The E-Sylum v7#34, August 22, 2004

whomren at whomren at
Sun Aug 22 21:04:38 PDT 2004

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 34, August 22, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


   Among recent new subscribers is are Steven Dippolito,
   Mark Ferguson of Coin World, David Lisot of Heritage
   Galleries and Sam Spiegel.  Welcome aboard!  We now
   have 684 subscribers.


   For the second year running, The E-Sylum won the
   First Place in the American Numismatic Association's
   awards for the "2004 Outstanding Electronic Numismatic
   Publication."  Thanks to Howard Daniel for accepting
   the award on our behalf.

   In a first for NBS, at the Numismatic Literary Guild
   bash Thursday night, we won an NLG Award.  The
   NBS President Pete Smith accepted the award.

   I'm sorry my duties at the convention and home kept me
   from being present to accept.  It's always nice to be
   recognized.  Thanks, all.


   The story is already on the newswires, although I was
   unable to grab an article to quote for this issue.  A New
   York couple arrived at the show with what examiners
   believe to be a genuine 1792 silver center cent, sans
   silver plug.  If authenticated this would be only the 9th
   known specimen.   One estimate places a $400,000
   value on the coin.


   Tuesday was setup day for most exhibitors.  Several NBS
   members were seen in and around the large exhibit area
   at the front of the hall.  Dave Lange was one of the
   early birds, setting up his exhibit of coin boards in Class
   22, Numismatic Literature.  Joker Wendell Wolka came
   by to point out imaginary smudges on the exhibit case
   glass I was cleaning for the Carnegie Hero medal exhibit.
   NBS President Pete Smith stopped by later as well.

   Wednesday brought the opening ceremonies with Pittsburgh
   Mayor Tom Murphy and other political and numismatic
   dignitaries.  I was concerned that our Honorary Chairman
   was nowhere to be found, only to learn later he'd decided
   not to come up on stage and was watching from a seat
   nearby.  I'd been scanning the crowd like a Secret Service
   agent and was unable to find him.   It was all over in a flash
   for me, but I'm sure it seemed like an eternity to the throng
   waiting to get in the show.

   I had opened my day with a visit to the general meeting of
   the John Reich Collector's Society, where I was greeted by
   a lot of familiar faces.  The officers helped promote The
   E-Sylum, and I'd like to thank them here for their kind words.
   The E-Sylum has grown to its present size largely by word-of-
   mouth, and I encourage readers to forward issues to people
   they think may enjoy it.

   After the opening ceremony my next order of business was
   the downtown Pittsburgh walking tour.   Two docents from
   the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation led two
   groups around the city.  Despite a planning mixup at one of
   our stops, all went well.  The highlight for our group was
   visiting Dollar Savings Bank, whose main branch was built
   in 1870 and has been in operation as bank branch with little
   architectural change continuously since that date.

   While waiting in line for lunch back at the convention I met
   Doug Mudd, the new curator of the American Numismatic
   Association.  In a nearby line was Carl Feldman of New
   Jersey who told me he was counting the minutes until our
   library tour Friday morning.  Next stop was the in-progress
   meeting of the NBS Board where various organization
   topics were discussed.   At 2pm I left to get my car and run
   home to pick up my sons Christopher and Tyler.  When we
   returned to the convention we looked at the 1804 Silver
   Dollars and bought Mint Passports.  On the way to the
   mint booths we ran into John Adams and Denis Loring.
   After filling most of the passport holes it was time to head
   home again.  Both boys fell asleep in the car on the way
   home.  The show had tired them out, but they had fun.
   So when do I get to take nap?

   All in all the day went well, and my main regret was not
   being able to attend Chuck Larson's presentation at the
   10am Numismatic Theatre.  Author of the new book on
   numismatic forgery discussed here in previous issues, he
   told me that he planned to announce the outcome of his
   investigation of the 1959 Wheat cent Mark Hofmann
   claimed to have fabricated.  We'll probably see something
   in the numismatic press this week.  Were any of our
   readers in attendance?

