ADAMS, EDGAR HOLMES


  FIGURE 1. Photo of Edgar Holmes Adams, a member of the New York Athletic Club, as it appeared in The New York Times, December 25, 1904. Asked by Pete Smith, "How were you able to confirm that the numismatist and the swimmer were the same person?" I responded that this photograph positively identifies him providing ample proof that Adams was an Olympian swimmer.


Copyright © 2011-2014 John N. Lupia III


Adams, Edgar Holmes (April 7, 1868-May 5, 1940), Bayville, Long Island, New York.[1] Adams was a journalist, editor, business manager, publisher, numismatic author, coin dealer and collector, research scholar, photographer and Olympic medal winner.

 

Adams entered into history as a rising star, an Olympic Silver Medal winner. He was the fourth editor of The Numismatist. He captured the limelight from 1908 until 1934 when his articles and books and research notebooks were highly esteemed by the astute numismatist. For nearly thirty years Adams worked and left a legacy of over one hundred and twenty articles, books, periodicals, pamphlets and notebooks on coins, tokens, and medals both foreign and American.

 

He was born in 1868, in Pennsylvania. His father’s family came from Baltimore, Maryland and his mother from what is now called West Virginia.[2] In 1880, at the age of twelve he was accidentally shot in the leg tripping over a loaded shotgun dropped by a companion that severely wounded him handicapping him for life with a walking disability requiring him to use a cane. The 1880 U. S. Census lists him living in Saint Clairsville, Ohio, with his widowed grandmother Elizabeth Adams, his younger sister Elizabeth and three spinster aunts, one of whom, Amelia was a school teacher.[3] The lack of parents from this Census report contributes to the perplexity and confusion of the circumstances at the time compounded by the shooting of young Adams. Due to his disability he was home-schooled by his aunt and purportedly by his father. Confined to a quasi sedentary life early on young Adams saw the first appearance of the new design of George T. Morgan for the Silver Dollar in 1878, those of John A. Kasson for the Stella $4 gold pieces in 1879, Charles E. Barber’s design of a nickel-five cent piece in 1883, the cessation of minting the nickel three-cent piece and $1 gold pieces in 1889, and the first appearance of three other Barber designs for the dime, quarter and half dollar in 1892.[4] His later interest was highly focused on pattern and trial pieces coined at the U. S. Mint, undoubtedly inspired by his personal experiences with these changes in coinages during his adolescent and early adult years.

 

In any event, to compensate for the loss of his lower extremities he took up swimming allowing him to exercise all of his limbs and body. In 1895 he married Sarah E. Kelly, affectionally called Sadie, a first generation Scotch-Irish –American from New York. They had no children. She encouraged his swimming and as a member of the Bath Beach Swimming Club won his first quarter-mile championship at Coney Island on July 31, 1902. He became so proficient a swimmer that as a member of the Human Fish Club and New York Athletic Club he won the Metropolitan Amateur Athletic Union championship for plunging for distances from the years 1902 to 1905 with his record of 66 feet 9 inches, in March of 1905. He swam in the 1904 Summer Olympics at St. Louis, Missouri, taking the silver medal in the plunge and 4th place in the 220 and 880-yard freestyle and relay races. [See Above Figure 1.]

 

Though handicapped, he enjoyed a very active and full life and moved his residency and business at least eleven times from 1900 until his death in 1940. The 1900 Census lists him living at 3 Cropsey Avenue near 28th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. His ANA application for membership in November 1905 listed him as living at 110 East 22nd Street, New York, New York. In July 1906 his address was changed to c/o New York Times, New York, New York; in 1908, 240 W. 42nd Street, New York; from 1910 to 1912 his address was: 40 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY; November 1912 to July 1915, he is listed at 447-A State Street, Brooklyn, New York; August 1915 to September 1915 his address was Room 1203, 52 Broadway, New York; October 1915 his address was 5056 Broadway, New York; 1916-1917, 200 5th Avenue, Room 960, New York; in 1918, Box 133, Station L, Brooklyn, New York; in 1920, he was living in his sister-in-law, Jennie Kelly’s rooming house at 40 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn; also on 1920, Box 320, Oyster Bay, New York . In the 1930’s until his death he resided at Bayville, Long Island, New York.

 

Evidently, after the 1904 Summer Olympic games Adams intended to plunge into numismatics full-time as a professional career with all of the force and determination of an Olympian. He entered the field of numismatics as a champion and incessantly was a champion at his numismatic work. In 1905, he began writing a regular column for hobbies focusing on coin and stamp collecting for the Sunday edition of a New York newspaper, The Sun, as the editor.[5] He was paid $12 per article and some weeks published at least two or more articles. Judging by the depth of his knowledge he must have been involved in numismatics for some years prior to his journalistic debut and had adequate credentials to get the job. Nevertheless, later that year he joined the ANA in December 1905 and is member no. 785. It is possible that the first piece published by Adams for The Numismatist, though unsigned, was in the May issue reporting the results of the Chapman Brothers sale of the Harlan Page Smith collection, which sold May 8-11, 1906, with the title, “Rare Gold Coins Bring Big Prices,” the theme of Adams’ first book published in 1909. His application for ANA membership was vouched for by Geoffrey Charlton Adams and Howland Wood. No familial relationship has yet been established between the two Adams, if any exists. The next year he became an Associate Member of the ANS on November 19, 1906. Publishing articles through the publication organs of each numismatic organization Adams emerged as an expert in numismatic journalism and in various numismatic series.

