The E-Sylum v9#48, November 26, 2006

esylum at esylum at
Sun Nov 26 20:21:32 PST 2006

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 48, November 26, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


This week's issue brings a typical smorgasbord of numismatic 
topics, beginning with reviews of two new books - one on U.S. 
Southern States currency, the other a compilation of contemporary 
newspaper articles relating to numismatics published in 18th 
century Nova Scotia newspapers. 

Proving that a good numismatic bibliophile can connect virtually 
any topic to numismatics, Harry Waterson reveals an interesting 
personal friendship linking basketball founder James Naismith to 
a leading medal sculptor of the 20th century.

In research queries this week, George Fuld seeks information about 
the 1792 Washington Cent in gold.  Other queries include a reminder 
for collectors to support the funding of the old San Francisco 
Mint numismatic museum by purchasing the commemorative coins from 
the U.S. Mint.  The Mint this week officially launched another 
series of coins - the Presidential dollar coins were unveiled to 
the mainstream press this week, generating multiple articles and 

And finally, proving that politics is never far from numismatics, 
we have one short follow-up on last week's discussion of the American 
Numismatic Association, and we close with two articles on numismatics,
politics and religion, one on the ongoing "In God We Trust" battle, 
and the other on coins and archeology in Jerusalem.   

To learn the name of our 1,000th subscriber, read on.  Have a 
great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Ken Berger writes: "I see no reason to give the 1000th subscriber 
any special gift or book or whatever.  It is purely by the luck of 
the draw that that individual is the 1000th subscriber. Simple 
recognition should be sufficient. 

If anybody is to receive a book or medal or special gift or whatever, 
it should be you. Also, you say you have 1000 subscribers, are they 
all active? Are they all still living? If not, then you only have a 
list of 1000 individuals who at one time or the other are (or were) 
receiving The E-Sylum."

[It is indeed luck of the draw.  And there is no cumulative list of 
subscribers, just a snapshot of the mailing list as it stands today.  
People subscribe randomly, and some subscribe under multiple email 
addresses.  Sometimes they unsubscribe.  More often, they switch 
email addresses and later resubscribe under a new address.  Their 
old address eventually goes away when our email list provider gets 
bounced messages from the obsolete address.  So what we're celebrating 
is the symbolic milestone of the mailing list growing to 1,000 
current addresses. -Editor]

Bob Rightmire writes: "I tend not to get caught up with a single 
number; numbers 999 or even 299 are important too. After publishing 
subscriber 1000's name, the spotlight should then turn to the very 
"publication" that we are reading. Might this be a time to honor 
all those, with you leading the way, who have made this wonderful 
source of information available? I indeed feel fortunate to be part 
of this circle."

Jerry Roschwalb writes: "To all who are involved in producing this 
interesting and informative publication, congratulations and thank 
you for all your successful efforts and results.  My best wishes to 
you for wonderful and joyful holidays and a productive and healthful 

[As noted last week, knowing that the effort is appreciated by such 
a great group of readers is what keeps me going each week.  Thanks!!  


Way back on November 16, 2003, a web site visitor wrote to pose a 
question about a "drooling dollar"  He had read (but later discarded) 
a Numismatist article on the unusual banknote.  He recalled: "The 
article said that this dollar was released but corrected immediately 
and if anyone got a hold of one of the drooling dollars it could 
fetch a dandy price. At an antique shop I found one of each, the 
drooling and non drooling dollar featuring this prince's portrait, 
and a stunning leopard or tiger on the back.  I am wondering if I 
can find out what country it is from."


The banknote turned out to be from Nepal. I had forgotten to follow 
up with the writer, but posted his query and subsequent responses 
in the E-Sylum issues.  As with all issues, these were archived on 
the web.  Just this week he happened across the web page and writes: 
"Thank you for posting my question.  The answers were greatly 
appreciated.  E-Sylum readers Joe Boling and Neil Shafer were able 
to answer my question."

In his message, he also asked to become a subscriber, so bringing 
the E-Sylum subscriber list to the 1000 mark is Jim Driscoll! 
Congratulations on helping us reach this milestone.  Other new 
subscribers this week include Howard Wheeler and John Dembinski.  
Welcome aboard, all. We now have 1003 subscribers!  

