The E-Sylum v7#34, August 22, 2004
whomren at coinlibrary.com
whomren at coinlibrary.com
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.
E-SYLUM WINS AWARDS
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
plaque reads: NLG AWARD / BEST NON-COMMERCIAL
WEB SITE / coinbooks.org / THE e-SYLUM / WAYNE K.
HOMREN, EDITOR / PITTSBURGH, AUGUST 2004."
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.
ANA NEWSFLASH: 1792 CENT FOUND
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.
ANA CONVENTION DIARY
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
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
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
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
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."
CARSON CITY COIN FOUND
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:
MORE HESSLER BOOKS
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."
MENORAH COIN PROJECT
Arthur Shippee forwarded the following from the Explorator
newsletter about a web site on ancient Israelite coinage by
"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."
JOHNSON'S STILL READING THE READER'S DIGEST
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."
FEATURED WEB SITE
This week's featured web site is our very own: the Numismatic
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. 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 attglobal.net
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