 

His earliest known career began no later than 1900 when he worked as a compositor in New York probably engaged in the newspaper trade.[6] This is supported by his subsequent career in the newspaper industry and by the fact that in 1900 he had a boarder living at his residence named Richard Kirshner who is listed in the Census report as working as newspaper reporter. In 1905 he was working at The Sun, and in 1906, at the New York Times. Farran Zerbe, the future publisher/owner of The Numismatist, met him June 25-29, 1907, at Henry Chapman’s auction of the Matthew Stickney collection.[7] He was familiar with his writing since he read the pieces in The Sun, and the American Journal of Numismatics and the latest piece just printed in the April issue of The Elder Monthly. He had already reprinted a few articles that appeared in The Sun in the May, July and September issues of The Numismatist.[8] After the death of George Heath in June 1908, Zerbe became the new owner/publisher of The Numismatist and was looking for a good numismatic writer and editor and found Adams his best candidate.


[Left : Figure 2.]

His early numismatic writing is related by Farran Zerbe when introducing Adams for his first article published in The Numismatist in the August issue, 1908, titled : Higley Coppers – “Granby Coinage.” Coined by John Higley, a Connecticut Blacksmith 1737, 1738, 1739.” [See Figure 2.] Zerbe tells us, ”Mr. E. Adams’ writings on numismatic subjects during the past few years have been most wholesome, and from the abundance of material he has accumulated, promises to continue of special interest. We hope to present one of Mr. Adam’s articles each month, illustrating it when practical.” Evidently, Zerbe had seen Adams’ earlier numismatic writing, in The Sun, The Elder Monthly, and in the American Journal of Numismatics and happily reprinted one last piece from The Sun in the May 1909 issue of The Numismatist.[9]

 

[Left : Figure 3.]

Adams was a regular attendant at the ANA Conventions beginning in 1907 until 1915. In 1908, he was appointed Chairman of the Ballot and Proxies and Resolutions Committee; and is No. 12 in the group photograph published in The Numismatist. [See Figure 3.] He was also appointed to the Coin Design Committee of the ANA.  He proposed at the 1908 ANA Convention that the dues be increased to $1.50, with $1.25 going to Zerbe as owner and publisher of The Numismatist and $0.25 going into the treasury of the ANA. Also, he proposed that the ANA become incorporated and a committee be appointed to weigh the pro’s and con’s; and was also voted into the Board of Governors of the ANA. In July 1909, he declined the nomination for ANA First Vice-President .

 

[Left : Figure 4.]

In January 1908 Adams was appointed by the president Archer M. Huntington to the ANS Standing Committee on United States Medals. In the September 1908 issue of Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly, Adams published an article, “The Value of Numismatic Societies”. [See Figure 4.] Certainly, Adams could appreciate the invaluable service numismatic societies afford those who wish to pursue dedicated research in this field being a member of the ANA, ANS, New York Numismatic Club, Chicago Numismatic Society, and British Numismatic Society.

 

He was a charter member in 1908 of the New York Numismatic Club (NYNC), where he served as Treasurer from 1908 to 1911.  In July 1909 he exhibited at the NYNC his rare 1882 Silver Dollar Pattern piece designed by George T. Morgan.

 

At the 1909 ANA Convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, he appears in the group photo published in the September-October issue of The Numismatist. At that Convention he was elected as the District Secretary for the New York and New Jersey Regions of the ANA but only held the post a few months.

 

In January 1909, Zerbe, once again introduced Adams in his editorial on revamping his publication, “The New Numismatist”, calling him a “New York City Journalist, whose numismatic writings are well known, and who is an acknowledged authority on the money mediums of America, is an Associate Editor, and will be a regular contributor.” As Associate Editor he was slated as U. S. Currency Authority in the masthead. His first column titled : “Current American Numismatic Notes” accompanied by a 1 1/4 inch square staff photograph of Adams ran frequently but irregularly beginning in the February 1909 issue. [See Figure 4.] With the change in ANA politics in 1910 Adams played a backseat role only to be restored in 1911. In the January 1911 issue of The Numismatist, “The Editors of the Numismatist,” displays the staff photo of Adams that ran nearly regularly in 1909, and he is described as the editor who will superintend all material on U. S. coins, etc.

 

 

He also served on the Membership Committee of the New York Numismatic Club in 1910. His interests were in Latin-American coins shared with his friend and colleague at the NYNC, Julius Guttag. However he also owned Crowns of George III by Pistrucci, one of Victoria by Wynon and a silver Half Pound of Charles I, dated 1642, which he exhibited at the NYNC meeting in February 1910. In the April meeting he and Frank C. Higgins proposed the NYNC publish an official bulletin of their proceedings.

He was also a member of the Pacific Coast Numismatic Society, and the Chicago Numismatic Society.

 

The 1900 U. S. Census lists his occupation as a compositor where he possessed the skills to create a mechanical layout by typing the text in a format that allowed cut and paste photos to be laid in to his work creating a camera-ready manuscript for publication. Several numismatic manuscripts created by Adams are known to exist in this manner and are described below.