By coincidence, the circumstances of our 1,000th subscriber are 
fairly representative of what The E-Sylum is all about - sharing 
numismatic information not just among ourselves, but with the greater 
community.  By publishing our back issues on the web we are making a 
large body of information available to a general public that had 
little ability to access top numismatic experts in the past.  By 
connecting people across many miles (and many years) we contribute 
to raising the global numismatic I.Q. while at the same time making 
more people aware of the precious trove of knowledge to be found in 
numismatic literature.  Thank you all for being a part of this. 


Whitman Publishing is releasing a new book by Hugh Shull titled 
"A Guide Book of Southern States Currency."  Illustrated mainly 
from the collection of Gene D. Mintz, the book should be a welcome 
addition in an area where most of the key references have long been 
out of print.  From the company's press release:

"Building on the classic foundation laid by Colonel Grover Criswell, 
Whitman Publishing presents an authoritative 448-page guide to the 
state-issued money of the South, from the pre-Civil War era through 
the war years, and into the late 1800s. Paper currency expert Hugh 
Shull's first-hand knowledge of today's market is combined with 
historical text by researcher Wendell Wolka. Detailed descriptions, 
hundreds of full-color images, and valuations in multiple grade 
levels make this book required reading for both the historian and 
the collector.

"Hugh Shull goes beyond Criswell, with more useful information, 
values, and other features than Grover ever dreamed of," says 
numismatic historian Q. David Bowers in the foreword. "This great 
new book is absolutely essential to anyone interested in Southern 
states currency."

The book offers an in-depth study of the paper money of Alabama, 
Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, the Indian Territory, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, 
Texas, and Virginia.

"Southern States Currency is more than an update of old work," 
says Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker. "Hugh Shull has gathered 
new information on the notes issued by these states, and he's 
corrected erroneous research published by other authors. For the 
collector, dealer, or investor, Hugh's numismatic expertise is 
especially seen in the rarity listings and market valuations. 
For the historian, Wendell Wolka's research provides a solid 
foundation and background."

The book includes notes published in full color for the first time 
(such as the 1861 $500 Virginia Treasury Note), as well as images 
of notes that have never been made public before.

A Guide Book of Southern States Currency will be available in 
January 2007. Pre-orders are now being taken at

448 pages. Full color.
$24.95 in paperback; $29.95 in hardcover spiral."


Ray Williams of Trenton, NJ writes: "A Canadian author contacted 
me a while ago about a project he was working on.  It consisted 
of extracting newspaper articles of numismatic interest in 
chronological order from 1750 to 1800.  His name is Eric Leighton.  
Eric has published his book with Lulu, an on-demand publisher.  
You can download the book or order a hard copy.  The web page is   

[The complete title, in full-blown 18th century fashion, is: 
"NUmiS WORTHY or Old Numismatic News Volume I, Being a Compilation 
of Articles, Advertisements, Letters, Editorials, Notices, &c. &c. 
Having Reference to, or a Bearing on: the Coins, Currency, Banking, 
Exchange And Other Day to Day Numismatic News Arising Therefrom, 
Found in the Newspapers of Nova Scotia for the Years 1752 to 1800." 

Besides being of use to historians and researchers, the book is just 
something nice to have on the coffee table.  You can pick it up and 
read a few newspaper articles while waiting for the wife to finish 
getting ready to go out...  Then you can leave it for a few weeks... 
or get totally enthralled and finish it in a couple nights!"
I have a hardcover edition of Eric's book, "NUmiS WORTHY" and it 
is a nice product.  I'm sure that print-on-demand publishing has a 
future for our hobby.  Where a wonderful research book might not be 
published because of very limited interest in the topic, it can now 
be published for a very limited (or very large) distribution.

With respect to the contents of the book, here's what I wrote for 
Eric to use in his book:
"In the pages of this book, one will get lost in 18th century America.  
The author has compiled contemporary articles from Nova Scotia 
newspapers covering a period of 48 years.  These articles relate to 
numismatically important events from 1752 thru 1800.  From this 
description, you would think that the book is about events centered 
in the British Canadian colonies.  This is not the case as the 
articles cover news from all across the British Empire and the 
countries that she traded with.

The book’s topics are far too numerous to list, but those with an 
interest in counterfeit coins, the counterfeiters, colonial commerce, 
pirate escapades, governmental economic legislation, colonial paper 
money, circulating coins and the day to day history of the 1700s, 
should find this work invaluable.  Each article is a snapshot from 
a distant time, placed in chronological order, important to the 
researcher, historian, numismatist and student.  

