UPDATE: ‘ ACE WORLDWIDE NEWS GROUP ‘


I have just updated news room with all our sites and changes made over last 12 months. This is where on the cutting room floor, our news and views about the news will be made.

' Ace News Services '
‘ Ace News Services ‘

As anyone who knows me – l have slowly built a group of sites all listed below with links to view, that represent as broad range of topics as possible.

This site, blog or room as it will be known is simply my news, views and feelings and thoughts as an editor.

I have also spoken to a number of my friends and followers and asked if they would like to join the news team, either regularly or as featured writers. I feel honoured by their response to wanting to be part.

Some and l say some are amazing writers, and some are able to make words jump off the page and say read me. These writers do not consider themselves great in their own right. They are humble and write from their heart their feelings, thoughts and musings about the world.

So today this day l open the news room to the world and say welcome to my friends and writers and of course you all who one day hopefully enjoy reading our words as much as we enjoyed writing them.

With kindest best wishes and love to you all and thank you for following my news.   

Ian

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‘ Happy Independence Day to All My American Readers and Followers this is Just for You ‘


#AceHistoryNews – UNITED STATES – July 04 – Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83).

​In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favour of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

​From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

​THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE

When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favour independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in Thomas Paine’s best-selling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published in early 1776.


​On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the PennsylvaniaState House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence. Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee–including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York–to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.


John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826–the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favour of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson.

Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

#AHN2014

Welcome Everyone to `Ace News Services ‘ Please Comment or Post to be Approved ‘


#AceNewsServices says good evening from my UK home and to all my friends and readers of my news articles and posts, well just so you can write your news as it happens, and chat on the go.

Ace Friends News

` Follow my news and views and post in the box’

It is not just 140 characters and you can post a link to a video or promote your group, charity, idea or really anything.

Anyone wanting to post a video best way is copy and paste the short URL from the YouTube site and post.

Add your own tags and links and enjoy chatting to fellow bloggers.

I ask for you to observe that we do not use it as a spam area, should this happen it will be closed to everyone and l will email those people ,to be the only users.

Thank you Editor (Ace News Group) 

Share – Tweet – Comment – News and Views @AceNewsServices with #ANS2014   

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#NHS : ” Tales of Neglect Increase Under this Conservative Government”


Ann Clwyd (Labour, Cynon Valley MP), photo by ...
Ann Clwyd (Labour, Cynon Valley MP), photo by Aberdare Blog. Photo taken at a ceremony to unveil the Keir Hardie bust, at Rock Grounds, Aberdare, December 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHealthNews says `Tales of Neglect on the NHS now amount to  3,000 as `MP Exposes Shocking Care of the Elderly’ `

  • Ann Clwyd was put in charge of investigation into NHS complaints after exposing the shocking care her husband received
  • Said she was inundated with patients‘ letters about a ‘lack of compassion’

Elderly patients are still routinely being neglected and abused by NHS nurses, an MP has warned.

Ann Clwyd, who was put in charge of an investigation into NHS complaints after exposing the shocking care her husband received, said she was inundated with patients’ letters about a ‘lack of compassion’ – 3,000 in the past year alone.

Nurses were telling elderly patients they ‘do not have time’ to administer pain relief, and making them and their families feel like intruders, she said.

The MP also told how families contacting her claimed patients were routinely left to starve on NHS wards ‘because food was taken away’. The weight of one woman in her 90s dropped to just five stone.

Another woman, aged 88, was left in a chair in A&E for seven hours ‘in agony’ and expected ‘not to make any demands’, she said.

Mrs Clwyd, the Labour MP for Cynon Valley, South Wales, broke down in the Commons in December 2012 when she described how her husband Owen had died in hospital ‘like a battery hen’.
Read more: DM

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#Russia : ” Polar Expedition Headed by `Faddey Bellingshausen’ Discovered Antarctica”


Ace News Group:

#AHN2014

Originally posted on Ace History 2 Research News :

#History2Research says on January 28, 1820, a Russian polar expedition, headed by Faddey Bellingshausen, discovered Antarctica.

Russian HistoryThe supposition of Antarctica’s existence appeared in the 16th Century, and for years people tried to confirm it. In 1772-1775, James Cook, the English sailor, sailed across the Southern Ocean and did not find any signs of the “The Unknown Southern Land”, so the world lost interest in the South Pole for some time.

At the beginning of 1819, on the recommendation of three famous sailors – Admiral Gavril Sarychev, captain-commander Ivan Kruzenstern and captain-lieutenant Otto Kotzebue, – the Russian government decided to conduct a polar expedition for “acquiring knowledge about our Earth” and “discovering new lands near the South Pole.” Krusenstern wrote in his letter to the Admiralty that Russia should not share the glory of the possible discoveries with any other country.

On July 16, 1819, two Russian sloops…

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US: “George Stinney the `Boy of 14 Executed 70 Years Ago’ May Get Another Day in Court”


#AceNewsServices says some of you may remember this case which l highlighted on “AceHistoryNews”  on the “Miranda Rights” and the fact he was not protected.

George Stinney, 1944, executed at age 14 years old
George Stinney, 1944, executed at age 14 years old (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Extract of Original Post: 

“In a South Carolina prison on June 16, 1944, guards walked a 14-year-old Black boy, bible tucked under his arm, to theelectric chair. He used the bible as a booster seat. At 5′ 1″ and 95 pounds, the straps didn’t fit, and an electrode was too big for his leg. The switch was pulled, and the adult sized death mask fell from his face. Tears streamed from his wide-open, tearful eyes, and saliva dripped from his mouth. Witnesses recoiled in horror as they watched the execution of the youngest person in the United States in the past century.

George Stinney was accused of killing two White girls, 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames. Because there were no Miranda rights in 1944, Stinney was questioned without a lawyer and his parents were not allowed into the room. The sheriff when said that Stinney admitted to the killings, but there is only his word — no written record of the confession has been found. Reports even said that the officers offered Stinney ice cream for confessing to the crimes.

