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Brand, Virgil Michael (16 January 1862–20 June 1926), brewer and numismatist, was born in Blue Island, Illinois, the son of Michael Brand, a cooper and brewer, and Philippine Darmstädter, the daughter of a flour merchant. Michael Brand was born in Odernheim near Alzey in the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt (not to be confused with the larger village of the same name in the Palatinate) and is said to have left Germany because he was involved in the Revolution of 1848. This is certainly possible, but many German immigrants who left for economic reasons later claimed they had left for political reasons, because it was more glamorous. Philippine Darmstädter was born in Framersheim, the next village over from Odernheim. Michael Brand established a brewery in Chicago under his own name, and it became one of the most prosperous breweries in the city. The firm was one of the very first to adopt Carl von Linde’s refrigeration machine, which meant that the company had an incalculable advantage over its competitors: in the summer, its beer was cold. Michael Brand became extremely wealthy, and in 1890, after a series of mergers, he sold out to English investors, who formed the United States Brewing Company. Michael Brand also established orchards at Brandsville in the Missouri Ozarks, where he sought to encourage viticulture. He owned an extensive library, and he must have had a great love for the classics, for he named his three sons Virgil, Horace, and Armin....

Article

Clapp, George Hubbard (14 December 1858–31 March 1949), businessman and numismatist, was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (later absorbed into the north side of Pittsburgh), the son of DeWitt Clinton Clapp, a steel company official, and Delia Dennig Hubbard. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1877 with a bachelor of philosophy degree and was named the “first scholar” in the Scientific Department. Around 1882 he married Anne W. Love; they would have two children. Clapp worked as an engineer at the Penn Cotton Mill and then at Park Brothers’ Black Diamond Steel Works, where he met Captain ...

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Cogan, Edward (05 January 1803–07 April 1884), coin dealer, was born at “Higham Hill” in Walthamstow, Essex, England, the son of Reverend Eliezer Cogan, a schoolmaster, and Mary Atchison, both originally from Northamptonshire, England. Cogan was educated at his father’s school. He married Louise Webb at Hoxton, near London; they had eight children. Cogan immigrated to Philadelphia in 1853, and after a brief career selling books and paintings he devoted all his time to dealing in coins. The beginning of Cogan’s coin dealings was quite modest. A friend persuaded him to buy an electrotype of a 1792 Washington cent for twenty-five cents. “Upon showing it as a curiosity to a gentleman,” Cogan reported, “he offered me fifty cents.” Other friends informed him that an 1815 cent (none exists) would fetch $5 and that demand for U.S. cents was “springing up.” “I collected the whole set [U.S. cents] from 1793,” Cogan stated, “and then started selling duplicates” ( ...

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Crosby, Sylvester Sage (02 September 1831–18 August 1914), watchmaker and numismatist, was born in Charlestown, New Hampshire, the son of Jaazaniah Crosby, a Unitarian minister, and Holdah Robinson Sage. At the age of seventeen Crosby established a watchmaking business in Charlestown, New Hampshire. To be with other family members, he later moved to Boston, where he opened a watchmaking business. In 1855 he married Mary Elizabeth Capelle of Lexington, Massachusetts; she died in 1874, and the next year he married Mehitabel “Hittie” Ackers. Crosby had no children....

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Du Bois, William Ewing (15 December 1810–14 July 1881), U.S. Mint official and numismatist, was born at Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the son of the Reverend Uriah Du Bois, a Presbyterian clergyman and school principal, and Martha Patterson, the daughter of Robert Patterson, the director of the U.S. Mint from 1806 to 1824. Du Bois studied at the Union Academy of Doylestown, where his father was principal, and later at John Gummere’s school in Burlington, New Jersey. Becoming a lawyer in his early twenties, Du Bois published in April 1832 a lengthy transcript of a recent celebrated trial. Lucretia Chapman, who had allegedly murdered her husband, William Chapman, by putting arsenic in his chicken soup, had twelve days later married her lodger Lino Amalia Espos y Mina. Chapman had claimed that her husband had died of cholera; and the jury had found her not guilty....

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Mickley, Joseph Jacob (24 March 1799–15 February 1878), numismatist, was born in Catasauqua, Northall Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, the son of John Jacob Mickley and Eva Catherine Schrieber, farmers. At seventeen Mickley moved to Philadelphia, where he finished an apprenticeship in making pianos and in 1822 began a musical-instrument-making business. He developed a fine reputation for repair and restoration of stringed instruments. In 1831 the Franklin Institute awarded him a prize for his skill in manufacturing pianos. Mickley was married twice, first to Cordelia Hopfeldt and then to Diana Blummer, and had six children (dates and number of children for each marriage are unknown)....

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Newell, Edward Theodore (15 January 1886–18 February 1941), numismatist, was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the son of Frederick Seth Newell, a business executive, and Frances Cecelia Bain. Newell came from an affluent family whose wealth was derived from lumber interests and the Bain Wagon Company, Kenosha’s most extensive manufacturing enterprise. Consequently, he had the opportunity to travel and pursue his collecting interests early in life, attending sales of coins at the Hotel Drouot in Paris at the age of fifteen. He received his early education at the Harvard School in Chicago and from private tutors, after which he received his B.A. (1907) and M.A. (1909) from Yale University. Having demonstrated his abilities as a numismatist while an undergraduate, he was in 1905 elected a fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society and appointed assistant curator at the American Numismatic Society in New York, where he now resided. In 1909 he married Adra Nelson Marshall of Jersey City, New Jersey; they had no children. The American Numismatic Society elected him to its council in 1910 and to its presidency in 1916, a position he held until his death. During World War I he served in the Military Intelligence Division of the army as a first lieutenant....

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Phillips, Henry, Jr. (06 September 1838–06 June 1895), numismatist and translator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Jonas Altamont Phillips, a criminal lawyer, and Frances Cohen. The junior distinguishes him from his uncle Henry Mayer Phillips. He was born into a large and wealthy Philadelphia Jewish family whose name was originally Feibusch. Although the elder generation was active as Jacksonian Democrats, Henry Phillips, Jr., showed no interest in politics; his only political writing is a draft of an article among his papers about that perennial American subject, municipal corruption. He was appointed U.S. commissioner in 1868 and became vice consul of Belgium in 1892. There is no indication of any particularly Jewish interests; he learned Hebrew as part of a program of learning Oriental languages, not as part of his religious heritage....

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Saltus, J. Sanford (09 March 1854–23 June 1922), art patron and numismatist, was born John Sanford Saltus in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Theodore Saltus, a merchant and ironmaster, and Elizabeth Sanford. The vast family fortune was made by Saltus’s grandfather, the merchant Francis Saltus, who established an ironworks in upstate New York that pioneered rifled steel cannon. When Francis Saltus died in 1854, Theodore Saltus was his executor; litigation over the estate lasted into the 1890s....