   Thursday morning I attended the Krause Publications
   Numismatic Ambassador breakfast.   My table included
   Sam Deep, Al Johnbriar, David Alexander, and Tom
   DeLorey.  At noon I listened to Michael S. Turrini's talk
   on the Carnegie Hero Medal, then went to a press
   conference on the medal with Michael and officials from
   Carnegie Museum and the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
   Unfortunately, this conflicted with Scott Rubin's Numismatic
   Theatre / NBS Literature Symposium talk.  Anyone care to
   submit a report?

   Not having had time to grab lunch, I then hooked up with
   NBS Board member Joel Orosz and went down the street
   for a bite.  Toward the end of our talk we heard a loud
   CLANG which turned out to be the sound of my new
   ANA Goodfellow medal hitting the floor.  The clasp, which
   was too light for the weight of the medal, had given away.
   Clem Schettino and a group of fellow colonial coin collectors
   at the next table were as startled as we were.  Luckily, just
   a few blocks away was The Coin Exchange, where resident
   jewelry expert Debbie Dechicchis and owner Kitty Litman
   came to the rescue, replacing the clasp with something sturdy,
   and even sewing together the other end of the ribbon where it
   too had already frayed from the weight of the medal.  Note for
   post-convention suggestion box: Great medal, but please don't
   skimp on the ribbon.

   The medal was not the last surprise of the day.  My cell phone
   rang and it was my wife calling to tell me a rainstorm had just
   blasted thru our neighborhood damaging or uprooting several
   large trees, blowing our metal patio furniture into a neighbor's
   yard and sending the kids' wading pool far down the block.
   The sun was still shining downtown.  Although a nearby
   neighbor couldn't open their front door because of a fallen
   tree, luckily there were no injuries or damage to homes or

   Friday was the Big Day.  After spending the morning til 10am
   with my family as they got ready to hightail it out of town, I
   ran around like crazy cleaning and setting up the house for the
   library tour.  I made it to the NBS meeting late, where the
   fund-raising auction was about to begin.  After the meeting I
   herded our tourgoers down to the bus and off we went.

   I gave a running commentary on some of the historical sites
   we passed along the way as everyone dug into their boxed
   lunches.  Soon we were at Tom Fort's house and everyone
   poured into his library and nearby dining room where several
   choice books were displayed.

   All too soon it was time to pack up again and Pete Smith
   and I herded the group outside for a group photo before
   getting back on the bus.  At my house we split into two
   groups.  One group viewed the ephemera and pamphlet
   binders while another went in the house to see the main
   library.  Other books were on tables and counters around
   the house, and the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic
   Society records were on a table in the living room.  We
   stayed a little longer here, but in what seemed like a flash
   it was time to get back on the bus again for our return
   trip to the convention center.   Everyone had a great time
   and I was grateful that history didn't repeat itself in one
   aspect: during the 1935 Pittsburgh ANA convention
   George Clapp invited a group to his home in Sewickley,
   and along the way the bus broke down, stuck in mud
   from a rainstorm.   We did have another rainstorm, but
   only after we had made it back safely to the convention
   center. Thankfully, Friday's storm brought no new damage
   to our neighborhood.

   Thursday's dinner was a very pleasant affair at the
   Pittsburgh Fish Market with Barry Tayman, Joel Orosz,
   George Kolbe and Scott Rubin.  It was nice to relax a
   bit after all the day's commotion.   Calling my wife to
   check on her day, I learned that in one afternoon my
   father-in-law had managed to both trip and knock over
   the baby carriage, baby and all, and fish our four-year-old
   son Tyler out of the hotel pool just as he was getting into
   water too deep for him.  Baby Hannah and brother Tyler
   were fine, but I downed an extra glass of wine to calm
   my nerves.

   Saturday morning brought the Goodfellows breakfast.
   The Goodfellows are former convention general chairs
   who advise the ANA on running future conventions. I
   learned I wasn't the only general chair to have a problem
   with the heavy Goodfellow medal.  Mine took a lickin'
   and kept on tickin'.  Luckily, Debbie's repairs held the rest
   of the convention.  Thanks!

