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Remembering Eric Newman

It was in the mid-1950s that I first met Eric P. Newman. For those of us interested in numismatic research, Eric was the guru. When he studied something, he did it inside out and backward. The result was that his works on Fugio cents, on Machin’s Mills coppers, and colonial paper money were definitive.

Over a long period of years, until recent times, we communicated regularly by telephone. A few years ago he discovered that a sketch of a grouse by Audubon in the early 19th century was also used on bank notes. On his behalf I looked through thousands of bank note pictures that I and others had gathered for Whitman Publishing’s ongoing series of books, state-by-state, on obsolete paper money 1782 to 1866.

Along the way we discussed many things on and off the topic of numismatics, such as Surtsey Island, Mecca, the Wooton desk, the secret to telling if 1955 Doubled Die cents were genuine, and more. He proofread most of my books and suggested the titles for two of them. I likewise proofread many things for him.

Since Eric’s recent passing at the age of 106 he has been deeply missed by me and all of his friends. His wonderful life has been well documented in print. As you read these words I am composing an article mentioning some of the more obscure but endlessly interesting aspects of his life and more about this will come later.

Eric was one of a kind.

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