The E-Sylum v9#26, June 25, 2006
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Mon Jun 26 01:53:19 PDT 2006
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 26, June 25, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Among our recent subscribers is Kyle Davis. Welcome aboard!
We now have 930 subscribers.
Several E-Sylum subscribers were at the recent Memphis Paper
Money show, and some have provided us with reports. This issue
also brings sad news of the loss of one of our members.
We have some more information on the Count Ferrari collection
catalogue, and U.S. Numismatic personalities mentioned this week
include Luther B. Tuthill, Augustus G. Heaton and George Massamore.
For U.S. numismatic researchers, David Gladfelter discusses a
"directory of directories" listing known City Directories before
1860 and where to find them. David also discusses civil war
cardboard scrip, and George Kimmich has queries about two
Topics related to the U.S. Mint include reports on the launch
ceremony for the Colorado State Quarter, the release of the new
24-karat American Buffalo gold coins and behind-the-scenes looks at
the West Point Mint. Other topics await. To learn why an Australian
Mint worker walked a little funny, read on.
Thanks once again to all the great folks at American Numismatic
Rarities for their handling of my consignment. I was both nervous
and excited as I followed the bidding online this week, and I can't
help but be pleased with the overall result. The postage stamp
envelopes drew spirited bidding as did the star of the show, the
Sand's Ale encased piece. I trust that my collections of
counterstamps, Encased Postage Stamps and other Civil War numismatica
have found good homes. I couldn't attend the sale in person, and I'd
be pleased to hear from some of the bidders.
One subscriber told me that when he recently asked a prominent U.S.
paper money dealer about postage stamp envelopes, he had no idea what
he was talking about. Hopefully the auction has served to educate
a few people about some interesting byways of numismatics. Have a
great week, everyone.
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
NBS President Pete Smith writes: "Rick Nickles reported the June 18
death of his wife, Valerie. She was from Stevens Point, WI, and
joined NBS in November, 2005. We are sorry for Rick's loss."
MEMPHIS SPMC AUTHOR'S FORUM REPORT
An E-Sylum subscriber submitted the following report on the author's
forum at the recent Memphis Paper Money show:
1) The meeting was held in a function room at the Memphis Marriott
on Friday, June 16th, early in the afternoon. The ground rules were
laid out by Bob Schreiner of the Society of Paper Money Collectors
(SPMC). Each speaker would have 15 minutes to talk about his/her
book(s) and publishing intrigues encountered.
2) The first speaker was Carlson Chambliss, who talked about his
contribution to the new Hessler/Chambliss US Paper Money catalog.
As expected, the verbose Dr. Chambliss sailed right through the 15
minute limit and had to be curtailed by Bob Schreiner. The new book
was passed around the room. The prevailing opinion seems to be that
combining forces to produce this book was a brilliant idea. Instead
of continuing to produce competing volumes, Hessler and Chambliss
have used their expertise in different facets of US Paper Money to
produce a great book. This may be a case of the whole being greater
than the sum of its parts.
3) The next speaker was Gene Hessler. Gene talked about the
difficulty of gaining access to engravers in far flung parts of the
world, and how his perseverance ultimately paid off. He also
talked about some of the vagaries of the book printing field. Gene
seems to think Eastern Europe may offer the best bargain in terms of
quality and price.
4) Wendell Wolka was up next. As you may know, Wendell authored
a massive tome on a subject once thought to be too overwhelming:
The Obsolete Bank Notes of Ohio. Wendell posed the question:
"How do you notify the buyers of your catalog of the updates that
have occurred since the volume was published?". Wendell ran through
several print options and explained why each had substantial drawbacks.
He then explained that for him, the ideal means of handling updates
was the CD/ROM. The cost of producing a CD/ROM with the updates
was under $1.00 per copy. Oddly, the cost of the label was more
expensive than pressing the CD/ROM.
5) Q. David Bowers was the next speaker. Dave talked about his
various projects with Whitman since the firm was acquired by the
Anderson brothers. Since this was a paper money forum, he devoted
more time to the paper money books he has authored recently, including
his US Paper Money reference, the '100 Greatest US Paper Money Notes'
book, and the soon to be released book on Obsolete US Bank Notes.