Sit down, take the phone off the hook, brew a cup of coffee and 
drift back to a time where men wore buckles on their shoes and 
three cornered hats, criminals were punished in the town square 
pillory, highway men and pirates made travel a concern and news 
from around the world came by masted vessels instead of satellites."


According to an article on, the circulation of the American 
Numismatic Association's flagship publication has zoomed.  The article 
states that "The magazine, The Numismatist, is a well-known world wide 
magazine with more than a million copies per month and is the official 
voice of the American Numismatic Association, the largest entity in 
the world."

A million is a tad high, but Numismatist is a terrific magazine 

The author also erred in stating that the specific Numismatist 
article discussed is available on the ANA's web site - it is not, 
unless I just couldn't manage to find it.  However, the site does 
archive selected Numismatist articles from 2003 to date.  The .pdf 
files are beautiful, exact reproductions of the printed pages of 
the magazine, but be aware that they take a while to download.

What attracted the author's attention to the article is the inclusion 
of Aruba's numismatic museum web site in a list of top educational 
web sites, as declared by Educational Technology Journal:

1. The Federal Reserve Bank di Richmond, U.S.A. 

2. Kreissparkkasse Köln, the bank with the largest reserve in Germany 

3. The German Central Bank, 

4. The Central Bank of Costa Rica, 

5. Monnaie de Paris, Mint of Paris, 

6. Numismatic Museum Aruba, Oranjestad Aruba, " 

To read the complete article, see: 


Harry Waterson writes: "Yesterday I got a postcard from Heritage 
Auction Galleries touting their Naismith Collection. However, for 
a numismatic sales organization I was surprised that there was not 
any mention of the incredibly strong links between Naismith and R. 
Tait McKenzie a well renowned sculptor and medallist of the early 
part of the last century. Maybe the catalog mentions McKenzie. 
Below is a review of a book about the two of them that I thought 
I would bring to your attention."

[Aha!  So it turns out there is a numismatic connection to James 
Naismith, after all.  The inventor of basketball was discussed in 
last week's issue.  The book Harry references is "Almonte's Brothers 
of the Wind: R. Tait McKenzie and James Naismith" by Frank Cosentino.  
See below for more information. -Editor]

"Almonte's Brothers of the Wind is a biography of R. Tait McKenzie 
and James Naismith, two Canadians prominent in the development of 
sports and sports education. Naismith is best known as the creator 
of the game of basketball. McKenzie became a sculptor of international 
renown famous for his creations of athletes from various sports and 
numerous memorials.

James Naismith and Tait McKenzie were outstanding Canadians who 
outgrew the bounds of rural, eastern Ontario where they were born 
and left their mark on the world stage."

"Fewer Canadians are likely to be aware of the work of R. Tait 
McKenzie. Six years younger than Naismith, he idolized the older 
boy, followed a similar career path, and became his life-long friend. 
Both men went from Almonte Township in the Ottawa Valley to McGill 
University. Both became McGill Directors of Gymnastics and medical 
doctors. Both were also interested in sports as part of the complete 
development of the person, believing that a sound mind and sound 
body must go together. However, while Naismith left his mark by 
creating basketball, McKenzie left his by creating widely acclaimed 
sculptures in Canada, the United States, and Europe. The book 
contains illustrations of his work."

To view the book's web page on the University of Manitoba web site, see: 




George Fuld writes: "Eric Newman and I are trying to update the 1792 
Washington cent in GOLD.  Breen mentioned an appearance in the W. H. 
Smith sale -- is this a Chapman sale about 1900? -- did one sell there? 
-- what is the lot number? Above all, does anyone have a named Smith 

We are also trying to track the coin's disposition to 1925 when it 
was sold to Colonel Green.  Eric suspects that it might have been 
in a dealers stock (perhaps Scott or Proskey).  Any help would be 
greatly appreciated."

[I'm familiar with the Chapman H. P. Smith sale, but could not find 
a reference to a W. H. Smith sale by the Chapmans.  In Martin 
Gengerke's "American Numismatic Auctions, 1990 (Limited Deluxe 
Edition), the only W. H. Smith listed as a consignor is William H. 
Smith, in John W. Haseltine's 83rd sale (January 19th, 1885).  


Last week I wrote that "The U.S. large cent was introduced in 1793, 
but the next production cost decision was postponed for 64 years to 
1857 when the size and composition were changed." 

