The E-Sylum v8#11, March 13, 2005
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Sun Mar 13 19:13:16 PST 2005
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 11, March 13, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Among our recent subscribers is Dennis Hengeveld of The
Netherlands. Welcome aboard! We now have 731 subscribers.
A few subscribers did not receive their issue last week because
of their ISP's spam filters. If you miss any issue, back issues
are archived on our web site at http://www.coinbooks.org
JEROME H. REMICK 1928-2005
George H. Cockburn of Québec, Canada writes (Wednesday,
March 9): "Searching Google, I just came across your request
for information (E-Sylum : Vol 7 no 42) on Jerry Remick.
Unfortunately, Jerry passed away last week in Quebec City,
where he lived. The funeral was yesterday.
I knew him well since he worked for me for a few years as a
geologist. Everyone knew he was an expert in numismatics.
Though he was English-speaking and born in the US, he
worked in French for the Quebec Department of Natural
Resources during his long career as a geologist spanning well
over 35 years. Amongst our geologists, he was was certainly
one of the most prolific. In Quebec, Jerry was known as
Jérôme and was very appreciated by his colleagues as well as
the the mineral exploration industry. He retired about 10
Enclosed is the death notice which appeared in Le Soleil,
the Quebec City newspaper on March 5th 2005. He
apparently died alone in his apartment and was discovered
several days later. He was related somehow to actress Lee
[The death notice, in French, was very brief. Would any
of our readers be able to share memories of Mr. Remick
with us? -Editor]
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
"The Standard Catalog of Motion Picture, Television, Stage
and Advertising Prop Money" by Fred Reed has been
published by McFarland Inc., N.C. Some of you veteran
readers of The E-Sylum may recall that this book was
conceived on line in an exchange of E-Sylum messages
initiated by Numismatics International Librarian Granvyl
Hulse, who challenged E-Sylum readers to do such a book
and offered assistance.
Fred Reed, author of the award winning "CIVIL WAR
ENCASED STAMPS: The Issuers and Their Times",
thought that was a worthy task and stepped up to do the
job. That was four years ago.
Fred writes: "Now, in case any of you have been holding
your breath, you can breathe once again. My book,
"SHOW ME THE MONEY! The Standard Catalog of
Motion Picture, Television, Stage and Advertising Prop
Money" is out now."
Word at Reed residences in Oklahoma, Texas, California
and Florida is that it is the family's most beautiful "baby"
ever. Father and "son" are both reportedly doing well.
Specifics of this newest addition to Reed's numismatic family
are impressive: 788 pages, 2071 pictures (according to the
publisher's count. "I'll take their word for it," Fred notes),
includes bibliography and an extremely comprehensive
Fred adds: "the book could have been a lot bigger but the
publisher printed the Index in teeny, tiny type---my
apologies to those who like the large print versions of
Reader's Digest and Playboy.".
SHOW ME THE MONEY catalogs more than 300
different series of prop notes, comprising more than 1,800
types, and over 2,000 varieties covering more than a
century of movie making. Virtually all are illustrated with
large, excellent quality photographs.
"Prop money is graphically exciting," Reed says. "Film
characters vie for it, lie for it, steal it, kill for it, fondle it,
and even examine it and philosophize about it just like
people in normal life," he notes.,
Many of these notes are truly historic, and a good number
of them have been confiscated by the Secret Service at
various times ("full details disclosed in the book," Fred
Several hundred pages of historical and movie information
make it a good read ("Get it? - Good REED!"),
as well as hundreds of illustrations from Reed's large
collection of movie stills and movie posters depicting
money, which make it a visual delight, according to those
who have seen it.
The book also includes a catalog numbering system, prices
every note, gives rarities, provides eras of film use for most
varieties, and specific instances of use for many of these notes.
In addition to lots of spade work, Reed interviewed
Hollywood insiders such as prop masters, set decorators,
and art directors, and production crew members.
He also viewed more than one thousand movies ("yes, that's
right, 1000-plus") to write its authoritative text.
Fred writes: "Eventually (hopefully positive) reviews will
appear in all the RIGHT places, but E-Sylum readers can be
the first on their respective blocks to see it themselves since
it is already for sale on both amazon.com and
"The ISBN is 0-7864-2037-5 (Orders filled in 2-3 days
according to those sellers)," Reed reports. It is also available
from the Publisher, McFarland Publications, 1-800-253-2187
or Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640 and has appeared in that
firm's fall, winter and spring catalogs, as well as publisher's
trade ads in BIG REEL and elsewhere.
