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Volume 58 No. 4 April 2012

Minutes of the 1119th Meeting

Session I of the 1119th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held March 10, 2012 in conjunction with the Chicago Paper Money Expo, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL. First Vice President Elliott Krieter called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM with an attendance of 48 members and guests.

It was announced that the Chicago Coin Club will be host club to the 2013 ANA Convention with Mark Wieclaw as Host Chairman. Attendees were asked to submit their name and email address if they are interested in speaking, working on a committee, or general volunteer work.

Future Club meetings and featured programs were announced.

Director Marc Stackler introduced featured speaker Neil Shafer who delivered the program Scrip from the Financial Panics of 1893, 1907 and 1914. Following a question and answer period, Marc presented Neil with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club speaker’s medal.

Everyone in attendance received a souvenir card created by Jeff Rosinia showing images and history of the Chicago Clearing House.

The meeting was recessed at 1:51 PM and will reconvene 6:45PM Wednesday, March 14, 2012.

. . . . . .

Session II of the 1119th meeting of the Chicago Coin Club was held March 14, 2012 in the Chicago Bar Association Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court, Downtown Chicago. President Jeffrey Rosinia called the meeting to order at 6:45 PM with an attendance of 28 members.

A motion was passed to accept the February Minutes as published in the Chatter. Treasurer Steve Zitowsky gave a detailed report showing February income of $204.35, expenses of $329.52 and total assets of $18,646.01 held in Life Membership $1,670.00 and member equity $16,976.01. The Treasurer announced conversion to a paperless checking account statement. A motion was passed to approve the report.

Director Marc Stackler reported the Club has 50 followers on their Facebook account. The Club passed a motion for the Secretary to cast the Club ballot on the upcoming Central States Numismatic Society election for those who are Club members: Bruce Perdue for Vice President and Karen Jach for Governor.

Serial number 1 of the Chicago Clearing House Scrip souvenir card was given to Club William Burd to put into the Club Archives. A round of applause followed the presentation of serial number 3 to Jeffrey Rosinia for researching and creating the card.

Following an announcement of the upcoming featured Club programs, First V.P. Elliott Krieter introduced evening’s featured speaker, Clifford Mishler, Iola, WI who spoke on Irradiated U.S. Dimes from the 1950s & 1960s. At the end of the program, Cliff presented everyone in attendance an irradiated dime specimen from the American Museum of Atomic Energy. Following a question and answer period, Elliott presented Cliff with an ANA Educational Certificate and an engraved Club medal.

Second V.P. Rich Lipman announced the evening’s twelve exhibitors: EUGENE FREEMAN – 1693 4 mark Denmark, 1861 Mexican centavo, and 1954 irradiated dime; DREW MICHYETA – replica of Americana Libertas medal; ROBERT FEILER - $1 note origami into a man’s shirt and tie, double struck 1959 U.S. cent, and 1983 U.S. zinc cent (un-plated); ELLIOTT KREITER – advertisement of Chinese gold pandas believed fraudulent; BILL BIERLY – obsolete currency of LaPorte Plymouth Plank Road Company; SHARON BLOCKER – reprint 10,000 Russian ruble bond, notes from Easter Island and Arctic Territories; ROBERT LEONARD – fake Colombian centavo, 13th century Venetian grossos, Serbian grosch and Bulgarian gros; MARC STACKLER – 1913 banknotes of el Banco del Estado de Chihuahua and 1914 notes from Gobierno Provisional with municipal counterstamps; MARK WIECLAW – gold plated silver eagle with hologram, Gibralter tri-metallic 5 crown, 5th century B.C. staters from Cilicia; STEVE ZITOWSKY – Puerto Rican 1896 centavos and counterstamped 1853 U.S. half dollar; ROBERT WEINSTEIN – copper coins of Kushana kings from 25 BC – 400 AD; and RICH LIPMAN – colorful African bank notes.