'Old Sparky' is the electric chair that Nebras...
‘Old Sparky’ is the electric chair that Nebraska used for executions. It is housed in the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, Nebraska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Latest Good News: 

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — A 14-year-old boy executed by South Carolina nearly 70 years ago is finally getting another day in court.

Supporters of George Stinney plan to argue Tuesday that there wasn’t enough evidence to find him guilty in 1944 of killing a 7-year-old and an 11-year-old girl. The black teen was found guilty of killing the white girls in a trial that lasted less than a day in the tiny Southern mill town of Alcolu, separated, as most were in those days, by race.

Nearly all the evidence, including a confession that was central to the case against Stinney, has disappeared, along with the transcript of the trial. Lawyers working on behalf of Stinney’s family have sworn statements from his relatives accounting for his time the day the girls were killed, from a cell-mate saying he never confessed to the crime and from a pathologist disputing the findings of the autopsy done on the victims.

The novel decision whether to give an executed man a new trial will be in the hands of Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen. Experts say it is a longshot. South Carolina law has a high bar for new trials based on evidence that could have been discovered at the time of the trial. Also, the legal system in the state before segregation often found defendants guilty with evidence that would be considered scant today. If Mullen finds in favor of Stinney, it could open the door for hundreds of other appeals.

But the Stinney case is unique in one way. At 14, he’s the youngest person executed in the United States in the past 100 years. Even in 1944, there was an outcry over putting someone so young in the electric chair. Newspaper accounts said the straps in the chair didn’t fit around his 95-pound body and an electrode was too big for his leg.

Stinney’s supporters said racism, common in the Jim Crow era South, meant deputies in Clarendon County did little investigation after they decided Stinney was the prime suspect. They said he was pulled from his parents and interrogated without a lawyer.

School board member George Frierson heard stories about Stinney growing up in the same mill town and has spent a decade fighting to get him exonerated. He swallowed hard as he said he hardly slept before the day he has waited 10 years to see.

“Somebody that didn’t kill someone is finally getting his day in court,” Frierson said.

Back in 1944, Stinney was likely the only black person in the courtroom during his one-day trial. On Tuesday, the prosecutor arguing against him will be Ernest “Chip” Finney III, the son of South Carolina’s first black Chief Justice. Finney said last month he won’t preset any evidence against Stinney at the hearing, but if a new trial is granted, he will ask for time to conduct a new investigation.

What that investigation might find is not known. South Carolina did not have a statewide law enforcement unit to help smaller jurisdictions until 1947. Newspaper stories about Stinney’s trial offer little clue whether any evidence was introduced beyond the teen’s confession and an autopsy report. Some people around Alcolu said bloody clothes were taken from Stinney’s home, but never introduced at trial because of his confession. No record of those clothes exists.

Relatives of one of the girls killed, 11-year-old Betty Binnicker, have recently spoke out as well, saying Stinney was known around town as a bully who threatened to fight or kill people who came too close to the grass where he grazed the family cow.

It isn’t known if the judge will rule Tuesday, or take time to come to her decision. Stinney’s supporters said if the motion for a new trial fails, they will ask the state to pardon him.

 

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” The Darker Side of Chocolate Unmasking the Slave Trade”


Ace News Group:

#AceHistoryNews says this true life story of how our “Chocolate” is made using “Slave Labour” #profitb4people
Editor says visit this link http://wp.me/p48Dp0-8a to learn a lot more?

Originally posted on Ace History 2 Research News :

#AceHistoryNews says The Dark Side of Chocolate is a 2010 documentary film about the exploitation and slave trading of African children to harvest chocolate still occurring nearly ten years after the cocoa industry pledged to end it.

Dark Side of ChocolateThe Dark Side of Chocolate was produced by Danish journalist Miki Mistrati who investigated child labor and trafficked children in chocolate production. It is filmed by U. Roberto Romano.

Dark Side of Chocolate DocumentaryThe filming started inGermany, where Mistrati asked vendors where their chocolate comes from. They then flew to Mali, where many of the children are from. Next, they explored the Ivory Coast where the cocoa plantations are located. The film ends in Switzerland where both the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Nestle headquarters are located.

Much of the footage in this documentary is recorded using a secret camera located in a bag Mistrati carried with him.

The documentary was released…

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“Lindisfarne Gospels”


Originally posted on Ace British History News :

#AceHistoryNews says the story of the “Lindisfarne Gospels” are part of our very fabric of Britain, this is how they came into being.    

LGStLukecarpetpg.jpg

The Lindisfarne Gospels, British Library

An Eight Century monk’s artistic legacy is one of Britain’s greatest literary and religious treasures.

The Lindisfarne Gospels were produced more than 1300 years ago at the monastery of Lindisfarne on the Northumbrian coast. The single volume manuscript consists of 500 pages of beautiful calligraphy and decorative symbols. An Anglo-Saxon translation of the Latin text was added two centuries later and is the earliest known English version of the gospels. The book survived the centuries in spectacular condition and is now held by the British Library.

Dr Michelle Brown, curator of illuminated manuscripts for the British Library, has researched the origins and craftsmanship of the work. Her findings are shared at an exhibition called Painted Labyrinth – the World…

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” Japanese History Every Picture Tells a Story in 1961″


Ace News Group:

#AceHistoryNews says thanks to “Vintage Everyday” for these beautiful pictures #History2Research

Originally posted on Ace History 2 Research News :

#AceHistoryNews says thanks to “Vintage Everyday” for these beautiful pictures ………………………………………………………………………..more

Beautiful Colour Photos of Daily Life in Japan in 1961

(Photos by Burt Glinn)

 

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” Christian and Muslims and the Siege of Malaga 1487″


Ace News Group:

#AceHistoryNews says Málaga was the main objective of the 1487 campaign by the Catholic Monarchs against the Emirate of Granada, which had been steadily losing territory to the Christian forces. King Ferdinand II of Aragon left Córdoba with an army of 20,000 horsemen, 50,000 laborers and 8,000 support troops. This contingent joined the artillery commanded by Francisco Ramírez de Madrid that left Écija. The army decided to first attack Vélez-Málaga, and then continue west to Malaga. Nasrid spies gave word of the movements of Christians, and the inhabitants of Vélez fled to the mountains and the Bentomiz castle. #History2Research

Originally posted on Ace History 2 Research News :

#AceHistoryNews  says as  the Christians and Muslims still fight and battle for the way to be right, l thought l would look at one particular battle that took place in 1487 this was the “Siege of Málaga” and was an action during the Reconquest of Spain in which the Catholic Monarchs conquered the city of Málaga from the Muslims. The siege lasted about four months. It was the first conflict in which ambulances, or dedicated vehicles for the purpose of carrying injured persons, were used.