 

In the June 1909 issue of The Numismatist, John W. Haseltine wrote his article, “Two Unique Double Eagle Varieties : Previously Unpublished,” citing Adams as the authority who confirmed them as unique.

 

His first-known published numismatic monograph : Adam’s Official Premium List of United States, Private and Territorial Gold Coins Indicated by Prices Brought at Public Coin Sales. Illustrated by Walter E. Blythe. (New York : Willett Press, 1909), [See Figure 5. Below] comprised 72 pages of text and 171 illustrations of obverse and reverse designs of gold coins and ingot bars.[10]

          [Above : Figure 5. Courtesy of the John N. Lupia Numismatic Library]

Farran Zerbe gave prophetic remarks that this book “should be in every library” when it was in manuscript preparation and first presented as a paper at the 1908 ANA Convention. A public notice of the book first ran in the June 1909 issue of The Numismatist titled : “Valuable Book By America’s Best Authority”. The first display advertisement appeared in the 1909 September-October issue of The Numismatist on page 295, and later on page 324 and 358. This advertisement additionally mentions that he has a large variety of rare pattern pieces for sale or exchange marketing himself as a coin dealer. The following month the first review of the book appeared written by Dr. T. Louis Comparette, Curator of the U. S. Mint Collection, in the November 1909 issue of The Numismatist. Although positive it contained valuable criticisms. Adams published two replies to Comparette : “Mr. Adams Replies to Mr. Comparette With Some New Information on “Territorial”, “ December (1909) : 345, and “Private” – “Territorial” – A Last Word,” February (1910) : 48. Another review appeared in The New York Times. In May 1910 he donated a copy of the book to the ANA Library. However, this seemingly first book might have been subsequent to another work he published, United States Encased Postage Stamps (Boston : MeKeel, Severn, Wylie Company, c. 1909).

 

He is the author of an unpublished monograph, American Rare Coin Counterfeit Detector, begun in 1910 and fully described in the February 1910 issue of The Numismatist. As he was photographing coins for this book he ran a public notice in The Numismatist, “Colonial Counterfeits Wanted,” May-June (1910) : 145, looking for certain specimens he was lacking. According to the 1910 U. S. Census report he was working as a numismatist in a store. Which coin shop he was affiliated with is not clear since he may have been independent and rented desk space in any store.

 

His involvement with gold coinages caused him to be the voice at the 1910 ANA New York Convention to the U. S. Mint to revert back to the former frost proof finish on gold proof coinages.

 

[Left : Figure 6.]

On February 10, 1911 he held his only coin auction and published the catalog and prices realized sheet of the duplicates of rare pattern pieces belonging to William H. Woodin at the auction rooms of Daniel R. Kennedy, New York. The catalog : Rare Pattern Coins, Comprising Many Pattern Duplicates of Mr. William Woodin, contained nine photographic plates though the original notice of the free catalog promised two or more.[11] The catalogue was privately printed in Brooklyn, New York by the author in green paper and green card stock covers. A brief notice prior to the sale appeared in the January 1911 issue of The Numismatist followed by a full-page advertisement on page 37 [See Figure 6.]. The free catalog previously advertised was now offered at $2.00.  He ran a smaller display advertisement in the same issue on p age 34, and in each issue that year expressing his interest in buying and selling Pattern and Experimental Pieces suggesting he hoped to have a future coin auction sale later that year or else sometime in the future. Post auction sale of the catalog was offered at $2.25, and a copy without plates and the prices realized sheet for $0.25. This coin auction sale was Part 1 of the William H. Woodin collection catalogued by Adams. Part 2 was cataloged by Thomas Lindsay Elder, Sale No. 48, and was auctioned nearly three weeks after that of Adams’ sale, on March 2-4, 1911.

           

Also, beginning in 1911 he published the initial installment of : Private Gold Coinages of California, 1849-1855 : Its History and Its Issues, originally intended as a series of articles to be published in the American Journal of Numismatics, Volumes 45-46 (1911-1912), in eight parts.[12] In October 1911 it was issued in off prints as four issues in paper wrappers, sometimes bound variously by purchasers or kept in the paper covers as issued. An advertisement of these pamphlets ran in the October 1911 issue of The Numismatist on page 385. In January 1913, it was reprinted as a single volume with a 20-page and in February a second edition a 28-page introduction, sold in half morocco binding just prior to the distribution of the final quarterly issue of October-December 1912, when American Journal of Numismatics converted to a single annual issue. A detailed book description appeared in the May issue of The Numismatist on page 279.

 

From March 1912 to July 1915 he served as the first salaried editor and publisher of The Numismatist, as an ANA owned publication at the rate of $720 per annum plus expenses. Beginning in May 1912, the masthead lists him as editor and business manager, rather than publisher. The correction of the ANA as publisher is clarified in the December 1912 issue of The Numismatist on page 469. He was succeeded as editor in August 1915 by Frank G. Duffield.

 

In the September 1912 issue of The Numismatist he ran a half page advertisement as a dealer specializing in pattern pieces. His exhibition of pattern pieces at the 1912 Convention also served as a marketing tool since it preceded his book debut on that subject the following year.

