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Volume 53 No. 4 April 2007

Minutes of the 1059th Meeting

March 14, 2007

Session I of the 1059th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held in conjunction with the Chicago Paper Money Exposition, Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont. President Robert Feiler called the meeting to order at 1 PM with 26 members and 24 guests in attendance. A motion was made and passed to conduct an abbreviated order of business.

It was announced that the traditional souvenir banknote card was not issued for the show. Upcoming featured programs at the Chicago Coin Club were announced, including the speaker for the upcoming Chicago International Coin Fair on April 28th. Clifford Mishler was introduced as the Chairman of this summer’s American Numismatic Association Convention in Milwaukee. He reported all the planned activities associated with the event and invited everyone to attend.

In the introduction of Chet Krause, his colleague and friend of 55-years, Mishler announced that Krause’s Wisconsin Paper Money collection will take up 160 exhibit cases at the ANA convention. It’s believed this collection is the largest single state collection of paper money every assembled.

Chester Krause shared his experiences while building his collection and related stories on competing with others at currency auctions over the years. The Santa Claus bank notes were cited in particular. The exhibit at this summer’s convention will be broken down into territorial notes, certificates of deposit, statehood, obsolete, scrip, and large and small size nationals.

President Feiler presented Mishler and Krause ANA Educational Certificates and engraved Club medals.

The meeting was called into recess and will resume on Wednesday, March 14th at 7 PM at the regular meeting site 131 S. Dearborn, 6th Floor Conference Room, Downtown Chicago.

. . . . . . .

Session II of the 1059th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was called to order by President Robert Feiler with 16 members and 3 guests: John Baeckelandt, David Gumm, and Leroy Gayden.

The Minutes of the February meeting as published in the Chatter were approved as read. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky reported February revenue of $220.00, expenses of $364.92 and a balance of $11,868.38. A motion was made and passed to accept the report. Following the second readings of the membership applications of Robert W. Wallace and Kurt Hyde, motions were made and passed to accept them into the Club. The application of David G. Gumm received first reading.

Richard Hall was presented with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved speaker’s medal for his January featured presentation on U.S. Type I Liberty Head $20 Gold Coins. Future featured programs with brief overviews were announced. Chicago Financial Firsts was the topic of the evening’s featured speaker, David Baeckelandt. The program covered the array of financial innovations, modern accounting, modern investment banking practices, underwriting and stock evaluation techniques that started in Chicago. David supplemented his talk with documents and certificates from his own collection. Afterwards, he was presented with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved speaker’s medal.

The exhibitors for the evening were: STEVE HUBER – 19 crowns from Great Britain; JOHN CONNOLLY – a $1 U.S. commemorative coin & a 1000 kronor Icelandic commemorative coin both struck in 2000 honoring Leif Ericson, and $1 U.S. commemorative coins honoring Eisenhower (2000), Jamestown (2007) and John Marshall (2005); JEFFREY ROSINIA – the newly discovered error 2007 Washington $1 without edge markings; ROBERT WEINSTEIN – 6 copper coins from the 3rd century B.C., struck in the Indian cities of Pushkalavati and Taxila ROBERT LEONARD – newly published ANS book Money of the Caribbean, and modern monarchs with military headgear shown on the coins of Prussia 5-mark (1901), Italy 20-lire (1928), Albania 2-lek (1939), and Romania 50-lei (1938); ROBERT FEILER – a coin from the Macedonian Kingdom of Phillip V (221-179 B.C.) and 2 counterfeit ancient coins; MARK WIECLAW – Will County Coin Club medal honoring Will County’s 150th year (1981), colorized silver U.S. Eagle, an as of Roman Emperor Trajan struck in Rome for use in Syria (116 A.D.), a bronze follis of Heraclius overstruck on a follis of Tiberius Constantine, a cistophori (tetradrachm) of Mark Antony shown with his wife, Octavia; and LYLE DALY – coins bought on a recent trip to the Cayman Islands including a 1770 Pillar Dollar, silver cobb from the 1600s, 1805 8-reales with multiple counterstamps, and five current uncirculated pieces of currency.

Under business separate motions were made and passed authorizing the Board of Governors to order and set a selling price of 10X & 4X magnifier-flashlights, and to pay World of Elk Grove Village a sum not to exceed $400 to convert onto DVD the Club’s video tape (28) interviews with long-time members recorded in 1984.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl F. Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Wisconsin Paper Money

A presentation by Chester Krause
to our March 10, 2007 meeting.

Clifford Mishler used his introduction of Chester Krause to describe some of what has been planned for the ANA’s Annual Convention to be held in Milwaukee in August. The previous Milwaukee conventions were in 1950 and 1986, and the theme of the 2007 convention is “Collecting Coins Captures Time.” The convention medal features the Allen Bradley four-faced clock tower on the obverse, and the addition to the lakefront art museum on the reverse.