"Malaga's Enforcements"  Málaga was the main objective of the 1487 campaign by the Catholic Monarchs against the Emirate of Granada, which had been steadily losing territory to the Christian forces. King Ferdinand II of Aragon left Córdoba with an army of 20,000 horsemen, 50,000 laborers and 8,000 support troops. This contingent joined the artillery commanded by Francisco Ramírez de Madrid that left Écija. The…

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#AceHistoryNews says latest Snapshot of History post…


#AceHistoryNews says latest “Snapshot of History” post can be found at the link, this time if you click on #AceHistoryNews a friend of mine #Digger666 has his post on the “Banana Republic”. Enjoy. http://history2research.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/snapshot-of-history-banana-wars-and-the-preservation-of-american-interests-in-the-area/

#AceNewsGroup says to All its Readers “Thank You for 1000 Likes on Our Posts”


WP Like Button#AceNewsGroup says today marks another milestone for our group and it is all thanks to you the readers kind support and all your likes, as we have reached 1000 and we could not do it without your support.

So all l can say is a great big thank you from the Ace News GroupThanks in all languages   

 

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#AceHistoryNews says with all the furore about the…


#AceHistoryNews says with all the furore about the changes to the “Solemn Rite” of Christenings by the “Church of England” l thought a little history post was in order. So here it is: http://history2research.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/baptism-to-christenings/

#AceHistoryNews says latest post just published for those…


#AceHistoryNews says latest post just published for those who are a fan of “Chinese History” and especially “People’s Republic of China” you can read a lot more at http://wp.me/p48Dp0-5Q

#AceHistoryNews says my latest post for New…


#AceHistoryNews says my latest post for “New Years Eve and New years Day” and here is a small extract of both.

New Year’s Eve is December 31 of every year. It is celebrated in countries that use the Gregorian calendar with the United States, Australia, British Isles, North & South America, Europe, Scandinavia and (the former) Soviet Union as the main regions in the world who welcome in a new year.
It is exactly at the stroke of midnight on December 31 of the current year that marks the transition to the New Year ahead. Celebrations may be wild parties or solemn times of prayer. Some participants will dress up in silly outfits and wear comical hats, drink champagne (or other liquors of their choice) and use traditional items called “noise makers” to express their joy and hope for the new year ahead. Unfortunately, with some people this celebratory behaviour gets taken a bit too far. Some people have been known to make improper advances to co-workers at parties, throw their arms around total strangers on the streets or in crowds and well perhaps to other things that would be considered totally unacceptable any other day of the year.

New Years Day January 1st is considered New Years Day in today’s society. But this is a new concept because up until the time of Julius Caesar, the Romans celebrated the New Year in March because it was the first month in the Roman calendar. However, January 1 marked the time when the Romans changed their governmental figures and new consuls were inducted into office. And, they had games and feasting to help celebrate the new officials. But, they still used March 1 as their official mark of the new year and had a festival to their god, Mars (God of War).

It was Caesar who changed the Roman New Year’s Day to January 1 in honour of Janus, (God of all beginnings and gate-keeper of heaven and earth). Janus was always depicted with two faces: One looking back to the old year (past) and one looking ahead to the new year (future). One of the customs in the festival honouring Janus was to exchange gifts and then make resolutions to be friendly and good to one another.

Read More: http://history2research.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/tradition-of-new-years-eve-and-new-years-day/

The British Ambassador’s residence in Paris: 200 years old and still going strong


#AceWorldNews says “Sir Peter Rickett’s” launches a series of events in 2014 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the residence.

As Ambassador to France, I and my wife have the huge good fortune to live in the lovely Hotel de Charost. This was bought in 1814 by the Duke of Wellington from Pauline Borghese, the sister of Napoleon. Since then it has been a place where British and French people from many walks of life have met to talk about the issues of the moment and plan together for the challenges of the future.

In celebrating the 200th anniversary, I am keen to keep up this great tradition to using the historic house as a place to work together on the future. So I am organising a series of events over the coming year, leading up to the actual anniversary when the Duke paid up for the house, in October. Over the year, we will hold a number of events showcasing Britain and France working together on some of the major issues for the future. For example:

We will have an event dedicated to cities of the future, inspired by the examples of Paris and London.

We will be bringing together some of the best and brightest young programmers from Britain and France to work together to come up with new ways of using government data to develop innovative products and services.

We will examine the role of innovation and excellence in sport, with Sir Dave Brailsford explaining the story behind the success of GB cycling and Team Sky, looking ahead to the start of the Tour de France in Yorkshire in 2014.

We will round off the series with a colloque in October 2014, where distinguished historians will discuss the big issues of 1814.

To kick off the series, Lord Chris Patten, the Chancellor of Oxford University and Chairman of the BBC Trust, gave a talk on 28 November. He reflected on the economic and political rise of China, and the implications of this for the US and Europe. In particular, he made the case for Britain and France to put old rivalries behind us, and challenged us to work even more closely together in the future to make sure that Europe’s many strengths count in the fast changing world of the 21st century.

We will be putting the highlights from all the sessions on our website,Facebook and Twitter. Please join us through our social networking sites in celebrating this very special year.

Sir Peter Ricketts

Resources

History of the Jefferson Nickel


English: Ad placed by Samuel Brown in numismat...
English: Ad placed by Samuel Brown in numismatic magazines, offering to buy 1913 Liberty Head nickels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHistoryNews says the coin is an American five-cent piece which was produced in extremely limited quantities without the authority of the United States Mint.