Dave talked about locating original reference sources that presumably
have never been previously tapped for numismatic purposes.
6) Mary Counts of Whitman Publishing was the next speaker. Mary is
A charming young woman from Atlanta. She introduced herself as the
President of Whitman and went on to describe how her parent firm had
purchased Whitman and revitalized it. She said that Whitman would
entertain any numismatic publishing project that appeared viable.
Someone in the audience asked about the minimum number of books
they needed to sell to make a project worthwhile. Mary's answer was
5,000 copies, but they might make exceptions in certain cases.
[Many thanks to our correspondent for the detailed report! -Editor]
THE LUTHER B. TUTHILL NUMISMATIC SPELLING BEE
Neil Shafer writes: "Just wanted to inform you of a small paper
money price list I located at the recently-completed Memphis paper
show. Its title is "Price List/No. 27/Antiquated Paper Money";
then in smaller type on the cover, "Strong in Confederates and
some interesting Miscelanea." At the top in quotes, "We all have
our hobbies", with the same wording in a circular rendition of a
witch on broomstick at center. Issuer is Luther B. Tuthill, South
Creek, Beaufort County N.C. 1916. Its dimensions are 90 x 151mm,
with 30 pages.
There are no illustrations, only the listings. But the most
startling characteristic of at least this particular price list
is the totally abominable and frequent misspellings! It's positively
amazing to see so many, some really flagrant. For example: the cover
word as quoted above; then on p. 7, "Massamore's Catalog is now twenty
seven years old and a revizd List has been needed...; Mr. Bradbeer's
has come to the rescu"; also on p. 7, "Finding the bunch of $100. and
$50. Richmonds is mor or less a mistery but the fact is they wer placed
on the market and prices hav dropt...when the 'find' is absorded, prices
wil again strengthen...prices are pretty wel standardized and there is
little dout but prices wil stedily advance." The book is replete with
such! And does anyone know who Massamore was?
Tuthill offered Confederate Treasury Notes, Southern States Bills,
Broken Bank Bills, Shinplasters, U.S. Fractional Currency, Colonial
Currency, Continental Currency, Bills in Whole Sheets and Miscellanea
(this included groups, world notes, coupons, Civil War envelopes,
tickets, newspapers, a couple of large-size U.S. notes (these being
the Educational $1 1896 Unc. for $1.60 and a $2 US Greenback, first
issue Unc. for $2.75), and some books. Quite a list! Does anyone
have information on Tuthill? I have heard of him somewhere along
the line but couldn't tell you where. Just thought it was interesting
and unusual enough to share."
[I have some of Tuthill's publications in my ephemera files, and do
recall some questionable spellings. Does anyone else have a collection
of these? It would be interesting to know if his spelling improved over
time. As for Massamore, see the next item for more information. -Editor]
Neil Shafer asked about a reference to "Massamore" in a Luther Tuthill
price list. Some background on Massamore was provided by Augustus G.
Heaton in an interesting article, "A Tour Among the Coin Dealers" in
the January 1895 issue of The Numismatist. Dave Bowers reprinted this
article in his book, "The History of United States Coinage" and it's
also online at the PCGS web site. Here's Heaton's take on Massamore:
"Baltimore comes next in our tour. Dr. George Massamore is there to
be sought in two or three places. As a coin dealer, he has a counter,
showcase, and fireproof and show window in one side of the store on
North Charles Street, the other side being given up to an optician's
business. As a dentist he is found at times at his residence, and as
a politician he has long held some office at this City Hall. There he
is perhaps now less occupied, as the Republicans have been drawing so
many teeth of late that his party has very little of even a jaw left.
Dr. Massamore is of middle age, of mild pleasant manner, somewhat bald,
and has been known many years as a coin dealer of experience and a
cataloguer of many collections."
To read the complete article, see:
AMERICAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE
As reported in this week's American Numismatic Society's E-News:
"Medals Concerning John Law and the Mississippi System" by ANS Trustee
John Adams is now available for purchase from the David Brown Book
Company at: http://www.oxbowbooks.com/bookinfo.cfm/ID/60267
On May 12th Dr. Peter van Alfen was in Austin, Texas, to present
to Professor John H. Kroll a Festschrift in his honor. This volume,
"Agoranomia: studies in money and exchange presented to John H. Kroll"
will be published by the ANS this summer and will be available through
the ANS or David Brown Books."