 

Also, in 1913, his most acclaimed masterpiece and classic work was co-authored with William Hartman Woodin, the future Secretary of the Treasury under Franklin Roosevelt (from March 4 to December 31, 1933) : United States Pattern, Trial and Experimental Pieces. American Numismatic Series No. 1 (New York: American Numismatic Society, 1913). The book announcement was in a full-page advertisement in the March issue of The Numismatist on page 177. The Deluxe Edition in full Morocco was limited to fifty copies. The Regular edition was bound in dark blue cloth. The second issue of the full page advertisement in the April issue gives notice that the U. S. Coin Company of New York will be holding the Jackson sale May 20-22, containing more than 500 pattern pieces and will be cataloged using the Adams-Woodin numbering system in an effort to sell more copies of the book. These enticements to purchase the book apparently met with little success since the ANS probably did not print 50 Deluxe editions as Davis suggests, only twelve known, and the American Numismatic Series No. 1 was never followed by No. 2.[13] These indicators suggest that this groundbreaking and remarkable book had very small success in sales.

 

Two other 1913 publications are : first, New York City and State Store Cards. (New York Numismatic Club, 1913). Adams published this in 100 copies as chairman of the committee, but the work remains largely a reprint on the subject originally published in The Coin Collector’s Journal 1885-1887. 24 leaves, 42 pages (6), with 414 listings sans illustrations.[14] Second, Hard Times Tokens Illustrated in fifteen photographic plates of 170 varieties with the corresponding number given in Low’s Hard Times Tokens


Probably early in 1913 he published his first Fixed Price List, undated,  No. 1, Minor Series. List of United States Pattern Pieces at Fixed Prices.


[Below : Figure 7.]



In August 1913 he ran his first half page advertisement in The Numismatist, on page 441, of his coin dealership and various book publication. [See Figure 7. Right]




[Left : Figure 8.]

In December 1913 he published his second Fixed Price List of 12 pages :  Fixed Price Catalogue, No. 1. [15] It contained line drawings of 329 lots of coins. [See Figure 8. Right] An advertisement for this Catalogue appeared in the January 1914 issue of The Numismatist. In the March issue of The Numismatist he ran two quarter-page advertisements listing the prices of coins and tokens he had in stock for sale.

 

Adams loaned several pieces to the ANS for the famous Exhibition of United States and Colonial Coins, January 17th to February 18th, 1914, that were published in the ANS Exhibition book.

 

On June 7, 1915, due to the nature of his business affairs he submitted his letter of resignation as editor and business manager of The Numismatist to H. O. Grandberg, Chairman of the Board of Governors. Accordingly, his term in office ended July 31, 1915. He appears to have entered some sort of business relationship with Wayte Raymond and his business venture, The United States Coin Company from about the time of his resignation. Apparently, Raymond was finding it very difficult to regularly publish his United States Coin Company Bulletin due to the increasing pressures of business as he expressed this view in Volume 1, Numbers 7-10, on page 53 .  From April 1916 to March 1917 he co-edited Coin and Medal Bulletin with Wayte Raymond.[16] In 1917 he purchased Ferry Beach resort in Bayville, Long Island, NY, where he later on about 1930 lived as his primary residence with his wife Sarah (also called “Sadie”) until he sold it to Reinhardt of Hicksville, New York.


[Left : Figure 9.]

Mrs. Sadie E. Adams' photo appeared in the 1914 ANA Springfield Convention photograph, listed as No. 68, and also in the 1915 ANA San Francisco Convention photograph. [See Figure 9. Right]

 




In 1920 he published with Wayte Raymond a book on the history of American merchant’s store cards and checks entitled : United States Store Cards: A List of Merchants’ Advertising, Checks, Restaurant Checks and Kindred Pieces Issued from 1789 up to Recent Years (New York : E. H. Adams & W. Raymond, 1920).[17] Also, he published a 24-page Fixed Price List of “United States Store Cards” Numbered According to List Prepared by Edgar H. Adams in 1920.[18]

 

Also, in 1920, he corresponded with John Work Garrett regarding certain pattern pieces and other rarities of the gold coinages he learned were in his collection. Most of the correspondence shows his address as at 40 Fourth Avenue, and a few from Box 320, Oyster Bay, New York. Apparently, the old address at Fourth Avenue was still rented by them; and Jennie Kelly, his sister-in-law, and her two children appeared in the 1910 U. S. Census living there too. The 1920 U.S. Census lists him and his wife Sarah “Sadie” E. Adams living in the boardinghouse of his sister-in-law Jennie Kelly at 45 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. It would seem that Adams kept two addresses in 1920, as well as a Post Office Box. This correspondence between Adams and Garrett continued from September 1920 into early 1921 when Adams sold him a few rare coins.[19]

 

On June 23, 1921, Adams was a partner with F. A. Wenck, and W. N. Noble in the Wenck Marine Corporation that provided ferry transportation from Ferry Beach in Bayville, Oyster Bay across Long Island Sound to Rye and Stamford, New York.[20]

 

Sometime around 1923 or 1924 he published jointly with the Julius Guttag, Coin Collecting : Issued Especially for Coin Week. (New York : Guttag Brothers, n.d.)

