596,00.html

   It appears the Republic (and its gold) has been found:"


   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:"


   Dick Johnson writes: "Finding the definition of "bloviation"
   was easy:  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?"


   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 !!!"


   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 mint’s collections department said. But, she
   added, the move wasn’t a total surprise.

   "Every year before Christmas, it’s 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 can’t think of anything negative to say about the Franklin
   Mint, except, the owners I’m not too happy with right now,"
   she said. "But, I understand they do what they have to do."

   "It’s 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.


   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


   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."

  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 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

  To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum,
  just Reply to this message, or write to the Editor
  at this address: whomren at

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