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    Jan 27 2020

    Newman Portal Adds Carnegie Library Large Cent Collection Images

    While the story of the frontline portion of the George H. Clapp large cent collection is well known (stolen from the ANS by William H. Sheldon and largely recovered), few collectors realize that Clapp also donated (c. 1946-1947) nearly 500 large cent duplicates to the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, PA. These have been recently photographed by Lyle Engleson, under joint sponsorship of Newman Portal and Early American Coppers (EAC). Although certain delicacies such as the S-48 “Starred Reverse” variety are not present here, the Carnegie holding does include four strongly detailed chain cents in addition to the rare S-80 Jefferson Head. Engleson’s imaging is superb as always and will serve as the definitive photographic record of this collection for the foreseeable future. An exhibition of the Carnegie collection will be a highlight of the 2020 EAC convention, to be held in Pittsburgh April 30 – May 3, 2020. Newman Portal acknowledges EAC President Bill Eckberg for his coordination of this project.

    Link to Carnegie Library / Geroge Clapp U.S. large cents on Newman Portal:
    Link to 2020 EAC Convention announcement, including an exhibition of the Carnegie collection, in Coin World

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    Jan 22 2020

    Play Money Exhibit at Washington University in St. Louis

    Olin Library at Washington University in St. Louis recently opened an exhibit, Worlds of Imagination, including a case on play money. This exhibit largely draws on material loaned by the ANA and traces play money from the 19th century to the present day. The ANA play money collection was donated in 2018 by Richard Clothier, whose 1985 monograph, Play Money of American Children, explores the subject in depth. The Washington University exhibit, created by Olin Library exhibits manager Jessi Cerutti and Newman Numismatic Portal project coordinator Len Augsburger, runs through June 2020 and is accessible to the public on the ground floor of Olin Library.

    Olin Library acknowledges Doug Mudd and Andy Dickes of the ANA for their assistance with this exhibit, and Richard Clothier, who has made Play Money of American Children available on Newman Portal. Also recommended is the book Playing With Money by Robert Bracey, available through Spink. This volume coincided with the British Museum exhibit of the same name, which ran from April to September of 2019.

    Link to Richard Clothier’s Play Money of American Children on Newman Portal:
    Link to Playing With Money on the Spink website:
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    Jan 21 2020

    Mint Medals of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    Recently added to Newman Portal is a slide deck presented by Heath MacAlpine at the January 15, 2020 Central Ohio Numismatic Association (CONA) meeting. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the subject of a surprisingly large number of U.S. Mint medals, and MacAlpine’s presentation makes sense of it all, detailing a number of medal series that portrayed Roosevelt. These include the inaugural medals, presidential pieces, assay commission medals, the U.S. Mint visitor medals, and finally the Roosevelt memorial medals. MacAlpine’s die variety analysis of the presidential and memorial series is especially helpful. In all, MacAlpine counts nearly 30 varieties of Roosevelt medals produced by the Mint, and anyone who wishes to collect this material will do well to study the images in this presentation. Newman Portal acknowledges Gerry Tebben for his assistance with this content.

    Link to The United States Medals of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Newman Portal:
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    Jan 13 2020

    Newman Portal Adds Boston Numismatic Society Archives

    One of the oldest numismatic societies in the United States, the Boston Numismatic Society (BNS) for many years (1870-1891) published the American Journal of Numismatics and today continues as an active numismatic organization. BNS member Yale Lansky, working with Newman Portal, has facilitated scanning of the Society archives, and these records are now available on Newman Portal. The series consists of eight volumes of Society proceedings (1860-1992), treasury book (1860-1982), and a two-volume history compiled in 1998 by Thomas P. Rockwell. The earliest records contain well-known names including Jeremiah Colburn, Thomas Appleton, Augustine Shurtleff, and others. Appleton reported in the minutes the launch of the Society on February 11, 1860: “Eight gentlemen met by invitation on Saturday, February 11 at the rooms of the N.E. Historic Genealogical Society, 13 Bromfield St. Mr. Jeremiah Colburn occupied the chair….the secretary read a constitution….” As today, exhibits were an important component of meetings, and the Society proceedings carefully record who exhibited what, so that anyone researching these individuals, or their collections, will find this an important source of information. Moreover, the series as a whole documents a formative period of American numismatic history, when collectors began gathering in a formal way in order to create enduring institutions. Some succeeded and some failed, and we are fortunate that BNS has persevered and faithfully preserved an important part of the historical record.

    Link to Boston Numismatic Society archives on Newman Portal:
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    Jan 07 2020

    Newman Portal Adds Research Paper on California Clam Shell Money

    Recently added to Newman Paper is a paper by Joshua Smith, “The California Clam Shell Scrip Currency of 1933: Crescent City and Pismo Beach’s anomaly in an era of Banknote Scrip.” Supported by a Newman Grant from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, Smith conducted primary research on this curious scrip that arose in California during the Great Depression. Smith explores the origins of the use of clam shells as money and describes modern reproductions in order to aid authentication of genuine examples. Certain questions in numismatics are eternal – how was an object made, who made it, how was it used – and Smith provides an end-to-end treatment of the subject. 