BOOK: COINS OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
A web site visitor writes: "I'm Zlatko Viščević, a numismatist from
Croatia, also an author of Croatian coin catalog and editor of the
largest Croatian numismatic website:
Zlatko's book is titled "Coins of the Republic of Croatia from
Independence to the Present Day". From the web site:
"More then ten years have already passed since Republic of Croatia
has established its first coins - kuna and lipa. The idea for preparing
this book ... was born with the wish to present all the coin issues
from 1993 through a systematic and quality presentation. Besides all,
this catalog has the intention to present the modem Croatian coin
collection, not only worldwide but also to the domestic people, who
are every day in contact with the Croatian coins but know so little
about them. Because of the above mentioned reasons, this catalog is
not intended for coin collectors only, but also for all who are
interested in getting knowledge about the modern Croatian coins."
For more information, see:
MORE ON THE COUNT FERRARI COLLECTION
Bob Leonard writes: "Karel Langenaken is correct that Count Ferrari
is referenced in that work so essential to all numismatic bibliomaniacs,
Elvira Clain-Stefanelli's Numismatic Bibliography. There are seven
references to him in the index (p. 1723), to various auctions by
Ciani and others. This is too long a list to give in full here, but
Mr. Langenaken should have no difficulty locating a copy of this book."
[Note that Clain-Stefanelli's Numismatic Bibliography is not to be
confused with her preliminary work, the "Select Numismatic Bibliography"
of 1965. The full "Numismatic Bibliography" was published in 1984.
Chris Faulkner writes: "The collection was sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson
& Hodge in London over five days from March 27 to March 31, 1922.
However, the title of the sale does not mention Ferrari by name, but
(famously) reads as follows: “Catalogue of the Famous and Remarkable
Collection of British and Colonial Coins, Patterns & Proofs From
George III to the Present Day, Formed by A Nobleman, Recently Deceased.”
The catalogue of the sale comprises 710 lots and 15 plates. It is
Douglas Saville of Spink writes: "Baron Philippe de Ferrari La
Renotiere's magnificent collection of British and Colonial Coins,
Patterns and Proofs from George III to the present day..... was sold
by Sotheby, in London 27-31 March, 1922. The (unnamed) catalogue states
the collection was formed by "A Nobleman, Recently Deceased". The
catalogue comprises lots, and 17 plates..........he had other sales
of French and ancient coins....... held in Paris."
Ronald Greene writes: "You might pass on to your enquirer, that I
have a copy of the “Nobleman” sale by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge,
from March 1922. Mine is hardbound and the leather label states
In an E-Sylum first, Bruno Collin of Paris, France forwarded the
following information on Ferrari, in French (pay attention!):
"Philipp la Renotière von Ferrary (né le 11 janvier 1850 à Paris -
mort le 20 mai 1917 à Lausanne) est un célèbre collectionneur de
timbres-poste à plusieures nationalités dont l'autrichienne, né et
résidant en l'hôtel Matignon à Paris.
Fils de Raffaele de Ferrari, duc de Galliera et prince de Lucedio
et de la duchesse née Maria de Brignole-Sale. Au moment du décès
de son père, il renonçait à tous les titres et utilisait le
pseudonyme de Ferrary.
Collectionneur dès sa jeunesse, il utilise sa fortune pour se
procurer les timbres les plus rares. Il habitait Paris et voyageait
souvent pour rencontrer des marchands de timbres qu'il payait rubis
Soucieux de rendre sa collection accessible au public, il en fait
don au musée postal de Berlin, le 30 janvier 1915. Cependant, étant
citoyen autrichien vivant en France pendant la Première Guerre
mondiale, il s'exile en Suisse, en laissant ses albums de timbres
à l'ambassade d'Autriche à Paris.
Après la guerre et la mort de Ferrary, le gouvernement français
confisque sa collection comme réparation de guerre. L'ensemble est
dispersé au cours de 14 ventes pendant les années 1920.
