Lyman Haynes Low scrapbooks, 1827 - 1895

Descriptive Summary

American Numismatic Society
1 cubic foot (6 scrapbooks in 1 box)
Five scrapbooks contain printed cards, flyers, circulars, and other materials relating to Low’s numismatic activities. One scrapbook has correspondence, notes, and news clippings pertaining to research for Low’s book Hard Times Tokens.


Low, Lyman Haynes, 1844-1924
Lyman Haynes Low (1844-1924) was a coin dealer who published the book Hard Times Tokens in 1899.

Administrative Information


Collection open to all researchers.

Preferred Citation

Lyman Haynes Low scrapbooks, 1827-1895, Archives, American Numismatic Society.


Copyright restrictions may apply. Permission to publish or reproduce must be secured from the American Numismatic Society.

Biographical Note

Lyman Haynes Low (1844-1924) was a coin dealer who published the book Hard Times Tokens in 1899. He was born in Boston, moved to New York City in 1870, and settled in New Rochelle in 1911. He joined the American Numismatic and Archeological Society (later the American Numismatic Society) in 1880 and served as its librarian from 1886 to 1891. He served with the 13th Massachusetts Volunteers in the Civil War, and was associated with the Scott Stamp and Coin Company for nearly 20 years, beginning in 1878.

Scope and Content Note

Contains six of Lyman Haynes Low’s scrapbooks. Five of the scrapbooks contain printed cards, flyers, circulars, and other materials (mostly 1870s-1890s), including advertisements for numismatic catalogs and other publications; advertisements for coin cabinets; announcements of coin auctions and meetings of the American Numismatic and Archeological Society (later the American Numismatic Society); coin price lists; and other ephemera. Much of the material comes from Low’s company, Scott Stamp and Coin Company of New York City, and includes samples of printed envelopes, cards, and advertisements, some with a notation giving date, printer, and number printed. There is also a good deal of printed matter relating to the coin dealer Spink & Son of London. One scrapbook contains correspondence (1895), notes, and news clippings (1827-1848) pertaining to research for Low’s book, Hard Times Tokens, published in 1899.

Related Entities

Collection Hierarchy

Scrapbook 1 (1827-1860)

Scope and Content:

Mostly correspondence dated in 1895 concerning Low’s research in locating names and addresses of merchants who issued store tokens; notes and newspaper clippings from 1827-1860. Highlights include: correspondence from the National Mechanics and Traders Bank; the Scott Stamp Company; the New Jersey Historical Society; and the Scoville Manufacturing Company including numerous letters from local merchants and attorneys in response to Low’s queries about locations of defunct businesses. Newspaper clippings from the New York Times and the New Yorker discussing political and financial topics, especially Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States and an article about the disposition of Andrew Jackson’s coat in the US Patent office (1853). Inventory lists (“authorities”) presumably of some of Low’s store tokens; lists of political tokens; lists of die cutters and their addresses; lists of states and the names of merchants located there. Notice of sale by Dr. Lewis Freuchtwanger (chemist and mineralogist) and inventor the Freuchtwanger cent or token (1832).

Scrapbook 2 (1860-1895)

Scope and Content:

Contains a diverse assortment of numismatic ephemera. Price lists and prices paid lists for US coins; US mint medals; and numismatic books for sale. Notable are John Haseltine flyers for the sale of US centennial medals and a medal of Cyrus Field by G.H. Lovett; notices by prominent coin dealer Edward Cogan announcing his sales catalogs containing coins and medals; a descriptive illustrated flyer advertising a catalogue of British colonial copper coinage; and a sales flyer for the “Illustrated History of the US Mint” (1881). Also included are numerous advertisements (in English, French, and German); informational flyers; and business cards. Monographs on numismatic topics include: “On Some Coins of the Castellani Collection” by Gaston Feuardent (1878)” “Jewish Coins”; “On the Falsification of Ancient Greek Coins” (1879). Several reward notices for lost or stolen coins and announcements for upcoming coin auctions. And various American Numismatic and Archeological Society-issued documents including a subscription blank to a proposed medal in honor of Charles Anthon (ANS president); a flyer to raise funds for the purchase of certain Greek and Roman facsimile coins from the British Museum; and a notice of meeting sent to Lyman Low.