Mark Wieclaw, Host Chairman of 2013 Chicago ANA Convention, announced a meeting of the Convention Committee for March 28th at 6 PM at Harlan Berk’s Offices, 77 W. Washington, Suite 1320, Downtown Chicago. Mark also announced the official email address is

The meeting was adjourned at 8:57 PM and will be called to order April 11, 2012 at the Chicago Bar Association Building, Downtown Chicago.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Wolf, Secretary

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Scrip from the Financial Panics of 1893, 1907, and 1914

presented by Neil Shafer
to our March 10, 2012 meeting

Neil Shafer started his presentation with two items that, while not from any of the periods in the title, were local scrip from the Great Depression-era Chicago area. Some in attendance had even seen examples! A $1 1933 Chicago Recovery Certificate scrip has spaces on the back for affixing 54 private 2¢ stamps; another stamp had to be affixed for each transaction until full, with the extra 8¢ covering program expenses. From the suburb of Harvey, a 1932 $1 certificate issued by trustees; a sign of trouble is the overprint stamp revalueing it to 25¢.

As typical of financial panics, the panic of 1893 was due to many factors — each alone could have been handled, but a tipping point was reached after enough events. The question of a gold or silver standard was there; although the US was on the gold standard with the offical ratio between gold and silver pegged at 16 to 1, the market priced them at a 15.5 to 1 ratio. The result was much gold leaving the country. Another issue was the entry of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad into receivership. By 1897, the economy had recovered.

During a panic, a chain reaction touched many groups. Funds withdrawn from banks led to their failure, leading citizens to hoard coins and currency which in turn closed many businesses. In response, business and individuals created scrip to keep commerce moving until consumer confidence returned. Neil Shafer is fond of saying, “When a government cannot or will not supply enough currency to meet demand, then people step in and make it themselves.” Large denomination Clearing House Loan Certificates are known, such as a $5,000 one shown by Neil. These were held by the members of a local clearing house, not circulated among the general public. (A clearing house typically was formed among a group of local banks to provide their employees with a safe and convenient place to transfer funds and settle accounts between themselves.) Smaller denomination notes were issued for use by the public, of which an assortment were shown us: A 25¢ C.H.C. from Birmingham mentions “Steiner Bros.” bank and was backed by the clearing house and member banks. A $10 note from Columbia, South Carolina listed the member banks on the back. A $5 payroll note was from the Arnold Print Works of North Adams, Massachusetts. The notes usually were very utilitarian, as shown by a $1 PAY-ROLL CHECK, but could be as elaborate as a $10 Richmond bond paying 6%. When they were redeemed, these pieces occasionally were holed, as shown by an 1894 piece from Mississippi.

Neil has not found any Chicago material from 1893, but much is known from the panic of 1907. That panic started in October, 1907, partly the result of a business slump, a stock market slump after an earlier boom, and local troubles. It is generally accepted that the Knickerbocker Trust was the trigger, and that J.P. Morgan, the one-man central bank, did much to halt the fear and panic by January / February of 1908. But that short period produced an enormous amount of notes. Neil sarted with a $100,000 Clearing House Loan Certificate from New York City. Of the 12 banks in the Chicago clearing house association, four issued notes. We even saw $10 and $20 notes from the Illinois Central Railroad. Ten pages from his book cover Illinois material; Neil showed us marked up printer proofs of those pages, with such items as: Harrisburg $1 and $2, Joliet $1, Moline $1, Peoria $2 and $5 cashiers checks issued to the public, Pulaski County $5, and a Springfield $1.

A sampling of items from other states included a cashiers check from Sioux City, Iowa, and a personal note issued by C.F. King whose portrait is the central vignette with small portraits of his four children appearing in the four corners, with the Atlantic Bank of Boston being named on this piece. Neil is not aware of many notes that were not lithographed, even the products of the American Bank Note Company. Some notes had mistakes, such as the $5 piece from South Boston & Houston Virginia, which shows two different denominations of $5 and ONE DOLLAR. A Milwaukee Clearing House check was a low denomination liability only of the named bank, and that was typical. Two of the known satirical pieces were shown: a Bryan and Taft note denominated 000, and a $10 note from The Soakum and Sloakum Bank.

