The following is a news release from Whitman Publishing:
Publishing has announced details of its release of A Guide Book
of Hard Times Tokens, by Q. David Bowers.
The 320-page softcover book (No. 17 in the popular Bowers Series)
will debut at the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo in Baltimore
on March 26, 2015. In the meantime copies can be pre-ordered from
booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, and online (including at Whitman.com), for $29.95. The book
can also be borrowed for free as a benefit of membership in the American Numismatic
Association, through the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library.
Privately minted “Hard Times” tokens are tangible reminders of a
turbulent period in America. Their political and commercial motifs are
diverse, reflecting the economic and social scene of the pre–Civil War
era of Andrew Jackson (the 1830s and 1840s).
READ: Q. David Bowers' Joys of Collecting columns for
Bowers includes recent research findings and information he has
gathered since the 1950s; hundreds of high-resolution images; and
current market pricing in multiple grades. He covers the historical
context of the Hard Times of 1832 to 1844, during which President
Andrew Jackson fought the controversial Second Bank of the United States.
Many situations and incidents are presented in a narrative style,
including the story of Peggy (O’Neal) Eaton, the controversial belle
of Washington, D.C., whose flirtatious actions rearranged Jackson’s
Cabinet and were responsible for Martin Van Buren being nominated for
president. It was an era of financial collapse and nationwide
depression. Private minters and businessmen created cent-sized copper
tokens to fill the gap when official U.S. coins became scarce. Many of
these have colorful and satirical political themes, while others
advertise local businesses, making them a treasure trove for
historians. Bowers catalogs these tokens with detailed information for
sellers, collectors and researchers.
“Numismatists find Hard Times tokens fascinating to study,” Bowers
said. “There are hundreds of issues to collect, and most of them are
very affordable. For the specialist who enjoys a challenge, there are
also some major rarities in the series.”
Numismatic researcher and Hard Times expert Robert A. Schuman calls
the book “groundbreaking,” “beyond the scope and depth of anything
previously published,” and “a clear, complete, verified, carefully
focused, and well-photographed listing of these important pieces.”
The Guide Book of Hard Times Tokens also includes biographies
of die engravers, histories of issuing firms, narratives about the
political personalities involved, a catalog of fantasy pieces, a
history of the market and collector interest going back to the
mid-1800s, extensive notes, a bibliography, charts cross-referenced to
the older Low and Rulau cataloging systems, and an index. Much of its
information has never been published in book form before.
Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker notes that Hard Times tokens have
been summarized in the
Guide Book of United States Coins since
the first edition in 1946.
“This is the first time collectors have had an expanded, full-color
catalog to these remarkable pieces of American history,” Tucker said.