The Liberty head design was used between 1883 and 1913, when it was replaced by the Indian Head (Buffalo) design.

The first official striking of nickels by the Mint in 1913 were of the Buffalo design, and the official records have no record of Liberty Head nickels produced in that year.

The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel was part of the hopes and dreams for something better that saw the American nation through the terrible Depression Era of the 1930’s. Riding on the foundation of this hope, later coin dealers who handled the 1913 Nickels built upon the legend, enhancing and enlarging it.

However, five 1913 Liberty Head Nickels were created and were first displayed at the American Numismatic Association‘s annual convention by the coin collector Samuel Brown. Brown had previously placed an advertisement in The Numismatist in December 1919 looking for information on these coins and offering to pay $500 for each.  However, various theories abound as to where he acquired the coins:  as Brown had been an employee of the Mint in 1913, many numismatic historians have concluded that he was responsible for unofficially striking the coins himself.

The five coins in existence are known as the Eliasberg, the Olsen, the Norweb, the McDermott, and the Reynolds.

The Eliasberg specimen is the finest known 191...
The Eliasberg specimen is the finest known 1913 Liberty Head nickel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eliasberg Specimen:

The  Eliasberg is the finest known specimen of the five 1913 Liberty Head nickels. Of the five, two have proof surfaces, and the other three were  produced with standard striking techniques. The finest of the coins has been graded Proof-66 by various professional grading services,  including PCGS and NGC.

This coin was purchased from  Newman and Johnson by the Numismatic Gallery, a coin dealership that then sold it to famed collector Louis Eliasberg. It remained in Eliasberg’s collection until after his death. In May 1996, it was sold at an auction conducted by Bowers and Merena,  where it was purchased by rarities dealer Jay Parrino for $1,485,000, breaking the World Record price for a coin at that time.

When it was auctioned again in March 2001, the price rose to $1,840,000. In May 2005, Legend Numismatics purchased the Eliasberg specimen for $4,150,000. In 2007, the Eliasberg Specimen was sold to an unnamed  collector in California for $5 million.

Olsen SpecimenOlsen Specimen:

The Olsen specimen was  once featured on Hawaii Five-O (in an episode called ‘The $100,000 Nickel’, aired in 1973, and is the most famous of the five. It has been graded Proof-64 by both PCGS and NGC, and was also briefly owned by Egyptian King Farouk.

It was bought by collector Fred Olsen, who then sold the coin to Farouk, but his name has remained attached to it ever since. It was purchased by World Wide Coin Investments in 1972 for $100,000, who then sold it for $200,000 to  Superior Galleries in 1978. It has been resold several times, most recently  by Heritage Auction Galleries in January 2010 for $3,737,500.

Norweb SpecimenNorweb Specimen:

The Norweb specimen is currently displayed in an exhibition at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

In 1949 it was purchased by King Farouk to replace the Olsen specimen, which he had sold. It remained in Farouk’s collection until he was deposed in 1952. Two years later his possessions were all auctioned off by the new regime, and the coin was purchased by Ambassador Henry Norweb. In 1977 he donated the specimen to the Smithsonian, where it remains to this day10.

Walton Specimen:

The Walton specimen was believed to have been lost for over 40 years. The collector George O. Walton purchased it from Newman and Johnson in 1945. On March 9, 1962, Walton died in a car crash whilst on his way to exhibit the Nickel at a coin show. $250,000 worth of coins was recovered from the crash site, and among them was the 1913 Liberty nickel in a custom-made holder.

Walton SpecimenHowever, in 1963 when his relatives later tried to sell the coins at auction the nickel was mistakenly identified as a fake. The coin remained in the possession of Walton’s relatives until 2003, when the American Numismatic Association launched a nationwide hunt for the missing fifth specimen. He arranged with Bowers and Merena auction house to offer $1m to purchase the coin or as a guarantee for consigning it to one of their auctions, and a reward of $10,000 was offered if representatives of Bowers and Merena could be the first to see the long-lost specimen.

Walton’s relatives heard about the reward, and brought it to the ANA convention in Baltimore where expert authenticators from the P.C.G.S examined it and determined it to be genuine. The coin is still owned by Walton’s relatives and is on loan to the American Numismatic Association’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

McDermott Specimen:

McDermott SpecimenAlso currently held by the Money Museum, the McDermott Specimen is the only one to bear circulation marks. It was once owned  by collector J.V. McDermott, who often carried the coin around with him and would show it off in bars. Due to this activity, the coin lost some of its original mint lustre, becoming circulated in condition. After McDermott died the coin was sold in 1967 for US$46,000, and later donated to the ANA in 1989, where it is exhibited in the Money Museum

Other theories suggest they were created as test pieces in 1912, or created as cabinet pieces for the Mint itself. However they came into existence, all five were sold by Brown in 1924 and passed through the hands of various collectors until they reached Colonel E.H.R. Green. Green kept them in his collection until his death in 1936. His estate was then auctioned off, and all five of the 1913  Liberty Head nickels were purchased by two dealers, Eric P. Newman and B.G. Johnson. The dealers then broke up the set for the first time.

Its legendary status was due in large part to the coin dealer B. Max Mehl, who used it as part of a publicity campaign to sell copies of his ‘Star Rare Coin Encyclopaedia’. He advertised across the country that he would pay $50 to anyone who found one and sent it to him, and such an offer during the Depression caused great excitement as the nation started searching through their loose change.

Conclusion: 

Jefferson NickelThe Jefferson nickel has been the five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint since 1938, when it replaced the Buffalo nickel. Since 2006, the copper-nickel coin’s obverse has featured a  forward-facing portrayal of early U.S. President Thomas Jefferson by Jamie Franki. The coin’s reverse is the original by Felix Schlag; in 2004 and 2005, the piece bore commemorative designs. The Mint conducted a competition for a new nickel depicting Jefferson and his home, Monticello, which Schlag won, but was required to submit an entirely new reverse and make other changes. The new piece went into production in October 1938 and was released on November 15. As nickel was a strategic war material during World War II, nickels coined from 1942 to 1945  were struck in a copper-silver-manganese alloy which would not require adjustment to vending machines, and bear a large mint mark above the depiction of Monticello on the reverse. In 2004 and 2005, the nickel saw new designs as part of the Westward Journey nickel series, and since 2006 has borne Schlag’s reverse and Franki’s obverse.