As a special offer to E-Sylum readers, they can order the
book straight from its author for $82.50 postpaid at this
P.O. Box 118162
Carrollton, TX 75011-8162
The book won't be autographed (note: it will be shipped
from North Carolina) but E-Sylum orders from the author
will receive an autographed, GENUINE prop note from
author Reed's personal collection that they can tip into the
book or use as a bookmark. "Since it will be a genuine
$100 prop note, the book will be practically free," he
affirms, "just don't try to spend it or he'll have to do an
update chapter about his readers and the Secret Service."
Many E-Sylum readers have assisted in the preparation
of this work and all are acknowledged. Fred writes:
"If you feel so moved to purchase a copy, I would
appreciate your feedback because I'm already deep
(30-years' worth) into my next book on Abraham Lincoln
--and I don't want to make the same dumb mistakes all
[I'm looking forward to getting my copy, and I hope a
number of our readers will order copies as well. This
is an obscure but very interesting and important topic.
Here's our chance to be know-it-alls and trump our
movie buff friends with our knowledge, all thanks to
Fred's monumental effort. Congratulations, Fred!
VOORHIES PAPER MONEY BOOKS DONATED TO ANA
With permission we are reprinting the following article by
Nancy W. Green, Librarian of the American Numismatic
Association. It appeared in the latest issue of the ANA's
"The ANA’s Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library has
received many magnificent donations through the years, and
this past January another was added to its resources. The
Dr. Jack M. Vorhies Syngraphic Research Library now is
here in Colorado Springs, thanks to the generosity of Dr.
Vorhies and the enthusiastic assistance of ANA Governor
John Wilson. Containing more than 200 volumes, all in
pristine condition, this wonderful assemblage of numismatic
research material is too extensive to list in its entirety, but
here are some highlights:
A needed addition to the ANA Library’s shelves are seven
copies of Heath’s Infallible Counterfeit Detectors—two of
the original 1864 edition; two 1866 editions, one of which
is the banking edition; and an 1870, 1873 and 1879. Previously,
the Association had only six copies of the publication—two
1866 editions (one pocket-size) and an 1867, 1870, 1873
and pocket-size 1877.
Other wonderful volumes include a copy of Jacob Perkins by
Bathe, Dor and Grenville; a volume of vignette proofs from
American Bank Note Company; a book of specimen vignettes
from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing; and a copy of
Ormsby’s Description of Bank-note Engraving.
My personal favorite is a collection of 1907-08 issues of an
American Bank Note Company publication called The Imprint.
Leather-bound with gilt edges, the two volumes contain
beautiful color illustrations portraying a bygone time of elegance
and graciousness that people today can only imagine.
Thank you, Dr. Vorhies, for sharing your outstanding library
with the ANA membership. It will prove a valuable resource
for years to come."
Jeff Starck of Sidney, OH writes: "I couldn't help but send this,
an "Appreciations" item in the March 6 New York Times, by
[I've always enjoyed reading contemporary criticisms of
new coin designs. This one is headlined "The (Old) Buffalo
"Last week, the United States Mint released a new nickel,
the third in its Westward Journey series. On the obverse is
a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, who seems to loom into the
porthole of the coin. The word "Liberty" appears in a
facsimile of Jefferson's handwriting and is dwarfed by "In
God We Trust." On the reverse, a bison stands on a small
patch of prairie, fenced in by the words "United States of
America," which nearly surround him. It is perhaps a
meaningless artifact of design that this bison is facing to the
The new buffalo nickel is, of course, meant to recall the
old buffalo nickel, which was minted in Philadelphia, Denver
and San Francisco between 1913 and 1938. That nickel
was one of the most attractive coins ever issued in this
"The mint distributed more than 1.2 billion of those nickels,
and they have nearly all been retired. But even in the early
1960's, you could still find a buffalo nickel in your change
from time to time. It was always an occasion to stop and
look closely. This was a coin that worked in a purely
iconographic fashion. It had a visual economy that is still
moving. In the face of that Indian and the somber mass
of that bison, you can visualize the tragic undertone of
American history. To come upon a buffalo nickel - one
of the old ones - in your pocket was to come upon a
work of art."