Bob Neale writes: "True enough, but don't forget that the first 
cost decision was made before any cents were ever minted. Congress 
amended Statute One, the April 1792 basic coinage act, on 14 January 
1793 to lower the coin's weight from 208 (Birch cent weight) to 164 
grains (chain cent weight)."


Bob Rightmire writes: "Joe Lasser called me. Our conversation was 
very beneficial to my research on Julius Guttag. In particular, he 
was able to shed some light on the question of why the Guttag 
business closed in 1938. My research continues with some major 
hurdles yet to be passed. Your help as a conduit for information 
is much appreciated."


Although no one from the American Numismatic Association has 
submitted a comment on our earlier discussions, I understand 
that some readers who've contacted the Board have been told that 
discussions about extension or termination of the Executive 
Director's employment contract (which ends December 2008) will 
not take place until May or June of 2008.

As a volunteer publication, our only team of fact-checkers is you, 
the readers.  If one of our correspondents is misinformed our 
readers usually set things straight quickly, and I'm happy to 
publish clarifications.  See submissions from Bob Neale and Rick 
Witschonke in this issue for typical examples.

Concerning the ANA situation, it's always a good thing for members 
and officers to have a dialog on topics of concern to the organization. 
I'll look forward to further word from the officers, staff, and board 
candidates about the matters nearest to the hearts of we numismatic 
bibliophiles and researchers, namely the status of the librarian 
position in particular and numismatic publication and education news 
in general.  Two ANA press releases this week do relate to numismatic
education - see the following items.


In a press release issued this week, Gail Baker of the American 
Numismatic Association writes: "All ANA members are invited to 
share their research, creativity and knowledge with fellow collectors 
and enthusiasts by delivering a Numismatic Theatre presentation at 
the National Money Show™ in Charlotte, NC, March 16-18.

Numismatic Theatre is an educational highlight of every ANA Convention. 
Consisting of hourly presentations on a variety of subjects and issues, 
the program gives members a chance to offer and discuss their research 
and ideas with the numismatic community. Theatre talks already scheduled 
for Charlotte include Silver, Gold & The Wizard of Oz and The Coinage 
of Christianity: From Babylon to Ethiopia.

Anyone interested in giving a Numismatic Theatre presentation may 
submit a proposal form online at (Select “Education” 
from the “Explore the World of Money” drop-down menu, and then select 
“Numismatic Theatre and Sundman Lecture Series at Conventions”). 
Theatre program videos and DVDs from past conventions are available 
for members to check out from the ANA Library (library at

For questions about Numismatic Theatre at the Charlotte National 
Money Show, please contact the ANA Outreach Department by calling 
719-482-9869 or by email outreach at"

[E-Sylum subscribers are the smartest bunch of folks I know in 
numismatics (or anywhere else, for that matter).  Please consider 
sharing your knowledge at this or other upcoming conventions.  


Via a press release issued November 22nd, Chris Cipoletti, 
Executive Director of the American Numismatic Association writes:

"We've just received exciting news from the U.S. Mint. Sales of the 
San Francisco Old Mint commemorative coins will be extended two 
weeks until Dec. 15, and from Dec. 1-20, dealers may purchase the 
coins in bulk at pre-issue prices as well as unpackaged (coin will 
come in a capsule) at a discounted rate. 

To date, the Mint has sold about one-half of the 500,000 $1 silver 
coins and 100,000 of the $5 gold coins that were minted to help 
raise funds to renovate the San Francisco Old Mint. We hope to raise 
up to $8.5 million for the $86 million project to restore the Granite 
Lady. When complete in 2010, the Old Mint will house both the American 
Money and Gold Rush Museum and the San Francisco Museum of History. 
We expect hundreds of thousands of people will visit this museum 
every year and learn more about culture, art, science and history 
through the exciting exhibits on display in our West Coast money 

By purchasing one of these commemorative coins, not only will you 
get a truly beautiful numismatic item, but you'll also help introduce 
the world of money to millions of future numismatists."

[As the press release notes, funds raised by the sale of these 
commemoratives help support the re-establishment of a numismatic 
museum in the old San Francisco Mint building.  The Granite Lady 
didn't survive the 1906 earthquake and fire only to be forgotten a 
century later.  Let's all do our part.  I've ordered mine (gold and 
silver) - how about you?  To order online, simply visit the U.S. 
Mint web site at: -Editor]


Gar Travis forwarded this article from the November 20th USA Today, 
noting that former ANA librarian David Sklow is alive and well:

"While the presidential coins are expected to be popular with 
collectors, it's doubtful they will be used by consumers and 
businesses on a daily basis, some experts argue. Instead, with 
dollar bills still an easy alternative, they likely are doomed 
as a means of commerce, as Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea before 
them, says David Sklow, a numismatic expert and former director 
of the library and research center at the American Numismatic 

A sidebar article quotes Coin World's Beth Deisher noting that 
the continued Sacagawea dollar production (with 200 million coins 
gathering dust in Treasury vaults) is "another example of a 
"dysfunctional" U.S. coin system."