Parmi les timbres rarissimes qu'il a possédés, s'est trouvé
l'unique Tre skilling jaune suédois."
HUMOROUS AND SATIRICAL WORLD WAR I TOKENS AND MEDALS SOUGHT
Dennis Tucker of Atlanta writes: "I'm looking for scans or photos
of World War I (Allied only) satirical and humorous tokens, medals,
tooled/altered coins, and trench art. This is for inclusion in an
upcoming book on humor and satire in the Great War. If you have an
interesting piece in your collection, please contact me at
denmig at earthlink.net."
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AMERICAN DIRECTORIES BEFORE 1860
David Gladfelter writes: "U. S. city directories are very useful
for researching merchants and others who issued tokens and paper
scrip. Don't overlook the merchant advertisements in them as an
additional source of information.
Some libraries may have them on microfilm. The New Jersey State
Library, in addition to its extensive runs of original Trenton and
Newark directories, has microfilm directories for New York City,
Chicago, Cincinnati and other major U. S. cities. The Free Public
Library of Philadelphia no longer permits you to use the original
directories because of their fragile condition; you must use the
Directories are hard to locate for a personal library. John Ford's
directories that were auctioned by George Frederick Kolbe were
the most extensive private run I have seen.
There is a "directory of directories" by Dorothea N. Spear that
lists, for many cities and towns, the years in which directories
are known to have been published and in what libraries they may be
found. The title is "Bibliography of American Directories through
1860" (Worcester, MA, American Antiquarian Society, 1961). It's
not too well known."
CIVIL WAR CARDBOARD SCRIP
Speaking of city directory research, David Gladfelter inquired
about the John Adam's cardboard scrip (lot 850) in my consignment
to this week's American Numismatic Rarities sale:
I responded "This one came from Benj Fauver, but many of my cardboard
pieces came from the Proskey/Boyd/Ford collections. I learned prior
to the sale that the attributions in the Bowers & Merena Patterson
sale were by Doug Ball. Proskey bought Henry Ezekiel’s collection
and some of the pieces Ball attributed to NYC are actually from
Cincinnati. Ezekiel wrote an article for The Numismatist in 1912:
Civil War Card Money of Cincinnati, 1861-1865 (Vol.25, 1912 JUN,
Pg.218). Other articles from the NIP index include:
War Cardboard Money In Savannah \ANA\Vol.31\1918 FEB\Pg.94
Cardboard Money Of the Civil War (C. Albert Jacob, Jr.)
David Gladfelter adds: "I also attended the Proskey-Boyd sale and
scarfed up most of the New Jersey lots. I later illustrated them
in color for our local exonumia society newsletter, Jerseyana.
They included the Demarest and Ward set of three 6-subject forms
you may remember, with the address 105 Broad Street. City directory
research proved that these chits were from Newark.
Doug Ball made many errors in this catalog, which was unlike him.
He must have been very rushed. All of the lots went to six bidders.
I have the paddle numbers of each bidder. They were Steve Tanenbaum,
Ray Waltz, Dr. York, myself and now you -- one still unidentified
(possibly David Schenkman).
During lot viewing I saw the importance of making a record of this
collection and offered to pay Dave Bowers whatever it would cost to
use the hotel copier to do this. He couldn't get permission so I
tried to stare hard at each piece to record them in my memory. What
I recall now was the very bright colors of the cardboard and the
fabric -- they seemed to have been made like plywood, with a light
coating of thin colored paper over an inner pithy material. That's
probably why many of the backs peeled off when the chits were
removed from the mounting.
I wrote several articles at the time, for TAMS Journal and CWTS
Journal, about the Civil War cardboard chits and even started a
catalog of them, but dropped it for lack of time and failure to
record the Proskey-Boyd items. To this day there's no catalog.
The cardboard chits did not go out of use when the copper and
brass tokens came along - they were used throughout the Civil War.
I have two from Wisconsin with 1863 dates and saw one (from Pewaukee)
plated in a Kirtley sale with an 1864 date, which unfortunately I
didn't get - it would have proven my point."