To read the original article, see:
[Everyone's a critic when a new coin hits the scene. I
wonder what people had to say when Fraser's "Buffalo"
nickel debuted in 1913. Does anyone have a contemporary
critique of that coin? -Editor]
LITTLE ANT HILLS
[Some people start complaining about a new design before
it's even finished. The following is from an article published
March 9th. -Editor]
"The U.S. Mint will release Colorado's state quarter in 2006,
but it's still not certain what it will look like.
The five designs that are being considered were unveiled
Wednesday in a special ceremony at the state Capitol."
Barb McTurk, a former superintendent at Denver's Mint,
unsuccessfully fought for a Western artist to be appointed to
the project, fearing Easterners wouldn't understand their
request for "majestic mountains." Frances Owens admitted
the first designs shipped back were a little disappointing.
"We really did have little ant hills," she said.
The designs went back and forth several times before the
commission was satisfied."
"Each of the five designs incorporates the Rocky Mountains,
and includes the banner, "Colorado 1876."
One design features Mesa Verde’s famous Cliff Palace,
another has a visual of Pikes Peak with a miner's pick and
shovel, while a third includes an alpine soldier with the words
"Birthplace of the 10th Mountain Division." The other two
designs have rugged mountain backdrops -- one with the
inscription "Colorful Colorado," and the other with columbine
flower over the words "The Centennial State."
To read the full article, see:
COINAGE YEARBOOK BOOK REVIEWS
The 2005 Coin Collector's Yearbook, published by COINage
magazine, contains a nice article by Col. Bill Murray reviewing
recent coin books. Books reviewed include multiple new titles
published by Whitman Publishing, and
"The Mint on Carson Street by Rusty Goe
"The Copper Coinage of the State of New Jersey, Annotated
Manuscript of Damon G. Douglas," published by the
American Numismatic Society
"A History of Nineteenth Century Ohio Obsolete Bank Notes
and Scrip" by Wendell Wolka.
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY PICTURE COLLECTION
Dick Johnson writes: "A tribute should be given to the New
York Public Library Picture Collection and I am glad to learn a
part of it has been placed on the Internet as mentioned in last
week’s E-Sylum and the New York Times March 3, 2005.
This was, and is, a national treasure. Our field is indebted to
the NYPL Picture Collection for design research for literally
thousands of American coin and medal designs.
Medallic sculptors – as well as American artists among 40,000
viewers a year – have used this collection to "look up" what
people looked like (portraiture), for authentic period costumes,
for historical scenes and events, for seals, symbols, logos, for
a myriad of design details. These could be found so easily in
that third floor room at the NYPL at 42nd and Fifth Avenue.
With a library card you could check out the illustrations you
found, take them to your studio or office, photocopy them,
adapt them for your design project at hand -- or simply use
them for artistic inspiration -- and return them in the required
Case in point: At the height of his medallic activity, medalist
Ralph J. Menconi was creating at least one new pair of medallic
models a week. Sketch the design. Get the design edited and
approved. Then create the models in clay. Cast the clay in
plaster. Not only was he creating five medallic series at once,
he worked on several medals in varying stages at once. All this,
in addition to his normal medallic – and art – commissions! This
frenzied activity required help. His solution was close at hand,
his wife Marge.
Ralph’s New York City studio was on 56th Street, 14 blocks
south was the NY Public Library. Marge Menconi would go
there to pour over the well organized table-high bins of
illustrations filed in large gray folders. She would find as many
illustrations for Ralph’s designs as practical. The illustrations
were prints and photographs, items cut from discarded books,
magazines, catalogs and from and hundreds of other sources.
This was the only way Ralph could get the meticulous accurate
detail in his medallic designs, in as quick time as he did, for all
five medal series!
Other medallic artists knew of this amazing resource and used
its facilities in similar fashion. It was a boon to New York City
artists. It became their gigantic "clip file." Art directors sent
their staff artists and art researchers there.
The picture collection was open to the public. Anyone could
search here. (Medallic Art’s plant and office was six blocks
away when it was in NYC – I occasionally did just that,
search on a spare lunch hour. I even donated some MAco
sales literature with many medals illustrated which I thought
would be useful.) But this picture collection also served
Medallic Art’s numismatic interest in another way. And
there is a story behind that.
