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“Drums Along The Mohawk”

“Drums Along The Mohawk”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

When I first encountered this installment’s Exonumia Corner item, the words that immediately popped to mind were "Drums Along The Mohawk," a classic 1939 black and white movie starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, based on the novel of the same name by Walter D. Edmonds. The movie was a childhood favorite of mine in the 1950s, and nearly every time it came on television—depending, of course, on whether the weather was good enough to play outside—I would sit cross-legged on the living room floor and watch the adventure unfold. 

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“Put A Penny, Take A Penny”

“Put A Penny, Take A Penny”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

We’ve all seen them in our favorite convenience store and elsewhere, those little plastic “put a penny, take a penny” trays next to the cash register. Your bill came to $2.01? Take a penny from the tray and pay the cashier. At your next stop the cost was $1.99; put that penny change in the tray for the next person who needs it. 
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“Pictures of an Exposition”

“Pictures of an Exposition”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

I don’t usually collect postcards or other paper items, but when I saw this on my favorite internet auction site I had to own it. The numismatic nerd in me took over owing to the subject matter, and with the aid of the “buy it now” feature of the site, my wallet was $5 thinner but my collection was greatly enriched. 
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“Presto-Chango, Ala-Kazam”

“Presto-Chango, Ala-Kazam”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

Magician’s coins. We’ve all seen them, and some collectors – yours truly included – actually own a few of them in various “denominations.” A magician’s coin is typically a pair of mismatched denominations, often a cent and a dime, each with one side planed off and then paired back-to-back so it appears the coin has changed denominations when in the hands of a skilled prestidigitator.
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“Can She Bake A Cherry Pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy”

“Can She Bake A Cherry Pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

What can a holed 1838 large cent have in common with an obscure 19th century musical ditty? There actually is a slight connection, as you’ll see. I have owned the coin in question longer than I can remember, purchased from a junk-box at a coin show decades ago. I bought it for a dollar or two as I assumed it was a substitute gear from some long-ago machinery, made perhaps by an enterprising person to fix a machine that had broken down. 
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“A Hallowe’en ‘buck’ from the Biggest Little Town in Ohio.”

“A Hallowe’en ‘buck’ from the Biggest Little Town in Ohio.”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

Trick or Treat and Happy Hallowe’en to all our readers from Waldo C. Moore, president of the American Numismatic Association, 1919-1921, and from Lewisburg, the “Biggest Little Town in Ohio.” Moore (1874-1953) was born in West Baltimore, Ohio (now Verona) and attended the Dayton Normal School and the Miami Commercial College in Dayton. 
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“Does anyone have change for a celeston?”

“Does anyone have change for a celeston?”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

The Nation of Celestial Space, also known as Celestia, was founded in 1948 by James Thomas Mangan (1896-1970) of Evergreen Park, Illinois, and was registered in Cook County with the Register of Deeds and Titles on January 1, 1949. Calling himself “Founder and First Representative,” Mangan listed a mere 19 members on that date, including his daughter, Ruth, but within a decade the membership reportedly soared to more than 19,000 members with some claiming 100,000+ members in the later years. 

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“Is anyone thirsty?”

“Is anyone thirsty?”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

Root beer! Nearly all of us have had a cold root beer on a warm summer day. Why, it’s nearly as American as apple pie and voting. One of the most famous of all root beer manufacturers in the country, Dad’s Root Beer, enjoys a numismatic connection with the general public. The formula for Dad’s was concocted in the 1930s by Barney Berns and Ely Klapman in a Chicago basement, leading to the founding of the company in 1937.

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