COUNTERSTAMP INFORMATION SOUGHT: ROBERT(S) DYE WORKS, F. VOLZ
George Kimmich writes: "As Nick Graver assured me, I have indeed
enjoyed reading my first three issues of The E-Sylum. Noting your
wonderful collection and recent sale of counter-stamped coins was
of particular interest to me and reminded me of two questions I
have regarding counter-stamped coins in my possession. Perhaps
you or a reader knows the answers.
The first item is an 1845 Victoria farthing bearing the
The references that I have for this kind of item show counterstamps
that have the word ROBERTS with an S. There is no trace of an S
after ROBERT on my coin. The S in the word WORKS is visible but
quite faint because most of the counterstamp is over a raised portion
of the image of Britannia on the reverse of the coin, but that S fell
on a flat unraised portion of the planchet.
I wondered if the missing S on ROBERTS was due to a similar problem,
but with considerable magnification I see no evidence that the S
was present on the stamp used to create the counterstamp. With the
exception of the S in the word WORKS the entire counterstamp is very
vivid. The 3rd Edition of Russ Rulau's 'Standard Catalog of United
States Tokens 1700-1900 (page 623) shows an 1883 farthing that has
the S on ROBERTS and makes no mention of any token he has examined
that lacks the S. He also mentions several dates that have been
examined, with the earliest being 1847. Apparently most of the known
tokens are from the 1880's. A small hoard discovered in the 1970's
is mentioned, but without identifying whether they were early or
late examples, or any unusual versions.
My questions: Are other tokens known that have a missing S? Is it
possible that my token was the result of a first attempt by the
counterstamp device maker who neglected to include the S? I have
always wondered if I have a unique example (or nearly so) of this
The second item I have is an 1838 O Seated Liberty Dime bearing
the counterstamp F VOLZ. I can't find a reference to this counterstamp,
although I don't have access to the major reference book on counterstamps.
Can anyone provide information on the merchant? Thank you."
WELSH RUGBY FANS STRANDED IN ARGENTINA WITH EXPIRED BANKNOTES
Philip Mernick forwarded an article from the BBC about a group of
Welsh rugby fans who arrived for a match in Argentina with wallets
full of worthless currency, thanks to a mixup at the Post Office.
Philip writes: "Even the Post Office can issue worthless notes!"
Here are a couple excerpts from the article:
"Some supporters were given dud 100 peso notes when exchanging
currency before leaving, which they said they later found had
expired in 1991.
The fans, also disappointed at Wales' two defeats, said they
were left red faced when they went to spend the cash.
The Post Office said it would fully investigate how the mix-up
"When I went to use the money they told me when the currency
collapsed in 1991 and they issued new notes, the ones I had
"They had been ordered from the head office and came in a
sealed bag. They looked to be brand new notes that had not
been used before."
"The banks would not take them, the shops would not take them
- it was dead money," he said. "
To read the complete article, see:
ANS NUMISMATIC CONVERSATIONS: CONNECTICUT COPPERS
The American Numismatic Society's E-News reports that "This summer
the ANS will begin "Numismatic Conversations" -- a monthly series
of informal hands-on roundtable discussions with experts from
diverse backgrounds, who will explore various subjects connected
to the study and collecting of coins, currency and related artifacts.
Our first in this series will be on Wednesday July 26 at 6:30 PM
in the ANS headquarters, 96 Fulton Street in Manhattan. For this
initial session, Curator of North American Coins and Currency Robert
Hoge will lead a discussion of the intriguing 18th century coinage
known as "Connecticut Coppers." The ANS has the finest and most
complete selection of these coins in existence, and Bob will be
showing and talking about some of the rare examples we have in the
There is no charge to participate, but pre-registration is encouraged.
If you have questions, or would like to reserve a seat at this
numismatic roundtable, call the membership/events office at
212 571-4470, extension 1311, or email pelletier at numismatics.org."
MEMPHIS AUTHOR'S FORUM COMPLIMENTARY BOOK
An E-Sylum subscriber writes: "I just got back from the Memphis show,
where I attended the numismatic authors conference. You had an
article about this in the June 11th edition of The E-sylum.
The reason I attended the conference is because the E-sylum piece
asserted that free copies of the book 'The 100 Greatest US Paper
Money Notes' by Bowers and Sundman would be available. Such was
not the case. Someone goofed in telling you that these books would
I rechecked the June 11 issue to confirm the offer and contacted
Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing. He writes: "Yes, there were
supposed to be complimentary books at the presentation. Everyone
will be taken care of.