The panic of 1914 was triggered by the outbreak of World War One, when many foreign investors sold their stocks and transferred their gold out of the country; the stock market was shut for four months. As with the Chicago Clearing House Association, private pieces are mostly dated only August, 1914, before the Federal reserve Bank Notes were issued. It had taken some years, but the Federal Reserve had just been created in response to the difficulties encountered during the panic of 1907. There is much less private scrip available from the war years than from the 1907 panic. Among the shown items were a note from Wichita that used the same design as a 1907 Wichita note. A 1918 19¢ piece was shown from the Miscellaneous section of his book, as representative of pieces that Neil found that do not belong to a particular panic period. It was issued by The Liberty Loan Association of Banks and Trust Companies of New York City and was printed by the American Bank Note Company.

Neil is working on a book with the same title as this presentation; he expects the final version to be at the publisher this year, but the actual printing schedule for the book is unknown at this time. He was aided in the compiling of this book by the availability of some important collections. Because of their general scarcity, these notes are very difficult to locate; we hope that the book will inspire more research and bring more material onto the market.

Speaker’s Wor[l]d
Irradiated U.S. Dimes from the 1950s & 1960s

presented by Clifford Mishler
to our March 14, 2012 meeting

Cliff was first exposed to irradiated dimes when he was about ten years old, during a stop at Oak Ridge, Tennessee while on a family trip. That must have been in 1950 or 1951, and that dime was spent within a few years. Years ago he found one at a bourse, and now he has about three double row boxes of them! After a brief history of the Oak Ridge area and some of the facilities, Cliff described the holder varieties he has seen.

About 25 miles west of downtown Knoxville, between the Cumberland and Great Smoky mountains, there is a valley along the southern slope of Black Oak Ridge. This area was chosen in 1942 as one of the three Manhattan Project sites; the task here was to create the materials for an atomic bomb. The 3,000 area residents were evicted so construction of a secret city could start; at its peak, 75,000 people lived there, and the current population is about 30,000. The area was returned to civilian control in 1947. Cliff used post cards from 1947-1949 and a 1950 souvenir folder to give us an idea of the place. They were not bashful about its purpose, as evidenced by signs proclaiming Home of the Atomic Bomb.

The American Museum of Atomic Energy was opened in 1949 to tell the history of the Manhattan Project. It was moved in 1975, and then renamed in 1978 (downplaying the atomic aspect). One of the popular exhibits was a demonstration of the principle of neutron activation. The visitor placed a dime in position to be fed into a lead cask for a few seconds of neutron activation, after which it would roll past a Geiger counter to produce some clicks, and then be packaged as a souvenir. There are a number of Silver isotopes, with a range of half-lives; you can check your favorite reference for details. The most common reaction was the conversion of some Silver-109 atoms into radioactive Silver-110 which has a 25 second half-life. After ten half-life periods (about 250 seconds), less than one-tenth of a percent of the original Silver-110 would remain, the rest having decayed to stable Cadmium-110. By the time the visitor left the building, the remaining radiation was too weak to be detected by a Geiger counter.

A 1954 press release from the museum described the dime irradiator as one of its most popular exhibits, with more than 250,000 dimes having been irradiated. Cliff saw mention, somewhere, that more than one million dimes were irradiated over the 18-year life of the exhibit, but he feels that number might be a little low. After the introduction of clad copper nickel coinage in 1965, the museum acquired dimes from a local bank and kept the silver ones to keep the program going. The program ended in 1967.

The first version of the round holder consisted of three parts: The dime was placed into a white collar with black lettering; the width of the collar was about 40% of a dime’s radius. That was placed into a short aluminum cyclinder, about an eighth of an inch tall, a round piece of clear plastic was placed atop the dime and holder, and the cylinder top was slightly crimped to hold the plastic window. The back of the aluminum holder shows no markings. The lettering on the collar identifies the program: AMERICAN MUSEUM OF ATOMIC ENERGY — NEUTRON IRRADIATED. Cliff’s oldest dimes in these holders are Barber dimes, dated 1906 and 1913. The holders seem to be intact, and some Barber dimes did appear in circulation in the early 1950s. The second holder version is very similar — it uses blue lettering instead of black. Cliff has noticed minor variations in the style, size, and color of the collar lettering. Eleven of his dimes in blue-lettered holders are fastened to a blue souvenir card; these coins are all dated 1957-1964, so the blue lettered holders were used later than those with black lettering.