In 1996, numismatic history was made as Jay Parino paid over 1 million dollars for the Eliasberg specimen of the 1913 liberty  nickel. This was the first coin to break the million-dollar barrier, with a final hammer price of $1,485,000 after a 10% buyer’s fee was added. This amount surpassed the previous record paid, set in 1989, of $990,000 for the Dexter specimen of the 1804 Dollar and the $962,500 paid for the Reed Hawn Specimen of the 1913 Liberty Nickel. You can read a transcript of this sale, and even listen to the actual auction call by clicking here. The mystery surrounding this coin is that, while there are 5 known specimens, there is no record at the mint of any being produced. Here lies the mystery.

The existence of a Nickel with the Liberty design dated 1913 was not known until the ANA convention in 1920,  and even speculation of such a coin was not even thought of until the following ad was placed in the December 1919 issue of the Numismatist.

 

History of the Humble Zip


#AceHistoryNews says  Elias Howe, who invented the sewing machine, received a patent in 1851 for an “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure”. Perhaps because of the success of his sewing machine, he did not try to seriously market it, missing recognition he might otherwise have received. Howe’s device was more like an elaborate draw-string than a true slide fastener.

Meadville, Pennsylvania
Meadville, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forty-two years later, Whitcomb Judson, who invented a pneumatic street railway, marketed a “Clasp Locker”. The device served as a (more complicated) hook-and-eye shoe fastener. With the support of businessman Colonel Lewis Walker, Judson launched the Universal Fastener Company to manufacture the new device. The clasp locker had its public debut at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and met with little commercial success. Judson is sometimes given credit as the inventor of the zipper, but he never made a practical device.

The company, reorganized as the “Fastener Manufacturing and Machine Company,” moved to Hoboken, N.J. in 1901. Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American electrical engineer, was hired to work for the company in 1906. Good technical skills and a marriage to the plant-manager’s daughter Elvira Aronson led Sundbäck to the position of head designer. The company moved to Meadville, PA, where it operated for most of the 20th century under the name “Talon, Inc.” After his wife’s death in 1911, Sundback devoted himself to improving the fastener, and by December 1913 had designed the modern zipper. The rights to this invention were owned by the Meadville company (operating as the “Hookless Fastener Co.”), but Sundback retained non-U.S. rights and used these to set up in subsequent years the Canadian firm ‘Lightning Fastner Co.’ in St. Catharines, Ont. Sundback’s work with this firm has led to the common misperception that he was Canadian and that the zipper originated in that country.

Gideon Sundback increased the number of fastening elements from four per inch (about one every 6.4 mm) to ten or eleven (around every 2.5 mm), introduced two facing rows of teeth that pulled into a single piece by the slider, and increased the opening for the teeth guided by the slider. The patent for the “Separable Fastener” was issued in 1917. Gideon Sundback also created the manufacturing machine for the new device. The “S-L” or “scrapless” machine took a special Y-shaped wire and cut scoops from it, then punched the scoop dimple and nib, and clamped each scoop on a cloth tape to produce a continuous zipper chain. Within the first year of operation, Sundback’s machinery was producing a few hundred feet (around 100 meters) of fastener per day.[citation needed]In March of the same year, Mathieu Burri a Swiss inventor improved the design by adding a lock-in system attached to the last teeth, but his version never got into production due to conflicting patents.

Zipper slider brings together the two sides

The popular zipper name came from the B. F. Goodrich Company in 1923. B.F. Goodrich Company was founded by Benjamin Goodrich. He was a physician and industrialist, born in Ripley, New York, USA. He was a surgeon during the Civil War, who started his career when he opened a private practice in Jamestown, NY (1864). The company opted to use Gideon Sundbäck‘s fastener on a new type of rubber boots (or galoshes) and referred to it as the zipper, and the name stuck. The two chief uses of the zipper in its early years were for closing boots and tobacco pouches. It was almost twenty years before the fashion industry began seriously promoting the novel closure on garments.[5]

In the 1930s, a sales campaign began for children’s clothing featuring zippers. The campaign praised zippers for promoting self-reliance in young children by making it possible for them to dress in self-help clothing. The zipper beat the button in 1937 in the “Battle of the Fly”, after French fashion designers raved over zippers in men’s trousers. Esquire declared the zipper the “Newest Tailoring Idea for Men” and among the zippered fly’s many virtues was that it would exclude “The Possibility of Unintentional and Embarrassing Disarray.”[citation needed]

The most recent innovation[citation needed] in the zipper’s design was the introduction of models that could open on both ends, as on jackets. Today the zipper is by far the most widespread fastener, and is found on clothing, luggage, leather goods, and various other objects.

Types

A coil zipper with its slider removed.
  • Coil zippers now form the bulk of sales of zippers worldwide. The slider runs on two coils on each side; the teeth are formed by the windings of the coils. Two basic types of coils are used: one with coils in spiral form, usually with a cord running inside the coils; the other with coils in ladder form, also called the Ruhrmann type. Coil zippers are made of polyester coil and are thus also termed polyester zippers. Nylon was formerly used and though only polyester is used now[citation needed], the type is still also termed a nylon zipper.
  • Invisible zippers have the teeth hidden behind a tape, so that the zipper is invisible. The tape’s color matches the garment’s, as does the slider’s. This kind of zipper is common in skirts and dresses. Invisible zippers are usually coil zippers. They are also seeing increased use by the military and emergency services because the appearance of a button down shirt can be maintained, while providing a quick and easy fastening system.
  • Metallic zippers are the classic zipper type, found mostly in jeans today. The teeth are not a coil, but are individual pieces of metal molded into shape and set on the zipper tape at regular intervals. Metal zippers are made in brass, aluminum and nickel, according to the metal used for teeth making. All these zippers are basically made from flat wire. A special type of metal zipper is made from pre-formed wire, usually brass but sometimes other metals too. Only a few companies in the world have the technology. This type of pre-formed metal zippers is mainly used in high-grade jeans-wear, work-wear, etc., where high strength is required and zippers need to withstand tough washing.
  • Plastic-molded zippers are identical to metallic zippers, except that the teeth are plastic instead of metal. Metal zippers can be painted to match the surrounding fabric; plastic zippers can be made in any color of plastic. Plastic zippers mostly use polyacetal resin, though other thermoplastic polymers are used as well, such as polyethylene.
  • Open-ended zippers use a box and pin mechanism to lock the two sides of the zipper into place, often in jackets. Open-ended zippers can be of any of the above described types.
  • Closed-ended zippers are closed at both ends; they are often used in luggage.