Thanks again for helping publicize the SPMC's presentation. This
shows that people read The E-Sylum and take action from it...
music to a newsletter editor's ears!"
Mary Counts writes: "The books were finally located on Saturday,
as they had accidentally been delivered to the wrong area. Anyway,
we will have a chance to mail each person in attendance a free
copy of the book."
NEIL SHAFER'S ALMOND DELIGHT NOTE ARTICLE PUBLISHED
Neil Shafer writes: "My article on the Almond Delight paper money
offerings is now in the latest issue of Numismatic News. If anyone
has anything to add, please write a Letter to the Editor at
Numismatic News so everyone can see what other parts of the
story there are."
COLORADO QUARTER LAUNCH CEREMONY REPORT
Last week we published some press accounts of the Colorado state
quarter launch ceremony. Sorry for the incomplete headline,
which should have been something like "Colorado State Quarters
Launched in Denver Ceremony".
Steve Dippolito writes: "I attended the release (the descriptions
in the newspapers are pretty much accurate), bought several rolls,
and I've been giving the coins in one roll away to people at work
who I know are interested. I also mailed four to a collector friend
in Georgia. I'll be visiting Texas soon; I need to hand a few out
down there to explain to them what a state quarter *should* look
They passed out a program -- I snagged several copies. The Army
had some sort of booth there as well since it was both Flag Day and
the birthday of the Army. I even saw them cutting a birthday cake
with a sword. As far as I could see however, none of that had
anything to do with this event other than being in the same place.
For five dollars you could get a fancy commemorative set (printed
on card stock) that had both Denver and Philadelphia mint quarters
in it. I bought one of those, too.
The night before there was some sort of forum for coin collectors.
I was originally signed up for that but would have had to brave
rush-hour traffic through a major Denver construction zone to go
I would have to say that the design looks a lot better than I expected
it to, on the basis of the drawings I had seen. The drawings showed
what looked like a large blank area in the center of the coin; the
engraver managed to fill it with ridges. I understand, that the
artist has "fessed up" and states that the mountain scenery is based
on a photo of Longs Peak.
According to an unscientific poll I saw online given by a Denver TV
station, 60% or so of respondents wanted the Pikes Peak design (in
spite of it being a Colorado Springs landmark), 30% wanted the Longs
Peak/Colorful Colorado design, and the rest was split among the other
three alternatives. The favorite where I work was the Maroon Bells
GOLD BUFFALO BULLION COIN DEBUTS
In other U.S. Mint news, the Tom Noe-inspired 24-karat American
Buffalo gold coins debuted Tuesday. USA Today published a generic
story based on press releases, but it includes nice images of the
"The U.S. Mint in West Point, N.Y., will produce the one-ounce
coins in both a bullion version for investors and a proof version
for collectors. The coins are to go on sale on Thursday."
"The design is a replica of the popular buffalo nickel minted from
1913 to 1938. The golden buffalo has a buffalo standing on a grassy
mound on one side and a stern-looking Indian chief on the other
side, duplicating the images created by artist James Earle Fraser
for the nickel.
"Many people will recall getting a nickel with the Indian head
and the buffalo. It is really a beautiful design and evokes
wonderful images," the deputy director of the Mint, David Lebryk,
said in an interview.
The buffalo without the Indian chief made a brief comeback on the
nickel last year as one of the designs used to commemorate the
200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition."
To read the complete article, see:
WEST POINT MINT ARTICLE
The Journal News of White Plains, NY published a nice story about
the West Point Mint on June 21:
"Who knew? Just 5 miles north of Bear Mountain is $7.92 billion
in gold bullion, right next to a golf course.
One of the best-kept secrets in the Lower Hudson Valley is the
existence of the U.S. Mint at West Point. There are no public tours.
The place doesn't promote itself. Hidden in a sloping field behind
a gray storage shed for golf carts, the heavily fortified facility
isn't even visible from its entrance off state Route 218.