As a Medallic Art employee I was charged to catalog their
medallic archives. President Bill Louth wanted it in a form he
could see the image, in addition to required data, along with
clients’ name and location. That was a tough challenge.
Remember, this was before PCs, some computer cards at
the time did exist with a film negative inserted, but both Bill
and I rejected it as not "human readable."
I realized I was cataloging medal images, so I made an
appointment with the lady in charge of the NYPL Picture
Collection. This was 1967 and I learned the lady was
Ramona Javitz, who had created the collection in 1929.
despite her advanced years, she had some useful suggestions
for Medallic Art’s medal image catalog. She encourage topic
categories (much like how collectors now collect medals).
She retired officially the following year, having placed five
million prints in the collection (but lived 12 more years,
she died 1980).
We called on Eastman Kodak for their aid. A salesman
understood our problem, took me to Time-Life to examine
the catalog of their massive photo collection (of, I believe 8
million photos). Their solution was to reproduced in postage
stamp size on a 3 x 5 inch photo print with their required
details (negative number, photographer, subjects, event
>From these two concepts I devised a format of taking 35mm
photographs of archive medals, both sides. From contact
sheets we cut out the medal image and pasted these down on
cards we typed with the name of the medal, size &
composition(s), artist(s), client name, location, and some
topics (like how a numismatist would collect). We had special
card stock made so we could photocopy four of these at a
time on a special photocopy machine. When cut apart we filed
these cards in a 3x5 library card file cabinet. It worked.
A separate set of cards was kept in the storeroom. When I
purchased the storeroom surplus medals in 1977 I received
this card file as well. It has 7 trays containing over 5,000 cards.
I still find this useful in medal research. The wooden card file
cabinet with perhaps 30,000 cards filed by categories went
to Medallic Art Co, now in Nevada, but in the meantime
everything on those cards has been entered into the firm’s
All thanks, in part, to the founder, Ramona Javitz, of the
NYPL Picture Collection. Her story in a press release for a
1997 exhibition can be read at:
GALVANOS AND EPOXY PATTERNS ARE LUBRICATED
Dick Johnson writes: "Michael Schmidt responded to my
item on galvanos by mentioning the U.S. Mint film showing the
Sacajawea dollar pattern on the die-engraving pantograph. I
saw that same film and recall that scene. What looked like the
destruction of the epoxy pattern was actually lubrication fluid
flowing across the face of the pattern. This is required of all
patterns – copper galvano or epoxy – to aid the trajectory of
the tracing point. Please note the headline in last week’s item
was incorrect: REUSING EPOXY GALVANOS. You cannot
have an "epoxy galvano." It should have read Epoxy Patterns.
Incidentally a similar lubricating fluid is played across the die
being cut. But here it has an additional job of carrying away
the minute chips of metal removed by the cutting point. The
oil keeps the die and cutting point cool, facilitates the cutting
action and collects the chips. The contaminated oil is piped
away to a collection pan. In time this pan looks like mud but
is the gray color of the steel diestock."
[I'll take responsibility for the inaccurate title. Sorry!
Thanks for setting the record straight. -Editor]
JUDD'S HANDWRITING LOCATED
Matt Hansen writes: "Just thought I'd update everyone on
what is transpiring out of a snippet from the most recent
issue of The E-Sylum. In that issue, there was a request for
information about Dr. Judd that had been posted by Mitch
Kerns. I passed along Mitch's request to my friend and
fellow numismatist Jim McKee here in Lincoln. Jim also
happens to be the owner/operator of a local book store, an
enthusiastic collector of U.S. patterns, as well as someone
who knew Dr. Judd. Apparently Jim has at least one
sample of Dr. Judd's handwriting and can supply Mitch with
a copy of the same."
[Chris Fuccione also chimed in with a an offer of assistance.
Thanks, everyone! -Editor]
NEW IRISH NOTES DEBUT
In earlier issues we discussed the plans to recall and replace
Irish paper money in the wake of a massive theft of currency.
See E-Sylum Volume 7, Number 52, (December 26, 2004)
and Volume 8, Number 2, ( January 9, 2005). The following
article was published March 9th:
"The new Northern Bank notes, unveiled today, will become
common currency from Monday when they will be available
in ATMs and bank branches.