Air and water tightness

Waterproof zipper on a diving dry suit. The exterior metal segments clamp the waterproof sheeting over the concealed zipper teeth. The zipper teeth are not visible in this image (obscured by the edges of the waterproof sheet).

Airtight zippers were first developed by NASA for making high-altitude pressure suits and later space suits, capable of retaining air pressure inside the suit in the vacuum of space.{Citation Needed} 

The airtight zipper is built like a standard toothed zipper, but with a waterproof sheeting (which is made of fabric-reinforced polyethylene and is bonded to the rest of the suit) wrapped around the outside of each row of zipper teeth. The sheeting is crimped in place around each zipper tooth by using a C-shaped metal clip on the outside. (These externally visible opposing rows of clips are the metal runners on which the slider moves.) When the zipper is closed, the two facing sides of the plastic sheeting are squeezed tightly against one another (between the C-shaped clips) both above and below the zipper teeth, forming a double seal.

This double-mated surface is good at retaining both vacuum and pressure, but the fit must be very tight, to press the surfaces together firmly. Consequently these zippers are typically very stiff when zipped shut and have minimal flex or stretch. They are hard to open and close because the zipper anvil must bend apart teeth that are being held under tension. They can also be derailed (and damage the sealing surfaces) if the teeth are misaligned while straining to pull the zipper shut.

These zippers are very common where airtight or watertight seals are needed, such as on scuba diving dry suits, ocean survival suits, and hazmat suits.

A less common water-resistant zipper is similar in construction to a standard toothed zipper, but includes a molded plastic ridge seal similar to the mating surfaces on a ziploc bag. Such a zipper is easier to open and close than a clipped version, and the slider has a gap above the zipper teeth for separating the ridge seal. This seal is structurally weak against internal pressure, and can be separated by pressure within the sealed container pushing outward on the ridges, which will simply flex and spread apart, potentially allowing air or liquid entry through the spread-open ridges. Ridge-sealed zippers are sometimes seen on lower cost surface dry suits.

The History of Thought


English: Title page of Adam Smith's Wealth of ...
English: Title page of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, 1776. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#Ace History News

ON

 

Why I Wrote My Histories of Thought

by Murray N. Rothbard
by Murray N. Rothbard

PLEASE NOTE WELL THIS IS FULLY COPYRIGHTED ARTICLE WITH ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

As the subtitle declares, this work is an overall history of economic thought from a frankly “Austrian” standpoint: that is, from the point of view of an adherent of the “Austrian School” of economics. This is the only such work by a modern Austrian; indeed, only a few monographs in specialized areas of the history of thought have been published by Austrians in recent decades.[1] Not only that: this perspective is grounded in what is currently the least fashionable though not the least numerous variant of the Austrian School: the “Misesian” or “praxeologic.”[2]

But the Austrian nature of this work is scarcely its only singularity. When the present author first began studying economics in the 1940s, there was an overwhelmingly dominant paradigm in the approach to the history of economic thought – one that is still paramount, though not as baldly as in that era. Essentially, this paradigm features a few Great Men as the essence of the history of economic thought, with Adam Smith as the almost superhuman founder.

But if Smith was the creator of both economic analysis and of the free trade, free market tradition in political economy, it would be petty and niggling to question seriously any aspect of his alleged achievement. Any sharp criticism of Smith as either economist or free market advocate would seem only anachronistic: looking down upon the pioneering founder from the point of view of the superior knowledge of today, puny descendants unfairly bashing the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

If Adam Smith created economics, much as Athena sprang full-grown and fully armed from the brow of Zeus, then his predecessors must be foils, little men of no account. And so short shrift was given, in these classic portrayals of economic thought, to anyone unlucky enough to precede Smith. Generally they were grouped into two categories and brusquely dismissed.

Immediately preceding Smith were the mercantilists, whom he strongly criticized. Mercantilists were apparently boobs who kept urging people to accumulate money but not to spend it, or insisting that the balance of trade must “balance” with each country.

Scholastics were dismissed even more rudely, as moralistic medieval ignoramuses who kept warning that the “just” price must cover a merchant’s cost of production plus a reasonable profit.

The classic works in the history of thought of the 1930s and 1940s then proceeded to expound and largely to celebrate a few peak figures after Smith. Ricardo systematized Smith, and dominated economics until the l870s; then the “marginalists,” Jevons, Menger and Walras, marginally corrected Smith-Ricardo “classical economics” by stressing the importance of the marginal unit as compared to whole classes of goods.

English: British economist Alfred Marshall (18...
English: British economist Alfred Marshall (1842 – 1924) pictured in 1921. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then it was onto Alfred Marshall, who sagely integrated Ricardian cost theory with the supposedly one-sided Austrian-Jevonian emphasis on demand and utility, to create modern neoclassical economics. Karl Marx could scarcely be ignored, and so he was treated in a chapter as an aberrant Ricardian.

And so the historian could polish off his story by dealing with four or five Great Figures, each of whom, with the exception of Marx, contributed more building blocks toward the unbroken progress of economic science, essentially a story of ever onward and upward into the light.[3]

In the post-World War II years, Keynes of course was added to the Pantheon, providing a new culminating chapter in the progress and development of the science. Keynes, beloved student of the great Marshall, realized that the old man had left out what would later be called “macroeconomics” in his exclusive emphasis on the micro.