The last holder version was a blue plastic ring with white lettering along with a few ovals, someone’s take on atomic rings. The dime was simply pressed into the holder, and could be easily removed and replaced with a different coin. Not that the aluminum and plastic window is tamper proof — Cliff should a seemingly undamaged holder containing a 1970-D clad dime, from three years after the dime irradiation program ended!

Although the most commonly encountered items are from the American Museum of Atomic Energy, pieces are known from other locations. The machine was taken to the New York World’s Fair, and many blue plastic rings have the legend ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION / N.Y. WORLD’S FAIR 1964-1965. Cliff has five dimes, Mercury and Roosevelt, from the MID-SOUTH FAIR’S ATOMIC ENERGY EXHIBIT; he guesses it was held in Atlanta, but not sure when.

A 1957 dime in an ORNL — UCNC — OAK RIDGE holder is possibly one of only a few special souvenirs from after the museum had opened; this is from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Union Carbide Nuclear Corporation. Pieces marked OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY are probably from 1947-1949, before the museum opened. Possibly made for special visitors, Cliff has seen only Mercury dimes in these holders. The authoritative reference on these pieces has not been written; there are many uncertainties as to release dates across the range of these holders. Time for a research road trip to Oak Ridge! Cliff concluded the program by passing around a box of these pieces, and asked each in audience to take one. Thank You, Cliff!

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Show and Tell

Items shown at our March 14, 2012 meeting.

  1. Eugene Freeman showed a range of items:
  2. Ever since he first saw a picture of one, Drew Michyeta wanted to own a Libertas Americana medal. Designed by Benjamin Franklin, paid for by Thomas Jefferson, and made at the Paris Mint. He told us how he obtained one at an auction, and then he showed us a replica, in some white metal, that is good enough to appreciate the design.
  3. At the last row of the recent paper money show, Robert Feiler found an unusual item. Then he showed some odd Lincoln Cents that he is trying to identify.
  4. Elliott Krieter showed a printout of an offer on eBay: a 2011 China 10 yuan Panda, one ounce of pure silver, for $21.96. (When silver is selling at about $33 per ounce.) Free shipping from Hong Kong, and more than 10 available! (Further digging showed the seller has 190 of them, as well as 190 from 2010.) So he ordered 5 using PayPal because of the 45-day arbitration period; and he can file with eBay if they are not as described. The seller has a 100% rating of 181 transactions, but most were little jewelry pieces for less than 50¢. Elliott will tell us how this works out.
  5. Bill Bierly likes pieces that are tied to a location, especially to one he knows. He showed us $1, $2, and $5 notes from the mid to late 1850s, of the LaPorte and Plymouth Plank Road Company. He located the towns of LaPorte and Plymouth on a map of northwest Indiana. The towns are connected by a road (and a railroad line); a plank road was needed in some marshy areas, especially near the Kankakee River crossing. Instead of the usual signature by Ludwig, these notes were signed by Walker, who was the founder of Bill’s hometown of Walkertown which is located along the road. He also showed a picture of his grandparents’ house along the Kankakee River; it was built as an inn in 1838, by the builder of the nearby bridge over the Kankakee River.
  6. Sharon Blocker showed a range of paper items:
  7. Robert Leonard started with something new before showing mid-13th century items when rich silver mines were discovered in lands of the Serbian kings.
  8. Marc Stackler showed items from Mexico:
  9. Mark Wieclaw started with a fun item, and followed with ancients and moderns.
  10. Steve Zitowsky showed coins of Puerto Rico:
  11. Robert Weinstein showed copper coins from Kushana kings (25BC - 400AD), coins acquired from the same source as last month’s pieces:
  12. Rich Lipman showed colorful African notes acquired at CPMX:

Our 1120th Meeting

Date:April 11, 2012, First session
Time:6:45 PM
Location:Downtown Chicago
At the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth Court, 3rd floor meeting room. Please remember the security measures at our meeting building: everyone must show their photo-ID and register at the guard’s desk. Nearby parking: South Loop Self Parking Ramp at Van Buren & Federal Streets; that is two short blocks west of our meeting site. Note: Their typical rate of $29 is reduced to $6 if you eat at the Plymouth Restaurant, 327 S. Plymouth Court (next to our meeting site at the CBA), show them your parking ticket, and ask the restaurant for a parking voucher. The restaurant offers standard sandwiches, burgers, and salads for members who want to meet for dinner.
Featured speaker:Bill Bierly - “In God We Trust” on U.S. Coinage

“In God We Trust” on U.S. coinage came about during the Civil War when both the Union and Confederacy claimed God was on their side. Join us as Bill tells the story of the motto, how it evolved into its final form, and the citizens and government officials who campaigned for its adoption. To illustrate the story he will show U.S. pattern Half Dollars (silver and copper) and $10 Eagles (copper) from 1861 when the motto first appeared and began to evolve. He will also show transitional pattern coinage from 1863-65 that display the motto. The U.S. circulating coin where “In God We Trust” first appeared was the 2-cent piece of 1864. Visitors are welcome.

Date:April 21, 2012, Second session
Time:1:00 PM
Location:At the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) Convention, which is held at the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL.
Featured speaker:Walter Ostromecki - Paranormal Images on Coins & Currency

Many numismatic issues show images dealing with the supernatural. Be sure to attend this meeting as Walter Ostromecki takes collectors on a numismatic tour of paranormal creatures and shows vampires, dragons, angels, devils, etc. on coins and currency. He will also explain why dragons depicted on bank notes in the eastern culture are depicted as benevolent, kind, friendly and often associated with good luck. Western culture, however, portray dragons as fierce fire-breathing, man-eating forces of evil and destruction. Attendees will also relive some of the legends and lore associated with paranormal forces seen in Saint George slaying the dragon, Count Dracula, Transylvania, the grim reaper, demons, ghosts, angelic hosts, etc. some vividly portrayed on Notgeld issues. The public is invited to attend.

Date:April 28, 2012, Third 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 program: The Story of Krause Publications’ Standard Catalog of World Coins

Putting together the Standard Catalog of World Coins is a giant project and a challenge. Gathering information is becoming more and more difficult. Editors of this catalog will share how they gather a massive amount of data, track down, and identify new issues. New discoveries are made every year with small issues from far away countries. In some cases the editors pass judgment if the issue is to be put into the catalog or not. The public is invited to attend.

Important Dates

April 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Bill Bierly on “In God We Trust” on U.S. Coinage
April 19-21 73rd Anniversary Convention of the Central States Numismatic Society at the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, 1551 North Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg, IL. Free admission, and free parking. For details, refer to their website,
April 21 CCC Meeting - 1pm at the CSNS Convention, which is held at the Schaumburg Convention Center.
Featured Speaker - Walter Ostromecki on Paranormal Images on Coins & Currency
April 27-29 36th 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 - to be announced
May 9 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - David Simpson on Crowns & Ryals of the Stuart Monarchs
June 13 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - Andrew Reiber on Box Thalers and Dollars
July 11 CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker - to be announced

Chatter Matter

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

P.O. Box 2301

Club Officers

Jeffrey Rosinia- President
Elliott Krieter- First Vice President
Richard Lipman- Second Vice President
William Burd- Archivist
Directors:Robert Feiler
Eugene Freeman
Marc Stackler
Carl Wolf
Other positions held are:
Carl Wolf- Secretary
Steve Zitowsky- Treasurer
Paul Hybert- Chatter Editor
Robert Feiler- ANA Club Representative

Contacting Your Editor / Chatter Delivery Option

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