While the overall design of the new notes is unchanged, they
will feature a new logo, are a different colour, will have new
serial number prefixes and will feature the date January 19,
The new logo features the word 'Northern' in small letters
rather than capitals and is in italics."
To read the full article, see:
WHAT TO CALL E-SYLUM READERS?
Recently I suggested the term "E-Sylumites" for readers of this
electronic newsletter. Dick Johnson suggested "E-Syluminaries"
(pronounced e-si-loom’i-nar-ies).. Next Larry Gaye chimed,
"I prefer "inmate." Carl Honore suggested: "E-nmates"
This week Tom DeLorey adds: "Use the KISS Principle:
[KISS means "Keep It Simple, Stupid!" Since we're book
lovers I would have thought "B-Nuts" more appropriate, but
needing an "E" to denote electronic, we would then have
"E-B-Nuts" or "BE-Nuts." Outsiders would be correct in
thinking that We Be Nuts in a big way. -Editor]
WHAT TO DO WITH VIRGIN BOOKS
Henry Bergos writes: "Regarding the discussion about
opening up an unsplit book:. I attended the CW Post
campus of Long Island University in 1974/5. I was doing
some research on English law and requested a book that
turned out to be an original from 1763. It was unsplit!!!
I asked what to do about it and the library assistant told
me to do as I liked, so I split some of the pages. It kinda
hurt to do it. What good is a book that has never been
read? We as book lovers like to have pristine copies,
but unread??? I have two copies of a book one of my
Professors wrote: one in the shrink wrap and one that I
THE MINI 50TH ANNIVERSARY RED BOOKS
Matt Hansen writes: "Regarding Neil Shafer's comments in
he March 6, 2005, issue of The E-Sylum about the small
50th Anniversary Red Book/coin folder, I have the following
comment/correction: I attended that same show in Denver
in 1996 and remember well those mini books they gave out
at the Krause booth. However, as I recall, they held dimes
rather than cents. In fact, I believe that there was a 1996
dime already in each book, leaving the collector to add the
THE ROMISCHE HERRSHERBILD SERIES
Joe Geranio writes: "To all you Roman coin collectors:
There is a great series that was done by Dietrich Boschung
called "The Romische Herrsherbild series, which currently
number 10 volumes. I am currently doing research on the
portraiture of Caligula. The fun thing is the pages of high
grade sestersius, aureus, denarius that are pictured. The
coinage is an important part in identifying Roman portraiture.
These kinds of studies make collecting Ancients a lot more
fun. The series is expensive, but well worth it. Thanks to
The E-Sylum for helping find a Journal on Ancient numismatics."
We recently discussed some interesting ancient gold medallions
(see The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 7, February 13, 2005).
Henry Bergos writes: "I remember reading about some French
workers finding Roman Medallions. They were told that they
were counterfeiting them and would land in prison if they didn't
stop. The workers MELTED them!!! They were gold and
from the first 1/3 of the fourth century. As I remember it this
happened in 1924 as they were building a subway in Paris."
[Have any of our readers ever heard such a tale?
WHAT HAPPENS TO LIBRARY TABLES
Last week, Dick Johnson noted that any dream library must
have a table. Joe Boling writes: "Ah, but it does not work. A
table is an empty horizontal surface, and soon gets covered,
and eventually buried. I have two in my office - the available
space now is dictated by what I can do on top of the items
that are occupying the table tops."
BOOKS ON UNIQUE COINS
Several issues back, we asked about books (not just articles)
that tell the story of a unique coin. Rich Hartzog writes:
"Hmmm, wasn't there a booklet on the 1836 half dollar?"
PUTIN GIVES KIM A MEDAL
The Asia Pacific News reports that the reclusive Kim Jong-Il
of Korea gave a rare public appearance in order to receive
a medal commemorating WWII from Russian President Vladimir
"Kim received the medal in person "commemorating the 60th
anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War" from
Russia's envoy on behalf of Putin, the agency said. It is rare for
the secretive leader to attend award ceremonies.
"A ceremony of conveying the medal took place in grand style
Tuesday. Kim Jong-Il was present there," the agency said
without specifying the venue.