"But many people, including Mint Director Edmund Moy and the 
lawmakers who sponsored the legislation to create the presidential 
dollar coins, beg to differ. They argue that the state quarter 
program has set the stage for acceptance and use of a dollar coin."

To read the complete article, see:

[Count me in the Sklow/Deisher camp - I think history shows that 
these will be little accepted in commerce.  But stranger things 
have happened.  Maybe the public will take a liking to the 
Presidential series.  The design seems uncluttered, classic and 
attractive.  The USA Today article illustrates the proposed design 
and also highlights the lettered edge, a neat feature that could 
catch the eye of numismatists and the general public alike.  Mint 
Director Moy seems to think the coins' beauty will be enough to 
propel them into circulation (see the other press articles below).

It would be unfortunate if the coins don't get a circulation boost 
from a withdrawal of the dollar bill.   By that time we could all 
be feeding vending machines and toll booths with electronic 
substitutes for coins.

When the State Quarter series became such a hit, dealers and 
collectors both scrambled to lay in supplies of the earlier pieces 
in the series, causing big jumps later in the price of the Delaware 
and Pennsylvania coins.  I wouldn't be surprised if the opposite 
happens this time.  I'll bet lots of people will lay in supplies 
of the initial Washington coin hoping to make a killing, but if 
prices stay flat the speculators will be gone long before the 
Millard Filmore coin arrives; later issues could end up being 
the ones hardest to find. -Editor]

In an Associated Press article November 20th, Mint Director Edmund 
C. Moy said: "These designs are beautiful and so eye-catching that 
a lot of Americans are going to do a double take when they get them 
in their change the first time..." 

To read the complete article, see:

The Washington Post covered the story on November 21:  "U.S. Mint 
Director Edmund C. Moy gave runway treatment yesterday to a new series 
of $1 coins bearing the faces of U.S. presidents.

"Having lettering on the edge gives each coin a very modern, kind of 
hip and cool look," he said.  [As if edge lettering were something 
new under the sun. -Editor]

To read the complete article, see:

Dick Johnson writes: "The November 25th Los Angeles Times weighs in 
on the announcement of the new dollar coins with presidential 
portraits featured. In an editorial titled "Change For A Dollar," 
their viewpoint is that the U.S. Mint is overtly trying to affect 
the outcome of dollar coins over paper dollar bills.
Granted, the U.S. Mint is basking in the success of the statehood 
quarters. Perhaps it is attempting to repeat the same success for 
the dollar coin because it has struck out with the Susan B. Anthony 
and the Sacagawea dollars issued over the last two decades. The Times 
stated these "flopped."
The writer quoted a Mint spokeswoman for the new dollars, Becky Bailey. 
"We see this as offering consumers choice," she told The Times. "In 
some situations the dollar bill works better, and in some situations 
coins work better. With these coins, it's just a wonderful history 
So now the dollar coins are a subliminal history lesson. I prefer 
to think of them as a program to honor our presidents. My only hope 
is that the portraits are artistic enough to sustain that honor.
The editorial noted that "if they catch on, it will be easier to 
retire the dollar bill," and ended with the statement "inflation 
long ago sealed the demise of the dollar bill. Once the new coin 
replaces paper, the Mint can turn its attention to abolishing an 
even more anachronistic denomination: the penny."
There is more about the vending machine and sports connection if 
you wish to read the entire editorial."

To read the complete article, see:,1,427856


Dr. Howard Berlin writes: "I just returned from my trip to Rome and 
the Vatican.  I'm sorry to say that, from a numismatic view, it was 
a bust. I had planned to visit the Vatican’s Coin and Stamp Museum 
and the Numismatic Museum of the Italian Mint. I had received a 
letter from the Papal Nuncio (Ambassador) to the United States 
giving me the name of the director of the Vatican’s museums. I had 
e-mailed him, and he had returned with a message saying that the 
museum was closed at this time. 