   Using my laptop I pulled to together a set of slides for
   Richard Crosby's 4pm talk on Pittsburgh Exonumia - he'd
   been having computer problems and was unable to create
   a disk to use.  At the 5pm Numismatic Theatre I operated
   a computer slide show for Joel Orosz' talk, "Did George
   Washington Provide the Silver for the 1792 Half Dismes?".
   The talk included a discussion of the earliest appearances
   in print of the stories surrounding the half dismes, and many
   bibliophiles were in attendance.

   Soon it was time for the banquet.  As planned, we had a
   magician entertaining the crowd at the 7pm reception.
   Back when the ANA convention was in Pittsburgh in 1935,
   a magician performed at the banquet, so I thought it would
   be fun for a reprise.  He did a great job, delighting the kids
   (and adults!) in the crowd with close-up card and slight-of-
   hand tricks.  The banquet held many highlights, but for the
   locals we were happy to learn that Sam Deep won the
   Rodger E. Hershey People's Choice award.  Rodger was
   a close friend of Sam's, and he helped raise the funds to endow
   the award after Rodger's death.  Chick Ambrass noted that
   if Rodger were here, in his typical fashion he'd say that
   getting the award was "better than getting a sharp stick in the
   eye!"   Another highlight for the evening was the announcement
   of the Howland Wood Best-in-Show exhibit winner.  Having
   just told E-Sylum contributor David Menchell at the reception
   how I was "blown away' by his "Medals of Conflict, Medals
   of Conquest: The Numismatic Legacy of the French and
   Indian War," I was delighted to hear he'd won the Howland
   Wood.  Congratulations!

   Sunday was wrap-up time.  Arriving at the show midmorning
   I made my first stop at a dealer table - nothing like waiting 'til
   the last minute.  Three hundred dollars later I had added two
   Pittsburgh obsolete notes to my collection from the stock of
   Tom Denly.   The next stop at Charlie Davis' table replenished
   my wallet, as he paid me for an old consignment I'd left with
   him.  Not a bad trade.  As I sat down for lunch later, exhausted,
   I was soon joined by George Cuhaj and John and Nancy Wilson.
   Afterwards I headed to Numismatic Theatre to introduce local
   Siege Coin expert Larry Korchnak.  After his interesting talk
   I introduced John Frost, the last speaker of the convention.

   Attendance was sparse, but these two talks were wonderful,
   and made for a nice way to end the convention.... until my
   cell phone rang.  You guessed it - my wife again.  Her sister's
   husband had had a heart attack and was being flown by
   helicopter to a hospital.   My plans for carefully repacking my
   exhibits went out the window.   I was able to recruit Bill
   Cowburn, Eric Holcolmb and Eva Crosby to help take down
   my 22 cases of material. Amazing what you can do in a rush
   when you have to.   Thanks one and all, also Gene Hynds for
   quickly responding to my pleas for opening the exhibit cases.
   My apologies to Dave Menchell for being unable to talk as he
   left the hall.  Once packed I left my exhibits in the care of Eva
   and Richard Crosby and dashed off to the hospital, arriving at
   the emergency room just as my wife arrived with the rest of
   my family.  A bit later her sister and kids arrived.  The surgeons
   installed a stent in my brother-in-law's heart valve, and told us
   he was doing well.  He'll spend the night in intensive care.

   By 8pm I was driving my sister-in-law and her daughters
   back to their home and by 9pm I was meeting Richard Crosby
   at a gas station off the interstate to pick up my exhibit.  Now
   it's after midnight and time to finish off The E-Sylum.  'Night all.
   It was an amazing week, but I'll be happy to get back to my
   sedate everyday routine tomorrow.  Meanwhile, keep those
   emails coming.


   Gar Travis was kind enough to point out the typo in one
   of last week's headlines.  It should have read "ANS
   Olympic COIN and Medal Exhibit Catalog."

   Joel Orosz writes: "I just noticed that both the August 8
   and August 15 issues of the E-Sylum are headed "v7#32."

