Numismatics

Or maybe not

1877 Indian cent, Courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries, used by permission.
1877 Indian cent, Courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries, used by permission.
Courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries, used by permission.

Collecting coins is not as popular as a hobby as it once was. Today, most of us barely look at any change we might happen to get; the low purchasing power makes the coins more annoying than valuable. …


History

Reconnecting lost relatives from a Google search

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My mother — family photo

A few months back I wrote about my mother’s High School Yearbook from 1927. My sister had that stored away in a box with old family photos for many years; she gave it to me so that I could scan and digitize everything for the rest of our family.

I learned a few things about my mother in that yearbook. The most surprising to me was that she apparently had been on the Girls Basketball Team. She’s not in the team picture, but she was mentioned in the recap of their “losing season”. I never saw her touch a basketball…


History

If George Washington had been a man like Donald Trump, our democracy would have quickly perished

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Photo by Library of Congress on Unsplash

I am writing this in mid October of 2020. The election that will determine if Donald Trump has a second term is a scant few days in the future. The warning I will give here is unlikely to sway any votes, but it may highlight a dangerous path we have been walking for more than a century.

Idolatry

The Christian Bible warns against idolatry. That concerned itself with images of “false” gods, but there is a parallel and a strong connection with rulers. Throughout much of history, and even in some instances today, kings ruled by Divine Right and were sometimes…


History

Greed and politics as usual.

I wrote a bit about the politics of silver in Morgan Silver Dollars, and promised there to write a separate piece about America’s Trade Dollars. This is that story.

I have glossed over quite a few details and left out most of the politics to keep this story short and hopefully easier to follow. The references at the end will provide those details if you are interested.

If you are not a coin collector, you may never have seen or even heard of Trade Dollars. What is most interesting about them is that they were produced to be used in…


History

A story of money, politics, bimetallism, and war.

When I was a young boy in the mid-1950’s, banks still had silver dollars. You could walk in and trade paper dollars for real silver coins. You could spend them at any store; some cash registers even still had a slot for these.

But paper bills were what people used. Silver dollars are big coins; more than two or three would be annoying in your pocket or your hand. A store would take them as payment, but they wouldn’t try to give them as change. Those coins usually went straight to the bank at the close of business.

The banks…


History

I like to imagine that my father attended Thurston’s last Boston show because of this token

Photo of 1929 Thurston Good Luck Token from my personal collection
Photo of 1929 Thurston Good Luck Token from my personal collection


History

Sharon MA High School 1931

I previously wrote about my mother’s 1927 yearbook which was included with a box of old photos and things my sister gave to me. Shortly after writing about that, I came across another yearbook. This one was the Sharon High yearbook for 1931. My father was a junior in that year.

This yearbook is much less fancy than my mother’s. The graduating students have very little said about them, and there is not much content in the yearbook’s scant 24 pages: a few pictures, some descriptions of sports, and little else.

This yearbook is a disappointment after the rich history…


Genealogy

It is pure luck that we have these pictures. Where I know or can research their personal lives, I have provided that.

These pictures came from my paternal grandmother, who passed them to her daughter, who in turn gave them to my sister. The pictures sat untouched in a drawer for many decades and were only remembered during a recent conversation.

I never knew or imagined that these pictures existed. My sister has digitized a few and will soon be delivering more for me to scan so that our whole family, distant cousins, and family yet unborn may see their ancestors and relatives.

Where I know or can research their personal lives, I have provided that.

Family Photo of my paternal great-great-grandfather
Family Photo of my paternal great-great-grandfather
Lewis Eddy Beardsley (1827–1858)

Lewis Eddy Beardsley was born in…


History

My mother’s yearbook tells us quite a bit about what life was like for a Shrewsbury High School student in the late 1920s.

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts is located east of Worcester and is where my mother grew up and attended High School. Very recently my sister came across her graduation yearbook from 1927.

Shrewsbury has had a High School since 1879, so it didn’t surprise me that she had a yearbook, but I was fascinated to see how similar it was in format to yearbooks of today.

It’s interesting that the yearbook has a logo on the front page that says ‘Shrewsbury High School 1866”, differing from the history at the town website.

My scan from my mother’s 1927 Shrewsbury MA yearbook
My scan from my mother’s 1927 Shrewsbury MA yearbook
My scan from my mother’s 1927 Shrewsbury MA yearbook

Apparently yearbooks have existed since at least the 1880s and High…


History

I’m not sure that “toy” is the right word, however, that is the word my father and his mother used.

Family Photo
Family Photo
The “toy” cannon

The picture above is a Lawrence family heirloom. I’m not sure that “toy” is the right word, however, that is the word my father and his mother used.

I know that it was a gift to Herbert Myron Lawrence, my father’s grandfather. My father gave it to me and I, in turn, have given it to my oldest daughter.

Collectibles, History, Knowledge

Interesting stories about collections

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