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Crosby, Sylvester

Born in Charlestown, New Hampshire. He had a brother with the same name who died in infancy. Married Mary Elizabeth Capello September 1, 1855. She died in 1874. Married Mehitable Ackers September 15, 1875. He had no children. Employed as a watchmaker in the jewelry business in Boston. Began collecting in 1857.

Author of The Early Coins of America in 1875. It was originally published in 12 parts although the final two parts were released at the same time. It is still a valuable reference after 115 years. Five hundred copies of the original edition were printed. Another 500 were printed in 1945. Later reprints were published in 1970, 1974 and 1981. Author of The United States Coinage of 1793, Cents and Half Cents in 1897. Two hundred copies were printed. It was reprinted in 1933 and 1962. It was originally published in several editions of the AJN.

President of the New England Numismatic and Archaeological Society. He was an honorary member of the ANA, the ANS and the Boston Numismatic Society. Crosby coins were included in a Haseltine auction June 27, 1883. He died at home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1970 he was elected to the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame. His name was inscribed in the frieze of the ANS headquarters, the only American so honored.

bio: The Asylum Vol II No I Spring 1982; Attinelli

obit: NUM 27 Sep 1914 page 442


2 entries found

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    The Early Coins of America 1/1/1875

    The Early Coins of America

    If Breen is one bookend of American numismatics, Crosby is surely the other. In 1875, Crosby had not even the use of a telephone to aid his research. On the other hand, he had access to the great collectors and collections of yore, among them Bushnell, Stickney, Parmelee, Appleton, Maris and others, all giants on the 19th century American numismatic scene. Crosby?s dive into the primary source documentation surrounding colonial issues is beyond remarkable, particularly in light of the lack of modern bibliographic resources. Coupled with his observant technical eye and capable cataloguing, this work is properly described by Davis as ?the masterpiece of nineteenth century numismatic literature.? Voted #2 in the top hundred items of numismatic literature by the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

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