For the 1986 convention, a number of Wisconsin-related collections were displayed. Some of those collections have been incorporated into Krause’s 160-case exhibit of Wisconsin paper money that will be at this year’s convention. Among the attractions outside of the convention center, the largest numismatic one will be at the Milwaukee Public Museum; among the pieces from their 40,000 item numismatic collection that will be displayed at their building are one gold and two silver life saving medals.

Chet’s exhibit will include seven types of Wisconsin paper money:

With more than 50 years spent collecting this material, he has been able to add information to the Numismatist article by Wismer from the 1930s. He has produced a small booklet upon each of the above topics, and he showed a few that he had not given away yet.

He also plans to show two cars with ties to Wisconsin financials at the convention. The Mr. Kissel who signed a banknote also owned the Kissel car company, and the Case company did not make just farm machinery in Wisconsin — Chet has been working on one of their cars for the last six years.

The start of his Wisconsin paper money collection was probably the purchase of a bundle of 15 obsolete and scrip notes from a coin shop in Appleton. Travelling on business was a great advantage; he could see what was available over a wide area. Although all kinds of Wisconsin material could be found in the Northeastern states, California collectors were more interested in gold and world coins.

When asked, he admitted to collecting raised notes, and a few had walked into his office just the other day. A raised note is a note with the denomination altered to a higher value, typically by taping a denominated corner from a larger note onto a smaller note — usually a one dollar note. Instead of raising all four corners, one corner often was torn off; notes are fragile, so a missing corner was not unusual.

When you are known as a serious collector people you know often set material aside for you, and strangers will approach you with interesting pieces — as was the case after this talk.

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Chicago Financial Firsts

A presentation by David Baeckelandt
to our March 14, 2007 meeting.

David started his presentation by showing the classic New Yorker map cover where not much is located west of the Hudson River. Then he showed Hennepin’s 1683 Flemish map of North America, the first map to depict “Chekagou.” Dave has worked in the financial industry for a number of years, and during that time he has collected items relating to financial firsts of Chicago and Illinois. That theme has led him to many interesting aspects of Chicago history.

Chicago started as the center of a huge land boom, the biggest speculative bubble in North America. The Illinois Michigan Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River system, and Chicago was at the east end of the canal. The Canal Commissioners made the first land plat, and sold the first lots. A lot that sold for $33 in 1829 sold for $100,000 in 1836, the year that Chicago was incorporated. The expression “canal term” stood for ¼ down and the balance over three years. The 999 year lease was introduced under the mistaken idea that 1000 year leases were illegal. Dave showed a newspaper clipping that referred to the Berlin real estate bubble of 1870-71 as “Chicago on the Spree.”

In addition to speculative excessives, there was outright fraud. Soon after taking office in 1857, Governor Matteson discovered a virtual gold mine in his office. When canal scrip was redeemed, it was supposed to be cancelled by tearing off a corner; but that step was skipped during some busy times. The governor had access to the redeemed scrip, and he redeemed the uncancelled pieces for his own benefit. After being found not guilty, he and the money left Illinois for Europe. The resulting state bond float was the first to pay for the mess left by a corrupt politician.

But most of Chicago’s financial firsts were legal and were for the good of investors and consumers. Norman Wait Harris started the Harris Bank, and in 1882 it listed buy and sell prices for bonds; it also institutionalized such investment banking practices as reviews by “disinterested experts” and other aspects of due diligence. Their analysis of municipal bonds was also applied to corporate securities.

The 1906 IPO of Sears was the first based upon goodwill future potential earnings instead of just the current assets. The first utility holding company was formed in the late 19th century by Samuel Insull, an associate of Thomas Edison. The original local electric service was for just a building or two, but larger generating stations and the resulting distribution systems provided efficiencies of scale. In 1930 Insull was the first to use a poison pill defense, but his leveraged companies failed in the depression. (People to this day are split in their strongly held views of Insull: robber baron or just unlucky?) The unravelling of Insull’s 360 interlocking companies fell to Arthur Andersen who had started the first deicated accounting firm. How ironic that that firm would end in the collapse of a later utility company, Enron.

Near the start of the 20th century, Henry Marsh and Donald McLennan introduced such concepts as an insurance broker and thorough research in assessing risk. Soon, State Farm was the first to offer lower rates to the less-risky demographics; they excluded risky areas such as Chicago and Cook County! Allstate was the first to sell auto insurance by mail (1931), and the first to tailor rates to the characteristics of cars and their owners (1939).

Chicago’s various markets and exchanges have been the first to offer a number of products, from various future contracts on agricultural products in the mid 19th century to futures on currencies and interest rates in the 1970s, to the first options on a stock index in 1983. And let us not forget the many Nobel prize winners in Economics whose ideas might be result in future products.