And so Keynes added macro, concentrating on the study and explanation of unemployment, a phenomenon which everyone before Keynes had unaccountably left out of the economic picture, or had conveniently swept under the rug by blithely “assuming full employment.”

Since then, the dominant paradigm has been largely sustained, although matters have recently become rather cloudy. For one thing, this kind of Great Man ever-upward history requires occasional new final chapters. Keynes’s General Theory, published in 1936, is now almost sixty years old; surely there must be a Great Man for a final chapter? But who? For a while, Schumpeter, with his modern and seemingly realistic stress on “innovation,” had a run, but this trend came a cropper, perhaps on the realization that Schumpeter’s fundamental work (or “vision,” as he himself perceptively put it) was written more than two decades before the General Theory.

The years since the 1950s have been murky; and it is difficult to force a return to the once-forgotten Walras into the Procrustean bed of continual progress.

The title page to Keynes' General Theory.
The title page to Keynes’ General Theory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My own view of the grave deficiency of the Few Great Men approach has been greatly influenced by the work of two splendid historians of thought. One is my own dissertation mentor Joseph Dorfman, whose unparalleled multi-volume work on the history of American economic thought demonstrated conclusively how important allegedly “lesser” figures are in any movement of ideas. In the first place, the stuff of history is left out by omitting these figures, and history is therefore falsified by selecting and worrying over a few scattered texts to constitute The History of Thought.

Second, a large number of the supposedly secondary figures contributed a great deal to the development of thought, in some ways more than the few peak thinkers. Hence, important features of economic thought get omitted, and the developed theory is made paltry and barren as well as lifeless.

Furthermore, the cut-and-thrust of history itself, the context of the ideas and movements, how people influenced each other, and how they reacted to and against one another, is necessarily left out of the Few Great Men approach. This aspect of the historian’s work was particularly brought home to me by Quentin Skinner’s notable two-volume Foundations of Modern Political Thought, the significance of which could be appreciated without adopting Skinner’s own behaviorist methodology.[4]

The continual progress, onward-and-upward approach was demolished for me, and should have been for everyone, by Thomas Kuhn’s famed Structure of Scientific Revolutions.[5] Kuhn paid no attention to economics, but instead, in the standard manner of philosophers and historians of science, focused on such ineluctably “hard” sciences as physics, chemistry, and astronomy.

Bringing the word “paradigm” into intellectual discourse, Kuhn demolished what I like to call the “Whig theory of the history of science.” The Whig theory, subscribed to by almost all historians of science, including economics, is that scientific thought progresses patiently, one year after another developing, sifting, and testing theories, so that science marches onward and upward, each year, decade, or generation learning more and possessing ever more correct scientific theories.

On analogy with the Whig theory of history, coined in mid-nineteenth-century England, which maintained that things are always getting (and therefore must get) better and better, the Whig historian of science, seemingly on firmer ground than the regular Whig historian, implicitly or explicitly asserts that “later is always better” in any particular scientific discipline. The Whig historian (whether of science or of history proper) really maintains that, for any point of historical time, “whatever was, was right,” or at least better than “whatever was earlier.”

The inevitable result is a complacent and infuriating Panglossian optimism. In the historiography of economic thought, the consequence is the firm if implicit position that every individual economist, or at least every school of economists, contributed their important mite to the inexorable upward march. There can, then, be no such thing as gross systemic error that deeply flawed, or even invalidated, an entire school of economic thought, much less sent the world of economics permanently astray.

Kuhn, however, shocked the philosophic world by demonstrating that this is simply not the way that science has developed. Once a central paradigm is selected, there is no testing or sifting, and tests of basic assumptions only take place after a series of failures and anomalies in the ruling paradigm has plunged the science into a “crisis situation.” One need not adopt Kuhn’s nihilistic philosophic outlook, his implication that no one paradigm is or can be better than any other, to realize that his less than starry-eyed view of science rings true both as history and as sociology.

But if the standard romantic or Panglossian view does not work even in the hard sciences, a fortiori it must be totally off the mark in such a “soft science” as economics, in a discipline where there can be no laboratory testing, and where numerous even softer disciplines such as politics, religion, and ethics necessarily impinge on one’s economic outlook.

There can therefore be no presumption whatever in economics that later thought is better than earlier, or even that all well-known economists have contributed their sturdy mite to the developing discipline. For it becomes very likely that, rather than everyone contributing to an ever-progressing edifice, economics can and has proceeded in contentious, even zigzag fashion, with later systemic fallacy sometimes elbowing aside earlier but sounder paradigms, thereby redirecting economic thought down a total erroneous or even tragic path. The overall path of economics may be up, or it may be down, over any given time period.

In recent years, economics, under the dominant influence of formalism, positivism and econometrics, and preening itself on being a hard science, has displayed little interest in its own past. It has been intent, as in any “real” science, on the latest textbook or journal article rather than on exploring its own history. After all, do contemporary physicists spend much time poring over eighteenth-century optics?

In the last decade or two, however, the reigning Walrasian-Keynesian neoclassical formalist paradigm has been called ever more into question, and a veritable Kuhnian “crisis situation” has developed in various areas of economics, including worry over its methodology. Amidst this situation, the study of the history of thought has made a significant comeback, one which we hope and expect will expand in coming years.[6]

For if knowledge buried in paradigms lost can disappear and be forgotten over time, then studying older economists and schools of thought need not be done merely for antiquarian purposes or to examine how intellectual life proceeded in the past. Earlier economists can be studied for their important contributions to forgotten and therefore new knowledge today. Valuable truths can be learned about the content of economics, not only from the latest journals, but from the texts of long-deceased economic thinkers.

But these are merely methodological generalizations. The concrete realization that important economic knowledge had been lost over time came to me from absorbing the great revision of the Scholastics that developed in the l950s and 1960s. The pioneering revision came dramatically in Schumpeter’s great History of Economic Analysis, and was developed in the works of Raymond de Roover, Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson, and John T. Noonan.