The smallest of the four mints operated by the U.S. Treasury, the
West Point Mint yielded a few of its secrets yesterday. Coin brokers
and the media were invited for a rare tour of the plant in connection
with the official release of the American Buffalo, the nation's first
24-karat, one-ounce gold coin."
"It employs 200 people, about 75 of whom are armed officers. It is
a slow process entering the mint, and a slow process leaving it.
The plant is surrounded with two lengths of 30-foot-high fencing
topped with barbed wire. Visitors pass through an outdoor turnstile
monitored by a guard, and into a small building with more guards and
a metal detector. They then walk across a broad paved lot to the plant
itself, a windowless concrete warehouse of a building with truck bays
and still more guards and another metal detector."
"It was a festive mood at the plant yesterday. Many of the employees
looked on while mint officials talked about the American Buffalo with
the visitors and demonstrated its manufacture on two of the nine
mechanical presses on site."
To read the complete article, see:
Here's another local article from the Times Herald-Record:
AUSTRALIAN MINT WORKER CONVICTED IN COIN THEFT
Some of the West Point Mint's heavy security might have come in
handy down under. Philip Mernick writes: "Here is the trial verdict
on the Australian Mint worker who "filled his boots"."
"William Bosia Grzeskowiak was jailed for three years for stealing
A$135,000 ($100,000) in new two-dollar coins over a 10 month period
up to February 2006.
He avoided detection by hiding the coins in his steel-tipped boots,
sometimes putting 150 coins in each."
To read the complete article, see:
[He walked like the Frankenstein monster and jingled a bit, but I
guess that wasn't enough out of the ordinary to call for a search.
WHERE ARE YOU, TOMMY THOMPSON?
Regarding Bob Evans' response to the Forbes article on the Central
America investors, Alan V. Weinberg writes: "I read the article.
Any alleged Forbes author bias or refusal to print Evans' laudatory
comments on Thompson must be seen in the context of the numerous
complaints from many S.S. Central America financiers and investors
who've not seen a penny return on their investment over a decade
ago. Additionally, since no one knows where Thompson is and any
investigation as to his whereabouts has been futile, it could well
be that he is hiding from his creditors and authorities. Thompson,
until he surfaces and explains, must be condemned.
I felt the greatest weakness in the Forbes article was not including
a photograph of Tommy Thompson (several readily available color images
in the rear of the Gold Rush Bowers book ) instead of a generic artist's
rendition which could apply to hundreds of thousands of men. Including
a color photograph could have resulted in some positive sightings
amongst the multi-million person Forbes readership.
I went the next day to the public library and read the Forbes Thompson
/Central America article. Several pages - plenty of clear, crisp
pictures of the primary wealthy investors (3 or 4 closeup), some deep
sea pictures of the submerged gold, etc.
I found it very odd that the entire article did not have a photographic
picture of Thompson, the alleged absconder no one could now locate so
that one of the millions of readers might spot him somewhere.
The only image was on the article's 1st page, an artsy computer
graphic image of a handsome bearded man, from the side at an angle,
closeup. I said this looked like thousands of bearded 30-40ish men.
What, no photograph of him? How odd. I went to my Bowers Gold Rush
book, which was as I recall even mentioned in the article, and sure
enough, there were plenty of good clear color pictures of Thompson,
many depicting him wearing wire rim spectacles which the article's
computer graphic image was not. That's like issuing a Wanted poster
with a pencil sketch of the criminal sought when you have unused good
clear photographic images of the criminal at hand. What a waste!"
WHEN A MILL PAID IN SILVER DOLLARS
A subscriber writes: "I found this article interesting, and think
other E-Sylum patients will too!"
[The article is about a Darington, SC business that paid its
workers in silver dollars in an attempt to illustrate how much
its presence meant to the community financially. Here are a few
"Fred Mattox planned to attend Saturday's West End Reunion, but
he wasn't going to take with him the 60 silver dollars he was
paid on Dec. 1, 1950, at the Darlington Manufacturing Co.
It was called a "silver dollar payroll" and all employees of the
cotton mill were paid in silver dollars. The payroll was about
$28,000 and weighed 1,680 pounds."