 

About 1924 he created a manuscript that served as a Collector’s Buying Guide of United States Silver Coinages issued from 1794 to 1860, fully illustrated with cut and pasted in plates, that was never published, though professionally bound, now in the ANS archive. This was the precursor to the first Red Book published by Wayte Raymond in 1936 : Standard Catalogue of United States Coins and Currency; and by the now famous 1947 Red Book published by Dick Yeo (Richard Yeoman).

 

About 1925 he served as a consultant to Julius Guttag in forming his collection of Latin American coins. At this time he produced a 44-page manuscript illustrated with photographic plates of coins cut and pasted from two published coin books. This unpublished manuscript was sold at auction by David Fanning, June 4, 2009, Lot 60.

 

In 1929 he published the Catalogue of the Collection of Julius Guttag, illustrated with halftones : Catalogue of the collection of Julius Guttag, comprising the coinage of Mexico, Central America, South America and the West Indies. Compiled by Edgar H. Adams. (New York, 1929).[21]

 

In the 1930’s he produced two manuscripts on colonial New England coins. One covered Massachusetts silver of 1652 and the early state copper coinages of the half cent and cent. The other the Willow, Oak and Pine Tree coinages. Both manuscripts appear to have served as the working model for Sydney Philip Noe’s later works.[22] Both manuscripts are in the ANS archives.

 

On June 27, 1932, Thomas Elder sold his numismatic library collection of over 500 works and catalogs was the largest collection of its type to be sold at auction.[23] Adams’ materials were only part of a larger sale held by Elder with other items from Bauman Lowe Belden and Frank F. Fletcher, combined 3,343 lots. Adams, apparently, sold his library to raise capital since he was still very active as a coin dealer and published a quarter page advertisement soliciting his 4th known Fixed Price List in the July issue of The Numismatist.

 

In 1933 he began to keep records of the costs of print runs for various publications of the American Numismatic Society (ANS). He read his final public paper at the ANA Convention in August 1933, titled : “William H. Woodin’s Collection,” while Woodin was Secretary of the Treasury.[24]

 

About 1934 he was a machine compositor working at the New York Times, and contributed articles for the April 1934 issue of The Coin Collector’s Journal.

 

Sometime around 1935 he became bedridden and died on May 5, 1940 at his home, Bayville, Long Island, New York.[25]

 

In 1969 the American Numismatic Association opened its Hall of Fame gallery at its headquarters in Colorado Springs placing Adams among the first to be named among the great numismatists of the Association.

 

On August 17, 2004, in the Pittsburg ANA Signature Sale #352, Heritage Auction Galleries, in Lot 5001, sold 45 items in the lot among which several pieces were of correspondence between Adams while editor and business manager of The Numismatist,  and H. O. Granberg.

 

In 2009 the Numismatic Bibliomania Society conducted a survey of the 100 Greatest Items of United States Numismatic Literature, and Adams 1913 work co-authored with Woodin, United States Patterns, Trial and Experimental Pieces ranked 40 on the list.

 

Complete Bibliography of Adams’ Published Books, Periodicals and Pamphlets


001. Adam’s Official Premium List of United States, Private and Territorial Gold Coins Indicated by Prices Brought at Public Coin Sales. Illustrated by Walter E. Blythe. (New York : Willett Press, 1909)

002. United States Encased Postage Stamps (Boston : MeKeel, Severn, Wylie Company, c. 1909).

003. Rare Pattern Coins, Comprising Many Pattern Duplicates of Mr. William Woodin (1911)

004. Private Gold Coinages of California, 1849-1855 : Its History and Its Issues (1911-1912, and reprint 1913)

005. No. 1, Minor Series. List of United States Pattern Pieces at Fixed Prices. (n. d., but 1913)

006. co-author, William Hartman Woodin, United States Pattern, Trial and Experimental Pieces. American Numismatic Series No. 1 (New York: American Numismatic Society, 1913). 

007. Fixed Price Catalogue, No. 1 (December 1913)

008. New York City and State Store Cards. (New York Numismatic Club, 1913)

009. Hard Times Tokens Illustrated (1913)

010. Coin and Medal Bulletin (1916-1917)

011. United States Store Cards: A List of Merchants’ Advertising, Checks, Restaurant Checks and Kindred Pieces Issued from 1789 up to Recent Years (New York : E. H. Adams & W. Raymond, 1920)

012. Fixed Price List of “United States Store Cards” Numbered According to List Prepared by Edgar H. Adams in 1920

013. co-author, Julius Guttag, Coin Collecting : Issued Especially for Coin Week. (New York : Guttag Brothers, n.d. [c. 1923])

014. Catalogue of the collection of Julius Guttag, comprising the coinage of Mexico, Central America, South America and the West Indies. Compiled by Edgar H. Adams. (New York, 1929)

015. Fixed Price List of “United States Store Cards” Numbered According to List Prepared by Edgar H. Adams in 1932



Complete Bibliography of Adams’ Unpublished Books and Pamphlets


001. American Rare Coin Counterfeit Detector (1910)

002. Collector’s Buying Guide of United States silver coinages issued from 1794 to 1860

003. Latin American Coins (c. 1925)

004. Massachusetts Silver of 1652 and the Early State Copper Coinages of the Half Cent and Cent  (c. 1930-1933)

005. Willow, Oak and Pine Tree Coinages (c. 1930-1933)



Complete Bibliography of Adams’ Articles in The Numismatist :