The reclusive leader, who was accompanied by ranking North
Korean government, military and communist party officials at
the ceremony, expressed gratitude to Putin, it said."
"He expressed thanks for the kind invitation and had an
amicable and friendly talk with the ambassador before posing
for a photograph with the staff members of the embassy," it said."
To read the full article, see:
WHERE TO ARCHIVE?
Michael Marotta writes: In April 2004, the Michigan State
Numismatic Society appointed me to be the editor of MichMatist,
their quarterly journal. As a patron of the State of Michigan
Library, I know that The MichMatist is on the shelf and that
issues are missing. This is significant, because the mandate of
this library is only secondarily to serve the people of the state.
Its primary mission is to serve the legislature. I also know that
Coin World received the magazine, and I know that their
archives were incomplete. In all, I have written to the following
librarians, offering to gather back issues from our members and
forward them, in order to bring their holdings up to date: Library
of Michigan; Coin World; Krause Corporation; American
Numismatic Association; American Numismatic Society.
Are there other libraries or archives that should receive the
MichMatist? For anyone reading this list with suggestions, my
email address is mike49mercury at AOL.com."
AHWASH BOOK PREMIER EDITION
Roger Burdette writes: "In response to John McCloskey's
inquiry about the "premier edition" of Kamal Ahwash's
seated dime book, I did many of the photos for Kam's book
and pictures he occasionally sent to customers. When his book
was printed in 1977 he gave me a copy of both the regular
edition and the padded cover edition (#088). At that time I
recall him saying there were 100 copies of the premier edition.
He never mentioned the total press run, however.
Back then, I occasionally obtained space at an unoccupied
table (thanks to Hank Greenberg or Gordon Berg) at the
Suburban Washington Coin show, and set up my cameras,
bellows and flash to take photos of coins for collectors.
Rarely did more than break even, but got to meet many
interesting people and photograph coins that I could never
afford to own. Kam would sometimes stop by my table
with a box of 2x2s and leave them for photography, while
he wandered off to make a deal."
THROWING YOUR MONEY AWAY
Dan Gosling writes: "Thanks to Dick Johnson for suggesting that
a recreational vehicle could be used to reduce the cost of
accommodation while doing numismatic research. An RV with
air conditioning would be much better accommodation than when
I stayed at the dormitory of the University of Ottawa in 2002
while researching my chapter on numismatic literature for the
soon to be released Canadian Numismatic Association/Numismatic
Educational Services Association Correspondence Course Part II.
The mistake I made was arriving on the day the temperature
reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit only to find that my room did
not have air conditioning, a fan or a window bigger than a
handkerchief. If those three factors were not enough to completely
roast me, my room was on the top floor immediately below the hot
roof and located on the south wall!
Dick mentioned that one of the disadvantages of RV’s is the
poor mileage. While I was thinking about the risk of throwing
my money away on the cost of gasoline I came across the
following on page 133 in the April 1936 issue of Spink & Sons
Coin Thrown 270 Feet.
George Washington Feat Emulated
Virginian Town Wins a Bet.
From Our Correspondent Fredericksburg.
Thousands of excited citizens crowded the muddy banks of
the Rappahannock River here yesterday afternoon to see
whether Mr. Walter Johnson, the famous baseball player
and the hero of every American schoolboy, could emulate
the feat accredited to George Washington of throwing a
silver dollar 300 feet across the river.
American school books relate the story of Washington's
pitching feat side by side with the famous cherry tree
anecdote. Washington's 204th birthday was nationally
celebrated yesterday. Mr. Solomon Bloom, who represents
New York in Congress, conceived the idea, presumably for
publicity reasons, of betting 20 to 1 that the throw could not
Dozens of State Officials and scores of reporters and
cameramen stood knee-deep in thick ooze on the river banks
while Mr. Johnson, removing his coat, warmed himself by a
few preliminary throws. Then, taking a specially minted dollar,
he tossed it with ease across the 270 feet of turbulent water.
An excited crowd of souvenir hunters fought desperately to
obtain possession of the trophy. The scene was broadcast
throughout the country to millions of interested listeners."
"G. W. E. Russell has a story of how at least one doubter
was silenced before the experiment was made. An Englishman
wondered whether Washington had ever thrown the dollar.