I was at the Vatican twice, roaming around in St. Peter’s Basilica 
– a fantastic building no matter what your religion is. Once outside 
I tried to get to see the building, which is in part of the Vatican’s 
railway station (so I’m told), but I was told by police in their 
limited English and my limited Italian that either (1) I was not 
allowed in that area (behind St. Peter’s Basilica), or (2) I since 
I was currently at the “Southern” entrance to the Vatican, I had 
to go to the entrance for the Vatican museum – and join the mile-long 
line that extended around the block for a building that was closed.
The Numismatic Museum of the Italian Mint was a slightly different 
story. A web site gives the address as Via 20 September 97 which is 
a few blocks from Republic Square and its metro station. The building 
(i.e., 97) is the Banca d’Italia. I asked the guard at the bank about 
the museum and he said that there was none. Since my simple Italian 
is confined to ordering in restaurants, getting metro tickets, and 
getting my face slapped, there was a person there who spoke English 
well enough to ask the security personnel again if there was a 
numismatic museum. However the answer was the same— No.  Is there 
is an E-Sylum reader familiar with either of these two museums?
My bags are being packed again as I’m off to Berlin this week to 
revisit the German Historical Museum and Bodesmuseum after their 
multi-year renovations. Ciao and wiederhoeren."


Fred Reed writes: "Last Saturday during the recent St. Louis paper 
money show, Dave Kranz of Bank Note Reporter and I were fortunate to 
visit the new Eric Newman Money Museum, fortunate not only for the 
chance to view the wonderful displays but because Eric, his wife 
Evelyn, and Ed Rochette were present.  Eric was a gracious host, and 
his years of scholarship infuse the highly literate displays.  The 
thing that most struck me was Eric's catholic (i.e. universal) 
perspective on money and things numismatic.  Eric is able to focus 
a great variety of items across eras and geography.  The topical 
displays were interesting, splendidly presented, and wonderfully 
crafted to appeal to the scholar, the novice, and the general 
public alike.

It was wonderful to watch Eric take a personal interest in visitors 
as they came and went and wryly expound on the various topics 
presented. I highly recommend that any E-Sylum reader avail himself 
of this wonderful FREE facility, even if he/she isn't so fortunate 
to have the namesakes of the two newest money museums on hand as a 
bonus. And call ahead to arrange research in Eric's formidable 
library. You will be glad that you did!"


Speaking of museums, there's a short article by former ANA 
Executive Director Ed Rochette in the November 21 issue of 
Numismatic News (page 38) on the creation of the ANA headquarters 
and museum.  Ground had been broken in 1966 in Colorado Springs.  
Several old homes had been demolished to make way for the new 
building on the campus of Colorado College.

QUIZ QUIZ: The final design for the ANA building was not the 
original choice.  What shape was first proposed for the building, 
and why?


Last week we mentioned the article by Frank L. Holt on Alexander 
the Great and his elephant medallions.  Rick Witschonke writes: 
"Readers might like to know that the coin is probably false, as 
demonstrated by Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert in his article in the 
last American Numismatic Society Magazine. Thus Holt is probably 
building on sand."


Nick Graver writes: "In the spirit of keeping published information 
as accurate as possible, please consider these thoughts on Dick's 
interesting account of the "Dye/Die" terminology as misused in 
Waterbury, CT.
In the daguerreotype (first practical photographic) process, there 
is no "print," the image is recorded directly on a sensitized highly 
polished silvered plate.  Dick's term "strip" of metal might better 
be described as rectangular sheet of metal, usually silver-plated 
Cases for daguerreotype images were made of many materials, frequently 
wood covered with leather or papier-mache.  Dick was describing the 
fanciest type: "Union" cases which were Thermoplastic, one of the 
first commercial uses of plastic.  They are often mistakenly called 
'gutta-percha', which is a rubbery substance derived from tropical 
These two clarifications are only intended to strengthen Dick's 
fine account of the misuse of numismatic terms in the mainstream 

Dick Johnson writes: "I stand by the use of the term "strip" 
(instead of "sheet") in the dauguerreotype process. Even when it 
is silverplated it is still a strip.  Reason:  it is rolled to form 
the thin metal in the early part of the process. 
Perhaps I should have used the term "thermoplastic" for their 
composition, instead of gutta-percha. So Nick was correct in 
catching this."


