Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Civil War enlistment verification form.."Oath of Identity " 1860's

This notice of identity was on the outside of my Great Great Grandfathers discharge from the Civil War. I gather it was used to identify those who were in the service and those who were not. Just a guess on my part. The discharge is already on this blog, but I thought it would be interesting to show this part that was used to identify soldiers in the military during that dreadful conflict.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Victor Book of the Opera 1912

Samuel Holland Rous was the author of this book and it was designed to explain opera to people and potential customers. It would list in pages where one could get a recording from the galaxy of stars of various opera pieces. Plus tell the story of the many operas. But only the operas they had records of.

He was the son of a musician and a well respected writer and musical artist. But in the history of music the book here is know for him. But of course he was involved in so many pursuits and was involved in running much of the fortunes of the Victor Company. So it seems fitting that this fellow should write the book.

Sam Rous used a stage name of S. H. Dudley.But as a singer it was something different. Rous is on the lower left side. He was the manager of this very successful singing group called the Hayden Quartet and all of them made money. But the group never sang opera. He would also record a number of "Coon Songs" That were in fashion at the time.

He made many recordings in the late 19th and early 20th. Much with the Hayden Quartet or Harry MacDonough(John MacDonald) who is also pictured above Rous on the right in the quartet picture.

A famous Victor Operatic advertisement.

The Book has been around now for almost 100 years and has sold a lot of records. Many more than Rous or the Victor Talking Machine Company could ever have imagined

First edition of this famous and much republished book (1912)

The War Newspaper Aug 3, 1813 .. The article on Impressed Seamen

History has no greater joy than to join the past and see what they were reading and discussing. That is REAL HISTORY. I have often said that we have too much revised and comic book like history. Historians will go out of their way to protect their idols and heroes. That is human nature, but sadly it hurts our history. This is a newspaper from the War of 1812. It was called the War. The article I have put on for you the first page of the paper. Read history and you will see that they had their own ideas and of course even they were biased. It was war. But what is always amazing to see when you read papers like this are the little things that never get mentioned in todays history. That is what is so nice about reading a paper like this. The paper was made oddly in the spot close to where the World Trade Center is now. Right by the Bear-Market, that was an early shopping center that closed its doors in 1814.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ever wonder why we spell things different in America than in England?

It is interesting to see many times how words are spelled in America, and yet they are spelled differently in other English speaking countries. It was due to the efforts of one man. Noah Webster created his dictionary in the United States and decided to "Americanize" the English language. He did it with many words. Just as a for instance the word color. That is how we spell it here in the USA, but how do we spell it in the English speaking world? Colour is the way it is done everywhere except here in the USA. So if you ever wondered why we spell things differently here than in the rest of the English speaking word, you now know. The language was Websterized.

Noah Webster

Roman Silver Coins

Here is a pile of Roman silver coins. I put them on a scanner and hoped for the best. Well as you can see with Roman coins there are and was the good, the bad and the ugly. What is most fascinating with Roman silver is that they were only made by the Government of Rome, not the provinces. In the provinces they would make bronze coins. In the early days of Rome, these coins were worth more as a coin than the material they were made of. As Rome started to fall slowly the content of silver started to as well. It became a mess in the later years as many silver coins had little real silver in them. Here you will see a pile of silver coins from ancient Rome. Some look much more silvery than others. That is due to time and also to content. In fact in its later days, the Roman silver coin was just coated with silver. I have found many coins like that, in the coin world they are called silvered.

I am not going into any great detail here, but as I often like to do is spur your interests and get you to study. But if you look as a correlation of times the sameness of American coins. Once they were pure silver, then in 1965 they were made of copper and coated with silver. That is what our silver coinage is today. Not really silver, just a touch of silver.

Friday, May 20, 2011

John Quincy Adams at home in Quincy, Mass 1843

I have always found this a remarkable and clear photograph of perhaps one of the greatest men of not only the 18th and 19th centuries. But of all American history. Sadly and terribly under rated, he is perhaps the greatest intellect that ever was President. Perhaps one of, if not the greatest intellect in the history of our political system. The man who did more for the end of slavery than any other politician of his time. I dare say he was walking the walk long before Lincoln ever gave such thoughts attention and found them political useful to himself. Adams was not interested in the political benefits as Lincoln was. He was interested in doing what was right. That is all.

That is why I find him unique in the fray of politics, as he was above it. Remember it was Adams who killed the Gag Rule. If you are not familiar with it, you should become so. As it was this action that lit the fuse that started the Civil War. Adams would be long dead by the time of that war. But you can see if there was anyone who wanted to see the country restored and slavery ended, it was he. Truly there was no greater political champion to that end than Adams. A great under rated man, who basically created the path, ideals, concepts, and even ways of emancipation that Lincoln would follow and implement 20 years after.

Friday, May 06, 2011

The 1943 steel penny

Since the last article I wrote was about the size of the penny. I thought it would be of interest to share with you the only penny ever made, that was not made of copper. This penny was produced in 1943, and it was completely made of steel, and coated with zinc. The penny here is a uncirculated one from that time, but even still, not a rarity. But is it unusual, you bet your life. At the height of World War Two the United States found itself in a short supply of copper. Copper was used in shell casings and many other very much needed items. So it was planned to use steel for the penny. This brought out a host of problems. First since the pennies were steel they would rust from sweat and being touched. Secondly, when new they were very shiny and were confused for dimes (10 cents).
Therefore after 1943, pennies were made from used shell casings and what ever else was available and 1943 would be the only year a coin was produced by the United States Government that did not contain any copper at all. I recall as kid still seeing them in circulation, however now that seems to have ended and they are horded by those who are waiting for them to attain great value. If they ever do, it will be long after this and the next generation have long since passed from the scene. But still as a novelty, or unique coin they have few equals. A memento one may say of a time when the United states was deeply and fervently at war and copper was not to be had.