 

001. “Rare Gold Coins Bring Big Prices,” May (1906) : 152-153

002. “Patterns and Trial Pieces Struck At the Mint, [reprint from The Sun]” July (1906) : 236-241

003. “Disappearance of the Gold Dollars Explained,” September (1906) : 300-302

004. “Trade Dollars At A Premium,” December (1906) : 400-402

005. “Higley Coppers – “Granby Coinage.” Coined by John Higley, a Connecticut Blacksmith 1737, 1738, 1739.” August, (1908) : 231-233

006. “Coins of the Popes,” September (1908) : 275-277

007. “Beautiful Type Coins by a Calico Designer : Copper Dollars Worth More Than Silver – Gobrecht, Calico Artist, Became Chief Mint Engraver – Beautiful U. S. Coin Types Introduced in 1836,” January (1909) : 2-4

008. “Current American Numismatic Notes : New Variety Baldwin $10; Conway $2.50 in Copper; Living Indians Portrayed on Money; Higley Confederatio Mule; Expressive Seal for N. Y. N. C: New York Welcomes Mr. Heaton; 1845 $2.50 O Unrecorded; What Next?; Some Territorial Coin Mysteries,” February (1909) : 44-45

009. “Current American Numismatic Notes : New Gold Certificates; Ottawa Mint Sovereigns; Higley-Confederatio, a Fabrication,” March (1909) : 84

010. “Current American Numismatic Notes : First American Engraver [Jenks]; 1838 $10 in Proof; The Gem of Slugs [Moffat $50]; A Territorial in Proof [1853 $20 Assay Office] April (1909) : 111

011. “New Light On California Coinage : Existing Trial Pieces Show Unrecorded Types and Indicate Octagonal Shape Was Considered for $5 and $10 Coins,” May (1909) : 129-130

012. “Ottawa Mint Sovereigns of 1908 Not the First. British Columbia Struck $10 and $20 Pieces in 1862,” May (1909) : 135

013. “First Double Eagle Struck in Silver : The Unique 1849 $20 Gold Piece Preceded by a Pattern in Silver. A Specimen in Copper, [reprinted from The Sun]” May (1909) : 140

014. “Look Out For Private Gold Coin Counterfeits! Mr. Virgil Brand Makes Important Discovery,” June (1909) : 165-166

015. “The World’s Highest Priced Coins. The Two Unique Pattern Quintuple Eagles Sold for $10,000 Each – Specialists Consider Them Cheap at This Price - $25 and $100 Gold Coins Also Proposed But Never Issued,” July (1909) : 193-196

016. “Current American Numismatic Notes : A Fifteen Cent Coin Agitated; Early Carolina Gold Bullion,” August (1909) : 245

017. “Report of the Committee of Resolution,” September-October (1909) : 280-281

018. “Mr. Adams Replies to Mr. Comparette With Some New Information on “Territorial”, “ December (1909) : 345

019. “Private” – “Territorial” – A Last Word,” February (1910) : 48

020. “An American Rare Coin Counterfeit Detector,” February (1910) : 48

021. “American Gold Coin Discoveries of 1909,” February (1910) : 49-50

022. “A San Francisco German Peace Medal by Kuner,” April (1910) : 107

023. “Colonial Counterfeits Wanted,” May-June (1910) : 145

024. “An Over-Date of the Saint-Gaudens’ $20,” May-June (1910) : 157

025. “To Fix the Status of Pattern Coins : Resolution and Address by Edgar H. Adams,” August-September (1910) : 210-212

026. “Coming Sale of Pattern Coins,” December (1910) : 281

027. “Live American Numismatic Items,” January (1911) : 1-2

028. “Record Prices For United States Cents,” [reprinted from The Sun], February (1911) : 53-54

029. “Live American Numismatic Items,” February (1911) : 72-73

030. “The Stellas of 1879 and 1880,” March (1911) : 103-104

031. “Live American Numismatic Items,” March (1911) : 105-107

032. “The Commercial Dollar,” April (1911) : 119-120

033. “Live American Numismatic Items,” April (1911) : 131

034. “Live American Numismatic Items,” May (1911) : 184-185

035. “A Numismatic Mystery : Templeton Reid Was Known Only By His Coins,” June (1911) : 207-208