Dick Hanscom writes: "Because of my previous postings on brittle 
gold, engraving dies and minting tokens, I thought your readers 
might like to see the final result. These are hand struck without 
collar, about 20mm.  These are "native gold," meaning unrefined 
raw gold (usually dust) that has just been melted.  The gold in 
these tokens was mined on the beach at Nome, Alaska, hence the 
small "N" counterstamp. Not a work of art by any means, but 
acceptable for someone with no artistic talent."
To view an image of Dick Hansom's gold token, see:

[The obverse reads "NATIVE GOLD / 1 DWT".  On the reverse is 
"ALASKA / DENALI / N"   -Editor]


Fred Reed writes: "As somebody who spent more than 3,000 hours 
reading Civil War-era newspaper microfilm during his graduate 
student days, I concur with Editor Homren's glee over searchable 
newspaper archives.  As someone who has also done hundreds of 
searches on the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archive, here are some tips 
to help E-Sylum readers get the biggest bang from their research 

(1) long files do not always load properly on this web site, 
so if you notice blank spaces in your article, reload it until 
it all loads properly, otherwise you may miss the very item you 
are seeking.

(2) not all words are searchable, for example if you search for 
"state bank" the site will discard "state" telling you it is too 
omnipresent and all you will get is "bank" references.

(3) extraneous hits are somewhat frequent, especially if you 
don't turn off "ads" as a part of the search.

(4) tighten your search by using "  " (quote marks), date 
Ranges and content delimiting.

(5) for my purposes ordering by date ascending made 
researching chronological events easier.

(6) remember, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle is not the New York Times; 
it's coverage is somewhat parochial.

(7) finally, blind or even directed word searches in an archives 
like this can be misleading, since one can pull up isolated events 
and miss the context that one could find by actually searching 
newspaper columns--so beware of drawing false conclusions that 
subsequent data could clear up, since newspaper accounts are often 
fragmentary; you may have to cast a wider net to follow up bits 
and pieces gleaned piecemeal.  Happy hunting!"


Mike Paradis writes: "Lot 357 in Kolbe sale #77 (6/5/1999) appears 
to hold a consignment from Alexander Balmanno's son:

357 Keeler Art Galleries. [CHARLES G. BALMANNO]. CATALOGUE OF THE 
EXECUTRIX. New York: Mr. George W. Keeler, May 8-9, 1916. 16 pages, 
145 (philatelic) + 340 (numismatic) lots"

"Not in Gengerke. Apparently quite rare. The numismatic lots are 
poorly described. According to annotations in this copy, a lot of 
"1840 and 1856 Silver Dollars" selling for $11 actually contained 
an "1836 Eagle" (!); a lot of "1871 and 1883 Silver Dollars" 
contained a copper pattern 1871, "A-W 1124;" a lot of half dollars 
also contained a copper pattern 1871, "A-W 1131;" a "collection of 
quarters, 1796 to 1883. 8 pieces." brought all of $4.75 though the 
annotator notes that the 1796 alone was worth $10 at the time; etc. 

One can only wonder what treats were present in three lots offered 
at the end of the philatelic section, namely a "Portfolio of bank 
bills" @ $10, a Scrap book of paper money" @ $7.00 or $7.50, and a
"Scrapbook of Confederate notes" @ $6.30, termed "shinplasters" by 
the annotator. Thomas Elder appears to have attended the sale and 
it is recorded herein that he bought several of the medal lots at 
the end."


WCCC President Jonathan Lerner writes: "Regarding the recent request 
about information on the Westchester County Coin Club, I thought I 
would share a few bits and pieces.... 
We are alive and well and continue to enjoy monthly meetings that 
are held at St. Pius X School in Scarsdale, NY on the 3rd Wednesday 
of each month.  For additional information on Directions and Meetings 
please visit: 
This past year we have had some wonderful guest speakers and I would 
encourage any and all to please join us in the future.  The December
meeting will include a short presentation from our 1st YN Will Robbins 
and our holiday party! I hope some of you can make it!"

He adds: "There are several old timers from the early days, but they 
are not using computers..."

[Should any of our readers have a chance to visit WCCC or any of the 
other longstanding local coin clubs, please collect a story or two 
from the elders to share with us online.  Stories unwritten (in any 
format, electronic or otherwise) are stories lost forever.  It's 
these stories which make the written word so valuable to bibliophiles 
- not the mere paper (or bits) they're written on. -Editor]


Last week's item about the Marlboro contest included this cryptic 

"Once the Headquarters to everyone, now 
heads and hindquarters abound. Tell us its name." 