    Link to “The California Clam Shell Scrip Currency of 1933” on Newman Portal:
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    Dec 31 2019

    Legendary Coin Collector Gene Gardner Remembered

    At the August 2019 World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL, Greg Rohan of Heritage Auctions spoke to the Liberty Seated Collectors Club about the life and collecting career of Gene Gardner (1936-2016). The summer ANA convention is a busy event with attendees deciding on the fly which meetings to attend amidst a flurry of commercial activity. Jewels are often missed, and Rohan’s presentation, while well attended, will be of interest to a wider audience. Rohan recounted Gene’s early days in the hobby, which culminated with a significant consignment to Stack’s in 1965. Thereafter Gardner concentrated on family and business, and was reintroduced to the hobby many years later, upon attending one of the Eliasberg sales. Gardner resumed collecting full throttle and eventually sold his collection in a group of four sales conducted by Heritage Auctions in 2014-2015. Rohan talks about the dispersal of the collection and shares many personal recollections about Gardner – this is a truly moving presentation that poignantly reminds us about the human side of the coin business. Newman Portal acknowledges David Lisot for making this video available on NNP.

    Link to Greg Rohan’s presentation, Legendary Coin Collector Gene Gardner Remembered  on Newman Portal:
    Link to Stack’s February 1965 sale of the Gardner collection:
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    Dec 27 2019

    The 19th Amendment Centennial

    The 19th amendment, allowing women the right to vote, was passed in 1920. The Harriett Tubman U.S. $20 note, intended for production in 2020, partly in honor of the 19th amendment centennial, was delayed by the Trump administration in June, 2019, with the stated reason being the unavailability of new security features. The 19th amendment also played a role in the marketing of the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) dollar in 1979. Recently scanned by John Graffeo at the National Archives in Denver, Newman Portal includes a package of SBA dollar marketing information aimed at bankers and retailers. Benefits of the coin were said to be easier counting, reduced errors in counting, faster retail transactions, and “enhanced practicality of the $2 note.” The Treasury further offered retailers promotional ideas for the new coin, such as offering items at special prices “if purchased with at least one Anthony dollar.” Biographical material related to Anthony, included in the marketing material, notes her advocacy of the 19th amendment. The failure of the SBA coin is well-known, and the Tubman $20 remains in the planning stages. Here’s hoping Treasury can do more in 2020 to recognize the contribution and legacy of all Americans.

    Link to Susan B. Anthony marketing packet on Newman Portal:
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    Dec 21 2019

    ANA Opens The Numismatist Through 2002 on Newman Portal

    The standard bearer of American numismatics, The Numismatist has been published by the ANA since 1888. The Numismatist includes timely numismatic news, feature articles appealing to a wide audience, and extensive coverage of ANA programs and conventions. Columnists such as Q. David Bowers and David Lange are ever-engaging, and the monthly issue is a must-read for anyone involved in American numismatics. The ANA today announces that all issues through 2002 are now available for full-view via Newman Portal. Issues beginning in 2003, and coinciding with the launch of the full-color format, will remain search-only on Newman Portal. ANA members may continue to access all issues with full-view on the ANA website. Newman Portal acknowledges ANA and thanks ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick for her support with this content.
    Link to The Numismatist on the ANA site:
    Link to The Numismatist on Newman Portal:
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    Dec 02 2019

    Christmas Coins

    A sadly obsolete tradition is the presentation of gold coins at special events, most often in conjunction with the end-of-year holidays. This was a practice not only for numismatists, as many non-collectors gave gifts of gold coins when these pieces were in circulation. Today these gift coins are widely dispersed, but what has survived are the presentation cards and boxes that once delivered such holiday surprises. A few of these are found in the Eclectic Numismatic Treasure collection and can be viewed on Newman Portal. A few echoes of this tradition appear now and again. Salvation Army buckets, especially in the Chicagoland area, receive gold coins (typically American Gold Eagles) on an annual basis. The writer’s spouse was presented with a Swiss gold coin on the occasion of a service anniversary with a Swiss-owned firm. Readers may also wish to pick up the December/January issue of COINage magazine, which features an article by Tom DeLorey entitled “Holiday Season Money Gifts: Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year Are Opportune for Giving Money.”

    Link to numismatic Christmas cards from the Eclectic Numismatic Treasure collection on Newman Portal:

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    Nov 26 2019

    Newman Portal Adds Research on Maranville Counterfeit Detection Devices

    Given Eric P. Newman’s natural interest in all things mechanical (and numismatic), the publication of U.S. Coin Scales and Counterfeit Coin Detectors (co-authored with A. George Mallis) in 1999 was no surprise. This work focused on 19th century counterfeit detection devices patented and produced in the United States. Malcolm Mathias, an Australian collector, has now driven this work forward with a set of papers on the Harvey Maranville counterfeit detection devices patented in 1857, 1860, and 1878. Supported in part by a grant from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, Mathias traveled extensively throughout the United States in search of Maranville examples to add to his census, and in addition visited related archives and institutions in search of background information on Maranville and his inventions. The result is what will be the definitive work on this topic for many years. 

    Link to Malcolm Mathias papers on Maranville counterfeit detectors:

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