036. “Live American Numismatic Items,” June (1911) : 226-227

037. “Live American Numismatic Items,” July (1911) : 240-241

038. “The Lesher Referendum Dollar,” August (1911) : 270 -271

039. “Live American Numismatic Items,” August (1911) : 278-279

040. “The Exhibits At the Convention,” September (1911): 325-328

041. “Live American Numismatic Items,” October (1911) : 367-369

042. “Live American Numismatic Items,” November (1911) : 395-397

043. “Live American Numismatic Items,” December (1911) : 419-422

044. “1912 Commemorative Dollar,” January (1912) : 1-2

045. “Live American Numismatic Items,” January (1912) : 4-7

046. “Peale’s New York Museum,” February (1912) : 43

047. “Live American Numismatic Items,” February (1912) : 44-49

048. “Live American Numismatic Items,” March (1912) : 86-87

049. “The Gobrecht Dollars,” April (1912) : 109-113

050. “Live American Numismatic Items,” April (1912) : 124-125

051. “Live American Numismatic Items,” May (1912) : 184-186

052. “Live American Numismatic Items,” June (1912) : 204-206

053. “The New Projected Coinage,” June (1912) : 209

054. “J. M. L. & W. H. Scovill,” July (1912) : 233-238

055. “Live American Numismatic Items,” July (1912) : 254-256

056. “Live American Numismatic Items,” August (1912) : 251-254

057. “Live American Numismatic Items,” September (1912) : 341-344

058. “Live American Numismatic Items,” October (1912) : 397-369

059. “Benedict & Burnham,” November (1912) : 397-402

060. “Live American Numismatic Items,” December (1912) : 476478

061. “Live American Numismatic Items,” January (1913) : 40-41

062. “Live American Numismatic Items,” March (1913) : 148-150

063. “The New York Colonial Coinage,” [paper read at ANS] April (1913) : 219-222

064. “More About New Nickel,” May (1913) : 240-241

065. “Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger,” June (1913) : 297-302

066. “Richard Trested, Die Sinker,” August (1912) : 403-404

067. The Columbia Medal,” September (1913) : 442-452

068. “The Starbuck Store Cards,” October (1913) : 529-530

069. “An Interesting Mexican Medal,” October (1913) : 549-550

070. “The Issues of Alfred F. Robinson,” November (1914) : 555-557

071. “Britain’s War Medals, [reprint from The Sun]” February (1915) : 41-42

072.  “Report of the Committee on United States Coins,” February (1915) : 66-68

073. “The Chubbuck Issues,” March (1915) : 112-113

074. “Civil War Tokens of Tennessee,” April (1915) : 140-142

075. “A Noteworthy Coin Discovered,” April (1915) : 154-156

076. “The Unique Birch Cent,” April (1915) : 157

077. “Two Varieties of Chubbuck Store Cards,” June (1915) : 222-223

078. “The Store Cards of Nathan C. Folger of New Orleans, La,” May (1915) : 169-173

079. “The Royal Mint of Rome,” August (1915) : 269-274

080. “The Panama-Pacific Commemorative Coins,” August (1915) :294-295

081. “Convention Notes,” October (1915) : 349-351

082. “William H. Woodin’s Collection,” November (1933) : 685-687

 

 

Incomplete Bibliography of Adams’ Articles in American Journal of Numismatics :

 

001. “Cincinnati Mining and Trading Company and Other Private Gold Pieces,”  Vol. XLII, No. 4, Whole No. 201 (1907-1908) : 147-147

002. “Gunboat Nashville Medal,” Vol. XLIV, No. 2, April (1910) : 65

003. “The Erie Canal Medal,” Vol. XLIV, No. 2, April (1910) : 66

004. “New Varieties of the Anse Canot Tokens of Prince Edward Islands,” XLIV, No. 3, July (1910) : 132

005. “Private Gold Coinage I,” Vol. XLV, No. 1, January  (1911) :

006. “Private Gold Coinage II,” Vol. XLV, No. 2, April  (1911) :

007. “Private Gold Coinage III,” Vol. XLV, No. 3, July  (1911) : 174-186

008. “Private Gold Coinage IV,” Vol. XLV, No. 4, October  (1911) : 194

009. “Private Gold Coinage V,” Vol. XLVI, No. 1, January (1912) : 1-21

010. “Private Gold Coinage VI,” Vol. XLVI, No. 2, April (1912) : 57-70

011. “Private Gold Coinage VII,” Vol. XLVI, No. 3, July (1912) : 135-149

012. “Private Gold Coinage VIII,” Vol. XLVI, No. 4, October (1912) : 168-176

 

Incomplete Bibliography of Adams’ Articles in Other Publications 

 

001. “How to Keep From Drowning – Some Practical Advice,” The New York Times, September 10, 1905

002. "Our Fifteen Rarest Coins," The Elder Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2, April (1907) : 12-15

003. “Divisions of A Coin Collection In Which the “Numismatic Dunce” Played a Part,” The Elder Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 3, May (1907)

004. "Coins of the Confederacy," The Elder Monthly,Vol. II, No. 12, February-March (1908) : 5-8 (pages 7 & 8 wrongly-numbered as 5 & 6)

005. "Rare Flying Eagle Cents," The Elder Monthly,Vol. II, No. 12, February-March (1908) :6-9 (the second page 6 in this issue)

006. “The Value of Numismatic Societies,” Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly, September (1908)

007. "The Coinage of Templeton Reid of Georgia and California," The Coin Collector’s Journal (1934) : 64

008. "Large Gold Coin Denominations" The Coin Collector’s Journal (1934) :

 

Additional Bibliography

 

ANA Membership List and Directory (1927) : 56

“Adams Out Swims Van Cleaf,” New York Athletic Club Journal, Vol. XII, No. 10, October (1903) : 13

The New York Times, December 25, 1904

The Numismatist, November (1905) : 343

The Numismatist, December (1905) : 372

The Numismatist, July (1906) : 246

The Numismatist, August (1907) :;

The Numismatist, February (1909) : 44-45;

The Numismatist, January (1910) : 9;

The Numismatist, January (1910) :15;

The Numismatist, February (1910) : 48, 49-50, 58;

