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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....

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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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Dean, Bashford (28 October 1867–06 December 1928), zoologist and expert on ancient armor, was born in New York City, the son of William Dean, a lawyer, and Emma Frances Bashford. At the age of six Dean was fascinated by a helmet and other pieces of medieval armor at the house of a friend of his father. His interest in fishes began in childhood as well, during fishing trips with his father and then with an introduction to zoologist ...

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Deane, Charles (10 November 1813–13 November 1886), antiquarian and historian, was born in Biddeford, Maine (then part of Mass.), the son of Ezra Deane, a physician. Charles Deane’s mother (given name unknown) was the daughter of Reverend Silas Moody of Kennebunkport. His father had practiced medicine in several different towns in Maine before settling in Biddeford. There Deane attended the public school and a classical school led by Phineas Pratt. The family intended for him to attend Bowdoin College, but this was prevented by the death of his older brother. He worked in two stores, one in Kennebunkport and one in Saco, before he went to Boston at the age of nineteen....

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Dow, George Francis (07 January 1868–05 June 1936), antiquarian, editor, and museum curator, was born in Wakefield, New Hampshire, the son of George Prince and Ada Bingham Tappan. He grew up in Topsfield, Massachusetts, and lived there most of his life. After attending a commercial school in Boston, Dow entered the wholesale metal business, in which he was engaged from 1885 to 1898. During this time he became increasingly interested in local history and material culture. In 1893 Dow began to publish a local newspaper, the ...

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Drake, Francis Samuel (22 February 1828–22 February 1885), historian, author, and antiquarian, was born in Northwood, New Hampshire, the son of Samuel Gardner Drake and Louisa M. Elmes. His family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where his father became the proprietor of a popular antiquarian bookstore, wrote books concerning American history and Indians and edited other such books. Drake was educated in the Boston public schools, mainly at the Mayhew School, after which he worked in his father’s store and then as an accountant for a Boston company....

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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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Earle, Alice Morse (27 April 1851–16 February 1911), antiquarian and social historian, was born Mary Alice Morse in Worcester, Massachusetts, the daughter of Edwin Morse, a machinist and factory owner, and Abigail Mason Clary Goodhue. Her father, originally from rural Andover, Vermont, transformed his mechanical proficiency into a partnership in Shepherd, Lathe, and Company, a Worcester machine and tool manufactory. Her mother, from the village of Jackson, Maine, applied her teaching experience and domestic abilities to the creation of a safe, nurturing environment in which to cultivate her urban family. Mary Alice (who was always known as Alice) grew up in a comfortable, middle-class world, graduated from Worcester’s Classical and English High School in 1869, and completed her formal education at Dr. George Gannett’s finishing school in Boston. In 1874 she married Henry Earle of Providence, Rhode Island, and moved to Brooklyn, New York. Sixteen years later, when the last of her four children was eight, Earle began to write....

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Farmer, John (12 June 1789–13 August 1838), antiquary and genealogist, was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, the son of John Farmer and Lydia Richardson. A sickly youth, he studied under Reverend Hezekiah Packard and clerked for five years (1805–1810) in a store at Amherst, New Hampshire. From 1810 to 1813 he taught school and was the leading supporter of a literary association for mutual improvement in Amherst. In 1813 he was elected a corresponding member of the Massachusetts Historical Society and became a contributor to its ...

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Gardiner, Leon (25 November 1892–05 March 1945), African-American bibliophile, researcher, and photographer, was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the son of Jacob Gardiner and Martha (maiden name unknown). In 1902 he and his family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From childhood he was interested in reading, cross-country running, hiking, camping, and bicycling. Later he developed an interest in music, choir singing, and photography. Blatant racial discrimination kept him from attending the photography school of his choice in Philadelphia, to his great disappointment. In the very early 1900s he began to collect material of various kinds concerning the achievements of blacks, black institutions, and lynchings of blacks....

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Francis P. Garvan Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92321).

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Garvan, Francis Patrick (13 June 1875–07 November 1937), attorney and collector, was born in East Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Patrick Garvan, paper merchant and tobacco farmer, and Mary Carroll. He attended public school in Hartford, then went on to Yale (A.B., 1897), to Catholic University for a year, and to New York University Law School (LL.B., 1899)....

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Grim, David (28 August 1737–26 March 1826), tavern keeper, merchant, and antiquarian, was born in Stauderheim in the Palatinate, the son of Philip Grimm, a tanner and farmer, and Marguerite Dâher. He and his brothers Peter and Jacob dropped the second m from the family name. Grim immigrated to New York City with his parents and four older siblings in 1739. When Grim was about twelve, a painful lameness in his right leg, which he attributed to rheumatism, threw a hip out of joint and left him with one leg shorter than the other. He nevertheless served aboard two privateers during the French and Indian War. In the summer of 1757 he sailed under Captain Thomas Seymour on the ...

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Charles Frederick Gunther. Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society (IChi-10584).

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Gunther, Charles Frederick (06 March 1837–10 February 1920), Chicago confectioner, politician, and antiquarian collector, was born Carl Friedrich Guenther in Wildberg, Wurttemberg, Germany, the son of Marie and Johann Martin Guenther, a candle and soap maker. The family immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1842, and at age ten Gunther began work as a government mail carrier, traveling forty miles daily by horseback. In 1850 they resettled in Peru, Illinois, an important ice harvesting center on the canal linking Chicago with the Mississippi watershed. Gunther found work as a cashier in a bank, where he came in contact with many of the merchants who shipped 100,000 tons of ice down the southern rivers during prosperous years....

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Harrah, William Fisk (02 September 1911–30 June 1978), casino owner and automobile collector, was born in South Pasadena, California, the son of John Garrett Harrah, a lawyer and businessman, and Amanda Fisk. Harrah attended Chapman College in 1931 and studied mechanical engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1932. He was an undistinguished student and was once caught cheating on a chemistry examination. When his family encountered financial problems during the Great Depression, Harrah dropped out of college. His family moved to Venice, California, where his father served a term as mayor. In 1932 Harrah’s father opened an establishment featuring the circle game, a variation of bingo in which some skill was required in shooting balls into a hopper. The circle game was akin to gambling, putting the operation at the edge of the law. William began as an employee but soon purchased the operation from his father for $500. Since gambling was illegal in Venice, the game was periodically closed when authorities chose to enforce the law strictly. In 1937 Hannah moved with his father to the more hospitable gambling environment of Reno, Nevada, and opened a bingo parlor....

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Hazard, Caroline (10 June 1856–19 March 1945), college president, author, and antiquarian, was born in Peace Dale, Rhode Island, the daughter of Rowland Hazard, an industrialist, and Margaret Anna Rood. Rowland Hazard, a descendant of Brown University founder Thomas Hazard, was a progressive whose Peace Dale estate was the seat of a workers’ community, in which he shared his profits from the Peace Dale Woolen Mills with employees....

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Hazard, Samuel (26 May 1784–22 May 1870), historical editor and antiquarian, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Ebenezer Hazard, then postmaster general of the United States, and Abigail Arthur. He received his early education at the Second Presbyterian Church school in Philadelphia and, from 1793 to 1796, at an academy in Woodbury, New Jersey. He then spent two years at Princeton College but left in 1799 because of illness. Like his father, Hazard became a merchant and an editor of historical records. He took his apprenticeship in the prominent Philadelphia countinghouse of Robert Ralston, a family friend and a fellow “Old Light” Presbyterian. As a young man Hazard was involved in the formation of the American Literary Association in 1805 and the Phoenix Social Club in 1809. He also became a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1812 and the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture in 1814....