"The mill owner, Roger Milliken, wanted employees to spend the
silver dollars in Darlington to show the economic impact mill
employees had on the town," Mattox said. "There was some controversy
about Darlington Manufacturing Co. not putting out much money for
the economy. Milliken was determined to show how much the company
put out for the town."
Mattox was in the maintenance department in 1950. He knew if he
held on to the silver dollars, they would appreciate in value. He
was offered $20 each for them at one time, but turned the offer down.
He keeps the silver dollars in a safe deposit box at a local bank.
The oldest was minted in 1879 and the newest in 1934. He still has
the cotton bag they came in."
"The event wasn't just at the Darlington plant. Every plant in the
Deering Milliken group was paid in silver dollars. Bags of silver
dollars were on display in the Citizens Bank, a forerunner of Bank
of America. The display advertised the $28,000 payroll."
To read the complete article, see:
ON INDEXING PERIODICALS
Last week Kerry Rodgers wrote that "editors NEVER index their own
creations. Some dedicated soul pops out of the woodwork..."
Martin Purdy writes: "Well, curiously, I decided about six months
ago that it was time we had an updated Index to the New Zealand
Numismatic Journal, so I started doing just that in my spare time.
Most of the rest of my spare time is taken up being Editor of the
NZNJ. (And curiously again, the last Index that was published as
a separate volume was prepared by the then current editor back in
I take Kerry's point, though - someone has to have the idea and
it's usually taken individually (I only realised I had better tell
someone else in the RNSNZ a couple of months into the project)."
WASHROOM WARRIOR ARTICLE REFERENCE
Eric von Klinger of Coin World writes: "The date of David
Alexander's Research Desk article on this subject is May 9, 1994.
It ran on page 51."
SECRET SERVICE SIEZES "MILLION DOLLAR GOSPEL TRACTS"
According to an article posted June 22 on the WorldNetDaily.com
web site, "A federal judge in Dallas yesterday ruled against a
Christian group whose "million-dollar" gospel tracts were seized
by the U.S. Secret Service as "counterfeit money," and a
wheelchair-bound man in Las Vegas claims a Secret Service agent
threatened him with arrest for passing out the same tracts.
Brian Fahling of the American Family Association Center for Law
and Policy, which is representing the Denton, Texas-based Great
News Network, had asked the judge to order immediately the return
of 8,300 tracts seized by the Secret Service and to prevent the
government agency's local field office from arresting anyone who
Fahling told WorldNetDaily he's unsure at this point what the
judge's negative decision will mean for the Christian evangelists
who have been using the tracts, which mimic U.S. currency but
have disclaimers along with a gospel message on the back."
"The Secret Service insists the tract violates a federal law that
says reproductions of currency cannot be regulation size and cannot
Fahling contends the sections of the U.S. code's title 18 cited
by the government, 475 and 504, don't apply.
He argues 475 deals only with authorized denominations – there
is no $1 million bill – and 504 pertains only to exact copies of
currency. The tracts have numerous differences, including the
gospel message on the back, he points out.
The judge in Dallas yesterday, Jorge A. Solis, indicated the
tract is not sufficiently distinct from actual currency."
To read the complete article, see:
NEW YORK SUBWAY BOOTH WORKER TAKES A SNOOZE
It should be no surprise that New York subway booth workers' jobs
have changed since the phaseout of the subway token. Here's an
article about one who got caught napping on the job.
"Rip van Wiggins has had a rude awakening. The MTA has fired station
agent Wayne Wiggins, 37, who earned $77,000 sitting - and sometimes
snoozing - in his booth, transit officials said.
"This should be a serious wake-up call for workers who believe
they can sleep on duty," NYC Transit spokesman Charles Seaton said."
"There are 3,400 station agents in the subways, who earn a total of
$170 million staffing the old token booths or working in a new role -
outside the booths - helping passengers."
To read the complete article, see:
FEATURED WEB PAGE: THE DENVER MINT
John and Nancy Wilson of Ocala, FL write: "We usually do an
elongated coin for the ANA World's Fair of Money Summer Conventions.
While trying to get a view of the Denver Mint we ran across this
excellent site that talks about the mint and other interesting
Denver Numismatic items. With the ANA going to Denver this summer
it would be a timely site for the readers of The E-Sylum."
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
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