"Of course he did", reported an American diplomat. "To throw
a dollar across the Rappahannock would be nothing to a
man who had pitched a Sovereign across the Atlantic!"
"While searching the web for more information on George
Washington's baseball throw I came across the following
joke: While showing tourists Washington, D.C., a guide
pointed out where George Washington supposedly threw
a dollar across the Potomac River. "That's impossible,"
said a man. "No one could throw a coin that far."
"You have to remember," answered the guide. "A dollar
went a lot farther in those days."
At the following site:
"In 1936, at the age of 44, Cooper was coaxed out of
retirement to attempt to set a new world record of sorts.
The idea was for the lefty-hander to throw a silver dollar
clear across the Monongahela River in downtown Pittsburgh.
Previously, Walter Johnson had hurled a coin 300-feet
across the Rappahannock River in Virginia, something Gen.
George Washington is also credited with accomplishing. But
Cooper could not reach the other bank of the Monongahela,
which was some 900 feet away. When the silver dollar
disappeared into the water, Cooper said, "I never was much
good at throwing money away anyway."
At the following site:
[Now here's A different account of the recreation story. -Editor]
"On February 22, Walter arrived in Fredericksburg to be
greeted by a crowd of 8,000, a large group of reporters, and
a CBS Radio news crew who would be broadcasting the
event live. He made two preliminary throws across the
Rappahannock, the first with a washer that fell just short and
the second with a coin that just did make it. Now before the
newsreel cameras, Johnson made the official toss with a silver
dollar minted in 1779. The coin smoothly sailed over the
freezing waters to land on the other side having cleared an
estimated 317 feet."
At the following site:
Dan adds: "I live in an igloo the frozen north in Canada I
am not very knowledgeable about the coins of the United
States of America. Is it easy to obtain one of the silver
dollars minted in 1779 and are they very expensive?)"
[The first U.S dollar coin is dated 1794. If 1779 is indeed
the correct year, perhaps it was a Spanish coin.. But the first
article said it was a NEW silver dollar. So which was it?
Chick Ambrass writes: "Concerning the comments about "dirty"
money, I have a few comments in response. It's been a number
of years since I've attended Pharmacy School, but I do continue
with my required Continuing Education, and new antibiotics
come to the market every year, and I do try to keep up as
much as possible. The practice of putting the money in
"quarantine" for a day to help with the SARS epidemic was
just so they could say they were doing something...many
bacteria, spores, and viruses can remain dormant for very
long periods, just waiting for the right amount of heat, moisture,
and susceptible host to become active. The comment about
metals and their electroactivity being anti-microbial, as far as
I know....that pertains to silver almost exclusively. The
Phoencians would put silver coins in their water containers to
keep the water fresh over long sea journeys. Right here in the
United States, the explorers heading west during the 1800's also
practiced the same. The comment "born with a silver spoon
in his mouth" was not a statement about wealth...but of "health".
You see, children fed with a silver spoon, as opposed to a
wooden spoon (which was more likely to harbor bacteria)
generally were healthier babies...but it was due to the silver...
not any other substance, either wood, nor copper.
As far as the metal coins having less bacteria because they
are metal....generally accepted as the "dirtiest" item in your
home, is not the floor, not the toilet...but the door knob most
often has more bacteria stuck on its surface than anything
else in your home.
So wash your hands after every time you touch the door
knob, and don't worry about the money, you'll be much
DELIGHTED TO LEARN OF ERROR
Dick Johnson writes: "A tip of my hat and a "thank you"
to Elizabeth Rosenberry who corrected a statement I
had repeated in E-Sylum. I had stated that the founder
of Bois Durci, Charles LePage, had also developed
LePage Glue. Madame Rosenberry attributes the glue
to a Canadian LePage, the French LePage had, indeed,
developed Bois Durci.
I forget where I obtained my incorrect fact – it was several
years ago. [At my age, I can attribute it to long term versus
short term memory. Elsewhere in this issue is the name
Ramona Javitz which popped into my mind, despite that
fact it has been over 35 years since I spoke her name. Now
don’t ask me what I had for lunch today. Wait! It was
potato soup and Oreo Desert.]