Although some of the firsts are well documented and accepted, some of the firsts that David presented are just the earliest local newspaper reports of which he is aware. Are you aware of any complaints of “cold calling” earlier than a 1928 letter to the Chicago Tribune?

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our March 14, 2007 meeting.

  1. Steve Huber passed around an assortment of Great Britain crowns along with an 1801 taler from Hanover with a portrait of George III; in addition to being the British monarch, he was the ruler of Hanover. Among the coins were a crown and half crown of Cromwell from 1658, a 1687 crown of James III, and an 1804 silver dollar of George III (this was a trade dollar).
  2. John Connelly concentrated on some recent U.S. commemmoratives:
  3. Jeff Rosinia showed a recent purchase: from Harlan Berk’s shop, a new Washington dollar coin that had been found locally in a roll.
  4. Robert Weinstein started with his usual ancient items, and concluded with something not even 200 years old.
  5. Bob Leonard just received his Money of the Caribbean book from the 1999 Coinage of the Americas Conference. Then he showed coins featuring modern monarchs modelling military headgear:
  6. Bob Feiler showed some apparently ancient coins:
  7. Mark Wieclaw showed some items saved from the melting pot: a one ounce 1986 Will County sesquicentennial silver medal from the Will County Coin Club, and a colorized 2000 silver eagle with Santa Claus in a sleigh with reindeer. Then came an assortment of ancient coins:
  8. Lyle Daly spent some of the previous week in the Cayman Islands, where just about every jewelry store advertised treasure coins. According to the book he bought there, the heyday of pirates started in 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht and ended in 1739. He did purchase a few silver Spanish colonial coins, but they were outside of that date range. He also acquired four uncirculated pieces of the current notes, honoring the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ sighting of the islands in 1503; their denominations were 1, 5, 10, and 25 while he passed on the 50 and 100.

Our 1060th Meeting

Date:April 11, 2007, First session
Time:7:00 PM
Location:Downtown Chicago
At Dearborn Center, 131 S. Dearborn, 6th Floor, Conference Room 6A (right off the elevator lobby). Please remember the security measures at our meeting building: give a club officer the names of all your guests prior to the meeting day; and everyone must show their photo-ID and register at the guard’s desk.
Featured speaker:Eugene Freeman - U.S. Standing Liberty Quarters, 1916-1930

Gene Freeman has collected and studied the Standing Liberty Quarter series for 30+ years. Designed by Hermon MacNeil, the coin’s first year of issue raised a moral problem due to Liberty’s exposed breast. The date also wore off quickly and was adjusted in 1925. Join Gene as he tells the story of this coin oftentimes overlooked by collectors. Gene will show examples of the major types, mintmark varieties, and the striking characteristics of the series.

Date:April 28, 2007, Second session
Time:1:00 PM
Location:At the Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured speaker:Chuck Jacobs - Japanese One Yen Silver Pieces & Trade Dollars, 1870-1914

Chuck Jacobs will present a visual exploration of the history of Japanese crowns — one yen silver pieces and trade dollars — tracking their origin from monetized Mexican 8 reales pieces used along side primitive coinage during the late-feudal Ansei era (ca 1859), through domestically-minted, modern silver crowns in the Meiji and Taisho eras (from 1870 - 1904). The talk will showcase each coin — as well as its iconography — in the context of Japanese culture and history. The lecture will also delve into the various patterns, variations, and counterstamps. Along the way, learn how to date these coins, the significance of their imagery, and how to tell the “obverse” from the “reverse”.

Important Dates

April 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Eugene Freeman on U.S. Standing Liberty Quarters, 1916-1930
April 27-29 30th Annual Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF) at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. Admission is $5 for Friday and Saturday; free on Sunday.
April 28 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the Chicago International Coin Fair (CICF), which is held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL. No admission charge for our meeting.
Featured Speaker - Chuck Jacobs on One Yen Silver Pieces & Trade Dollars, 1870-1914
May 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Robert Wallace on Archaic Silver Coinages of the Thracian Tribes, ca. 550-480 B.C.

Birthday and Year Joined

May 2 Donn Pearlmann 1979
May 8 Sharon Blocker 2000
May 10 Marty Vink 1952
May 11 William A. Burd 1993
May 11 Jeffrey Rosinia 1995
May 15 Jay M. Galst 1991
May 17 Paul R. Hybert 1994
May 23 Robert J. Weinstein 1991

Chatter Matter

All correspondence pertaining to Club matters should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:

P.O. Box 2301

Club Officers

Robert Feiler- President
Jeff Rosinia- First Vice President
Lyle Daly- Second Vice President
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Eugene Freeman
Elliot Krieter
Carl Wolf
Mark Wieclaw
Other positions held are:
Carl Wolf- Secretary
Steve Zitowsky- Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor

Contacting Your Editor / Chatter Delivery Option

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