   [Oops - it takes a sharp-eyed reader to catch an error
   like that.  Thanks, Joel.  The number of this week's issue
   has been corrected to #34.    Mistakes like these can
   compound themselves.  Those of you who have been
   reading The E-Sylum for a while might remember this
   item from the v3#1 issue (January 2, 2000):

   "... mishaps aren't limited to numismatic publications.   An
   Associated Press article published today  reports, "Normally
   punctilious about correcting its own errors,  The New York
   Times used the new millennium to fess up to a mistake that
   had appeared on its front page every day for more than a

   Saturday's Times is actually issue No. 51,254 - not

   You hadn't noticed? - Neither had anyone else, according
   to the paper, until 24-year-old news assistant Aaron Donovan
   recently "became curious about the numbering" ... and
   "wondered about the potential for self-perpetuating error."

   Using a spreadsheet program, Donovan ran the numbers
   back to issue No. 1 on Sept. 18, 1851, and discovered they
   added up to 500 fewer than had been thought.  Then, doing
   further research, he homed in on Feb. 6, 1898, as the date
   of infamy.

   On that day, he found, a now-anonymous predecessor ...
   added 1 to 14,499 and came up with 15,000 rather than


   Fred Reed reported a successful conclusion to his request
   in last week's issue.  He writes: "I just heard from Mark
   Rabinowitz.  Nancy Green at ANA put him in touch with
   me.  Thanks for the boost up."


   Last week we published an item about how E-Sylum
   subscriber Rusty Goe spent a valuable Carson City mint
   coin to promote a local coin show.   The coin has been

   "A Carson City man with a tendency to check his pocket
   change has come up with a big find.

   Richard Labahn got a curious looking coin in his change
   last Saturday at a Carson City Albertsons store.

   It turned out to be an 1877-CC Liberty Seated quarter
   minted in Carson City and spent there, intentionally, by a
   Reno coin collector.

   Rusty Goe spent the quarter at the Albertsons, then
   announced it, to generate interest in the August 28th-29th
   Carson City Mint coin show.

   Goe offered 300 dollars for the person who redeemed the
   coin. It's worth about 200 to 250 dollars.

   Labahn, a 75-year-old retired Carson City salesman received
   the historic coin just after Goe spent it."

   To read the full article, see:


   Robert J. Galiette writes: "I also think that Gene Hessler's
   prior work to produce the book "A History of U.S. Loans:
   1775 - 1898" will be appreciated all the more as time goes
   by.  It's a very challenging subject to research and illustrate.
   It's not surprising that it was fifteen years in the making, and
   that it needed the seasoned experience of a curator of a
   major financial museum in order to accomplish it.

   Many collectors enjoy currency, and a five or ten dollar
   bill is not on its face a difficult item to understand and
   appreciate.  However, stocks, bonds convertible securities,
   loan agreements and other documents produced by the
   same engravers in more elaborate fashion, and often signed
   by the persons who shaped U.S. finance, have a lot of
   depth still to be studied in reconstructing and understanding
   the financial history that underlies this country."


   Arthur Shippee forwarded the following from the Explorator
   newsletter about a web site on ancient Israelite coinage by
   Jean-Philippe Fontanille:.

   "First of all, I am pleased to announce you that I won the
   2004 Norman W. Wagner Award, yearly awarded by the
   Canadian Society of Biblical Studies  for my works on the
   Menorah Coin Project website.

   There are 3 new items added on MCP this month. They are
   magnificent and extremely rare coins minted under Agrippa
   I: H546. As you will remark, the pictures are larger than the
   usual size pictures used on MCP because the letters are small
   and the patterns are showing many fine details.

    Also, a very large number of specimens has been added in
   all the categories."


   Dick Johnson writes: "Page 98 (September 2004):  How many
   quarters does it take to play the new Lord of the Rings pinball
   game?  None. It only takes Tolkiens."


   This week's featured web site is our very own: the Numismatic
   Bibliomania Society.

  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. Membership is only $15 to
  addresses in North America, $20 elsewhere.
  For those without web access, write to W. David
  Perkins, NBS Secretary-Treasurer,
  P.O. Box 3888, Littleton, CO  80161-3888.

  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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