Bob Neale writes: "That could just be a simple 25-cent piece. 
Since the 50 states edition, that is."

Jerry Haggerty writes: "Philadelphia was the capitol of the 
United States, now the Philadelphia mint abounds in heads and 

[I think Jerry may be on to something - Philadelphia seems to 
make sense in this context.  -Editor]


Dick Johnson forwarded an article about the latest in the ongoing 
legal battles over the use of the motto "In God We Trust" on U.S. 
coins and Federal Reserve notes.

"Liberty Counsel has filed a legal brief in an effort to preserve 
"In God We Trust" as America's national motto. 

Atheist Michael Newdow has filed suit claiming that the motto 
violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. He lost 
at the District Court level and the case is now on appeal before 
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. 

In 1865, Congress passed an act placing "In God We Trust" on all 
coins. The motto has been used on paper money since 1957." 

"Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said: 
"Permitting a citizen to sue merely because the person is offended 
by religious words goes far beyond the intent of the First Amendment. 
Passive words cannot establish a religion. If Michael Newdow is 
permitted to proceed with his claim, then the court would become a 
'bully pulpit' for any malcontent." 

Liberty Counsel, which is affiliated with Liberty University School 
of Law in Lynchburg, Va., is a nonprofit litigation, education and 
policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom and 
the traditional family."

To read the complete article, see:


On Friday, November 17th the Associated Press published an 
interesting account of an archeology project in Israel that has 
unearthed ancient coins as well as local political rivalries:

"Off an East Jerusalem side street, between an olive orchard and 
an abandoned hotel, sit a few piles of stones and dirt that are 
yielding important insights into Jerusalem's history.

They come from one of the world's most disputed holy places — the 
square in the heart of Jerusalem that is known to Jews as the 
Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

The story behind the rubble includes an underground crypt, a 
maverick college student, a white-bearded archaeologist, thousands 
of relics spanning millennia and a feud between Israelis and 
Palestinians which is heavily shaped by ancient history.

Among finds that have emerged are a coin struck during the Jewish 
revolt against the Romans..."

"The site has been the frequent arena of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, 
and its volatility has prevented archaeologists from ever touching it."

"Ignoring fierce protest from Israeli archaeologists who said priceless 
artifacts were being destroyed to erase traces of Jewish history, the 
Waqf dug a large pit, removed tons of earth and rubble that had been 
used as landfill and dumped much of it in the nearby Kidron Valley.

The Waqf's position was, and remains, that the rubble was of recent 
vintage and without archaeological value.

Zachi Zweig, a 27-year-old archaeology undergraduate at Bar Ilan 
University near Tel Aviv, showed up at the dump a few days later. 
Though Israel's archaeological establishment had shown no interest 
in the rubble, Zweig was sure it was important, especially after a 
Waqf representative told him to leave."

"In 2004, after five years spent getting a dig license and raising 
funds, they had 75 truckloads of rubble moved to a lot on the slopes 
of Jerusalem's Mount Scopus.

The first coin they found, Barkay said, was one issued during the 
Jewish revolt that preceded the Roman destruction of the temple in 
Jerusalem in 70 A.D., imprinted with the Hebrew words "Freedom of Zion."

The most valuable find so far, Barkay believes, is a clay seal 
impression discovered last year. Its incomplete Hebrew lettering 
appears to name Ge'aliyahu, son of Immer. Immer is the name of a 
family of temple officials mentioned in Jeremiah 20:1."

"Archaeology here, however, is rarely just about providing insight 
into the past." 

"Dig a centimeter beneath the debate over antiquities," he said, 
"and you hit the debate over whom the Mount belongs to, and a 
centimeter beneath that is the war over whom the entire country 
belongs to."

To read the complete article, see: 


This week's featured web site is Atlantic Provinces Numismatic 
Association of Canada.

"The Canadian Numismatic Association Convention held in Halifax 
(1964) brought together collectors from all over the Atlantic 
Provinces for the first time. A group of dedicated collectors in 
the Halifax area, hoping to keep this atlantic region spirit a 
continuing thing, suggested a regional organization of numismatists. 
Their dream came true May 8, 1965 when delegates from various clubs 
met in Halifax and formed the Atlantic Provinces Numismatic 
Association, more commonly known as the APNA.  The Association's 
main link between its members is The Atlantic Numismatist"

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. For more information please 
see our web site at

There is a membership application available on the web site 
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 the U.S., $20 elsewhere.  For those without 
web access, write to:

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

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