American Numismatic Association Membership List and Directory, March 1938. page 85;

Clain-Stefanelli 3186, 3420, 3421, 3923, 3942;

Sigler 15-21; Index;

ANA Library Catalog GA90.A4, GB15.A3, GB80.C3A3, PA70.A3

Bowers, Q. David, American Numismatics before the Civil War 1760-1860 (Wolfeboro, New Hampshire : Bowers and Merena Galleries, Inc., 1998) : 12, 13, 138, 299, 372;

Bowers, Q. David, Virgil Brand : The Man and His Era. Profile of A Numismatist. (Wolfeboro, New Hampshire : Bowers & Merena Galleries, Inc., 1983) : 99, 125, 126, 128, 133, 135, 137, 144, 145, 147, 151, 153, 155, 157, 159, 163, 164, 167 (photo), 168, 171, 173, 186, 189

 



[1] I would like to give a special thanks to Q. David Bowers, whose invaluable research and numismatic books cited in this article proved several times to provide the best information saving me from several embarrassments.

[2] Farran Zerbe wrote the obituary for Adams citing that he was born in Grafton, West Virginia. However, according to a half dozen official documents, mainly U. S. Census reports, he was born in Pennsylvania and his mother in West Virginia, which became a state in 1863. See “Deaths : Edgar H. Adams (1868-1940),”The Numismatist, June (1940) : 425-426

[3] Searching U. S. Census reports to 1850 his grandmother was a widow obscuring the first name of his grandfather. Elizabeth Adams had three sons George (b.1835), Henry (b.1836), and James (b.1842), one of which was Edgar’s father.

[4] Adams wrote an article, “Disappearance of the Gold Dollars Explained,” The Numismatist, September (1906) : 300-302.

[5] The year 1905 is derived from a letter written by Thomas Elder to Henry Russell Drowne, Corresponding Secretary of the ANS. See Howard L. Adelson, The American Numismatic Society 1858-1958. (New York, The American Numismatic Society, 1958) : 154

[6] It is unknown at this time if Billy Peele Willett and Adams knew each other in Ohio and trained and worked in printing; where Adams moved to New York after Willett founded his Press in 1883. For more on the founding of Willett Press see his obituary in The Typographical Journal, Volume 69 (1926) : 382

[7] The Numismatist, August (1907).

[8] Q. David Bowers, The American Numismatic Association Centennial History. Volume 1. (Colorado Springs, Colorado : American Numismatic Association, 1991) : 162

[9] Adams’ reprinted other articles published for The Sun in the February 1911, and February 1915 issues of The Numismatist.

[10] Charles E. Davis, American Numismatic Literature : An Annotated Survey of Auction Sales 1980-1991. (Lincoln, Nebraska : Quarterman Publications, Inc., 1992) :No. 2, page 1. Adams remained friends with young Walter E. Blythe and published his designs for a coin in his article,  “1912 Commemorative Dollar,” The Numismatist, January (1912) : 1

[11] Davis, op. cit., No. 3, page 1. See also Martin Gengerke, American Numismatic Auctions (2009) : 3

[12] ibid., No. 4, page 1

[13] Davis, ibid., No. 10, pages 2 and 3.

[14] Davis, ibid. No. 6, page 2

[15] See also, Remy Bourne, Volume II : Fixed Price List & Prices Paid for Lists of United States Coin Dealers 1900-1929 (Minneapolis, Minnesota : Ramm Communications, 1988) : 2-3

[16] This new periodical succeeded the original United States Coin Company Bulletin that began September 1914. See also Remy Bourne, American Numismatic Periodicals 1860-1960. (Minneapolis, Minnesota : Ramm Communications, 1990) : 1910-9, 1910-10; Charles E. Davis, American Numismatic Literature : An Annotated Survey of Auction Sales 1980-1991. (Lincoln, Nebraska : Quarterman Publications, Inc., 1992) : No. 9, page 2

[17] Davis, op. cit, No. 7, page 2

[18] A very rare Fixed Price List not found in Bourne (q.v.), but listed in Kolbe &b Fanning The Stack Family Library, Thursday June 3, 2010, Lots 6 and 7.

[19] Q. David Bowers, The History of United States Coinage As Illustrated by the Garrett Collection. (Los Angeles, California : Bowers & Ruddy Galleries, Inc, 1979) : 466-467

[20] The New York Times, June 23, 1921

[21] Davis, op. cit., No. 8, page 2

[22] Noe cites the notebooks of Adams. See S. P. Noe, The Silver Coinage of Massachusetts, 114

[23] George L. McKay, American Book Auction Catalogues 1713-1934 (New York, New York : New York Public Library, 1937) : No. 9452, page 450. A review of the sale was published in The New York Times, June 19, 1932

[24] This paper was published in the November 1933 issue of The Numismatist, pages 685-687.

[25] Zerbe, op. cit., says he was bedridden eight years prior to death, i.e., since 1932. The Archives of the ANS bear his work dating to 1933 as well as his reading of his paper at the Chicago ANA Convention that year. See also Q. David Bowers, The History of United States Coinage, 467, relating correspondence and coin dealing with Garrett in September 1933.  Zerbe further notes Adams was a machine compositor for the New York Times when he became bedridden pushing the date beyond 1933, probably about 1935.

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