I do remember looking in my 2-volume Larousse Universal
Encyclopedia for Bois Durci. Now I remember. I found the
incorrect fact on the Internet. Darn! I should have known
better. My slightly bruised ego takes a back seat to knowing
I now posses a corrected fact in my mental databank. Thanks
NORFOLK COIN HOARD DECLARED TREASURE
Arthur Shippee forwarded the following item from the
Explorator newsletter. He writes: "A hoard of Roman coins
found in Norfolk were declared treasure this week."
From the March 10th article: "A hoard of Roman bronze
coins and a 4th-century gold ring found on farmland in
West Norfolk were declared treasure today.
Stephen Brown found 25 coins, believed to date back to
150AD using a metal detector between December 2003
and January 2004."
"The artefacts have been sent to the British Museum for
analysis, but it is hoped they will be acquired by Norwich
To read the full article, see:
COUNTERFEIT TEST FAILS
On Wednesday, March 9, 2005, the Illinois Journal-Star
published an article noting the shortcomings of a popular
test for determining counterfeit currency.
"When Scott Stanard ordered his usual sausage, egg and
cheese biscuit combo Monday morning, he got two
policemen on the side.
Stanard said the staff at McDonald's, 3600 N. University St.,
called police after he handed over a $10 bill that they said
was a fake.
"I kept wondering why they weren't giving me any change,"
said Stanard, who sat in the drive-thru lane in his work van
for several minutes before deciding to pull up and park."
Two officers arrived, talked to him and went in the restaurant
to get the alleged funny money.
"(The police) said it was old - a 1950s series $10 bill -
and the markers they use don't work on old money,"
Businesses often use a special marker on the bill to test
whether the cash they receive is legitimate. If the mark
turns brown or black, it usually indicates counterfeit money,
otherwise it's the real thing."
"Pingolt recalled a Baltimore man being cuffed and arrested
recently for passing counterfeit $2 bills that later turned
out to be genuine."
To read the full story:
DOLLAR BILLS ON THE WALLS
A review in my local paper earlier this week mentioned
a restaurant with an interesting decor:
"Imagine the familiar crowd, favorite foods and friendly
buzz of our own Tessaro's in Bloomfield. Now add a
deck, a wharf and picnic tables on the beach. That's
Mar Vista in old historic Longboat Village. In a poll a few
years back, USA Today listed it as one of the 10 likeliest
places to meet a millionaire. Dollar bills "paper" the walls,
because it was customary for fishermen to pin a dollar bill
to the wall or ceiling to make sure there would be beer
money in case the day's catch was poor. The tradition
To read the original article:
To visit the restaurant's web site:
[Has anyone been to this restaurant to see the dollar bills?
Are there any other establishments that have this feature?
FEATURED WEB SITE
This week's featured web site is for a research project on
New Hampshire currency. From the press release:
"Q. David Bowers of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and David
M. Sundman of Littleton, New Hampshire announce a website
detailing their long-term New Hampshire Currency Study
Project is now available at www.nhcurrency.com.
To present the scope of the proposed book, New Hampshire
Provincial, State and National Currency, the authors have
published a sample chapter on this website. The chapter
selected features the currency and financial history of Lancaster,
New Hampshire, a town located in northern New Hampshire
and famous to numismatists and note collectors for the “Santa
Claus Note” shown on the home page, issued by the White
Mountain Bank of Lancaster. It concludes with the history and
notes of the Lancaster National Bank.
Additional chapters will be added from time to time. This
project is being done in coordination with the Society of Paper
Money Collectors (SPMC), with help from many museums
and other entities, including the Smithsonian Institution, the
New Hampshire Historical Society, and more.
This expansive project is a work in progress, and help and
contributions of information and suggestions are requested.
Although the work is quite advanced, Bowers and Sundman
are still seeking information regarding rare New Hampshire
currency 1700-1935. All information that is used will be
acknowledged in the published book.
If you possess new information or resources that would assist
in this important work, please contact:
Q. David Bowers
P.O. Box 539
Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896
1309 Mt. Eustis Road
email: info at nhcurrency.com"
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 at this address:
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,
David M. Sundman, Secretary/Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society, P. O. Box 82
Littleton, NH 03561
For Asylum mailing address changes and other
membership questions, contact David at this email
address: dsundman at LittletonCoin.com
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum,
just Reply to this message, or write to the Editor
at this address: whomren at coinlibrary.com
Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers
(or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following
More information about the Esylum