Scrapbook 3 (1862, 1871, 1877, 1881-1885)

Scope and Content:

Contains numerous sales and advertising flyers; price lists; coin auction announcements; numismatic book descriptions; business cards; business announcements; advertising cards; and various American Numismatic and Archeological Society notices. Highlights include: A.B. Sage business announcements; Edward Cogan catalogue advertisements; advertisement for Chapman’s Patent Cabinet for coins and medals; flyer that accompanied a sample of a medal of James G. Blaine, Republican presidential candidate (1884); book description and order form for “United States Notes” by John Jay Knox (1884); flyer that accompanied a photoengraving plate “Origins of the Stars and Stripes” distributed by the N.Y. Life Insurance Co. (1883); title page/advertisement of Enamuel J. Attinelli’s “Numisgraphics” (1876); John Haseltine flyer pertaining to engravings for sale of “United States Slave Trade, 1830” describing a scene of slaves in chains; a large flyer listing counterfeit US national banknotes and legal tender notes; advertising flyers issued by Lymon Low and numerous return mail envelopes addressed to Low.

Scrapbook 4 (1885-1888)

Scope and Content:

Majority of documents are from the 1880s and include lists of numismatic items for sale either by Low or other sellers/numismatists; price lists from coin dealers; advertising cards and business cards issued by Low and others engaged in numismatics and coin sales; and flyers/advertisements for scholarly numismatic publications. Various documents issued by the American Numismatic and Archeological Society including a dues receipt; notices of meetings; and a receipt to Low for his gift of 2 bronze coins given to the Society in 1886. Material relating to famous coin dealers and numismatists, including Edward Cogan, John Haseltine, and an extensive “Reference List of Tin Foil Tobacco Wrappers” collected by numismatist Joseph N.T. Levick. Advertisements for various books about the history of the U.S. Mint and a U.S. Treasury circular (1886) listing estimated values of various foreign coins; Low’s advertisements of book sales for prominent numismatists such as Dr. Edward Maris and Sylvester Crosby; an amusing advertisement of I.F.Wood (former ANS secretary and librarian) offering for sale a “Centennio-Satirical Washington Medal” and advertisements from the Statue of Liberty Manufacturing Company for various miniature reproductions. A genuine (?) Confederate $10 note with an “In Memoriam” poem overprinted on the reverse, sold by “The Old Book Store” in Atlanta, Georgia.

Scrapbook 5 (1889-1895), including 2 folders of newspaper clippings and other material

Scope and Content:

Numerous sales and advertising flyers including: advertisements for coin supplies; advertising cards from Scott Stamp & Coin Co.; colorful store cards issued by medalist William H. Warner & Bro.; flyer from Spink & Son promoting medals marking marriage of Princess Victoria to Prince George (1893); other flyers advertising medals struck for different occasions by various medalists; some advertisements and flyers in French, German and Dutch. Numismatic book descriptions and sales promotions including an advertisement for “Evans Illustrated History of the United States Mint”. Material relating to the World’s Columbian Exposition including: a Christopher Columbus medal struck for American Numismatic and Archeological Society by Tiffany & Co.; advertisement from F.H. Noble & Co. for coin bezels to be sold at the Exposition; and envelopes printed to hold foreign coins and paper money from the Exposition. Also included: various documents on the letterhead of Spink & Son; meeting notices from American Numismatic and Archeological Society; reward notice for capture of thief who stole coins and paper money from unnamed coin dealer; article, “How to Bid at Auction Sales” (1894); and a NY Tribune page detailing a American Numismatic and Archeological Society exhibit at Paris Exposition (1900). The supplemental folders contain newspaper clippings dealing mostly with numismatic topics as well as popular events; coin advertisements and price lists; and specimen illustrations for a book, “Invention of Printing.”

Scrapbook 6 (1888-1893)

Scope and Content:

Excellent examples of late nineteenth-century numismatic advertising including a colorful advertisement for the “Numismatic Candy Box”; numerous sales and advertising flyers and coin envelopes from Scott Stamp and Coin Co. including 5 ½” X 3” flyers advertising foreign coins for sale. Auction notices; book advertisements and book reviews including: “An Illustrated History of the U.S. Mint”, “Dictionary of Roman Coins (1889)”, and “Descriptive and Chronological Catalogue of Confederate Currency.” An article entitled “The New Counterfeits.” An advertisement for “Mint Medals: A Treatise on the Silver and Gold Coinage of the United States Branch Mints” (1893) by A.G. Heaton. A handwritten envelope marked “Cut of ‘306’ Medal” containing a newspaper article about a medal US Grant had struck for 306 loyal supporters in the Republican National Convention in 1880. Numerous advertisements for the sale of Columbus medals for the 1892-93 Exposition.