It turns out that the Scholastics were not simply “medieval,” but began in the thirteenth century and expanded and flourished through the sixteenth and into the seventeenth century. Far from being cost-of-production moralists, the Scholastics believed that the just price was whatever price was established on the “common estimate” of the free market. Not only that: far from being naïve labor or cost-of-production value theorists, the Scholastics may be considered “proto-Austrians,” with a sophisticated subjective utility theory of value and price.

Furthermore, some of the Scholastics were far superior to current formalist microeconomics in developing a “proto-Austrian” dynamic theory of entrepreneurship. Moreover, in “macro,” the Scholastics, beginning with Buridan and culminating in the sixteenth-century Spanish Scholastics, worked out an “Austrian” rather than monetarist supply and demand theory of money and prices, including interregional money flows, and even a purchasing-power parity theory of exchange rates.

It seems to be no accident that this dramatic revision of our knowledge of the Scholastics was brought to American economists, not generally esteemed for their depth of knowledge of Latin, by European-trained economists steeped in Latin, the language in which the Scholastics wrote. This simple point emphasizes another reason for loss of knowledge in the modern world: the insularity in one’s own language (particularly severe in the English-speaking countries) that has, since the Reformation, ruptured the once Europe-wide community of scholars. One reason why continental economic thought has often exerted minimal, or at least delayed, influence in England and the United States is simply because these works had not been translated into English.[7]

For me, the impact of Scholastic revisionism was complemented and strengthened by the work, during the same decades, of the German-born “Austrian” historian, Emil Kauder. Kauder revealed that the dominant economic thought in France and Italy during the seventeenth and especially the eighteenth centuries was also “proto-Austrian,” emphasizing subjective utility and relative scarcity as the determinants of value. From this groundwork, Kauder proceeded to a startling insight into the role of Adam Smith that, however, follows directly from his own work and that of the Scholastic revisionists: that Smith, far from being the founder of economics, was virtually the reverse. On the contrary, Smith actually took the sound, and almost fully developed, proto-Austrian subjective value tradition, and tragically shunted economics on to a false path, a dead-end from which the Austrians had to rescue economics a century later.

Instead of subjective value, entrepreneurship, and emphasis on real market pricing and market activity, Smith dropped all this and replaced it with a labor theory of value and a dominant focus on the unchanging long-run “natural price” equilibrium, a world where entrepreneurship was assumed out of existence. Under Ricardo, this unfortunate shift in focus was intensified and systematized.

If Smith was not the creator of economic theory, neither was he the founder of laissez faire in political economy. Not only were the Scholastics analysts of, and believers in, the free market and critics of government intervention, but the French and Italian economists of the eighteenth century were even more laissez-faire-oriented than Smith, who introduced numerous waffles and qualifications into what had been, in the hands of Turgot and others, an almost pure championing oflaissez faire. It turns out that, rather than someone who should be venerated as creator of modern economics or of laissez faire, Smith was closer to the picture portrayed by Paul Douglas in the 1926 Chicago commemoration of the Wealth of Nations: a necessary precursor of Karl Marx.

Emil Kauder’s contribution was not limited to his portrayal of Adam Smith as the destroyer of a previously sound tradition of economic theory, as the founder of an enormous “zag” in a Kuhnian picture of a zigzag history of economic thought. Also fascinating if more speculative was Kauder’s estimate of the essential causeof a curious asymmetry in the course of economic thought in different countries.

Why is it, for example, that the subjective utility tradition flourished on the Continent, especially in France and Italy, and then revived particularly in Austria, whereas the labor and cost-of-production theories developed especially in Great Britain? Kauder attributed the difference to the profound influence of religion: the Scholastics, and then France, Italy, and Austria were Catholic countries, and Catholicism emphasized consumption as the goal of production and consumer utility and enjoyment as, at least in moderation, valuable activities and goals.

The British tradition, on the contrary, beginning with Smith himself, was Calvinist, and reflected the Calvinist emphasis on hard work and labor toil as not only good but a great good in itself, whereas consumer enjoyment is at best a necessary evil, a mere requisite to continuing labor and production.

On reading Kauder, I considered this view a challenging insight, but essentially an unproven speculation. However, as I continued studying economic thought and embarked on writing these volumes, I concluded that Kauder was being confirmed many times over. Even though Smith was a “moderate” Calvinist, he was a staunch one nevertheless, and I came to the conclusion that the Calvinist emphasis could account, for example, for Smith’s otherwise puzzling championing of usury laws, as well as his shift in emphasis from the capricious, luxury-loving consumer as the determinant of value, to the virtuous laborer embedding his hours of toil into the value of his material product.

But if Smith could be accounted for by Calvinism, what of the Spanish-Portuguese Jew-turned-Quaker, David Ricardo, surely no Calvinist? Here it seems to me that recent research into the dominant role of James Mill as mentor of Ricardo and major founder of the “Ricardian system” comes strongly into play. For Mill was a Scotsman ordained as a Presbyterian minister and steeped in Calvinism; the fact that, later in life, Mill moved to London and became an agnostic had no effect on the Calvinist nature of Mill’s basic attitudes toward life and the world. Mill’s enormous evangelical energy, his crusading for social betterment, and his devotion to labor toil (as well as the cognate Calvinist virtue of thrift) reflected his lifelong Calvinist world-outlook. John Stuart Mill’s resurrection of Ricardianism may be interpreted as his filiopietist devotion to the memory of his dominant father, and Alfred Marshall’s trivialization of Austrian insights into his own neo-Ricardian schema also came from a highly moralistic and evangelical neo-Calvinist.

Conversely, it is no accident that the Austrian School, the major challenge to the Smith-Ricardo vision, arose in a country that was not only solidly Catholic, but whose values and attitudes were still heavily influenced by Aristotelian and Thomist thought. The German precursors of the Austrian School flourished, not in Protestant and anti-Catholic Prussia, but in those German states that were either Catholic or were politically allied to Austria rather than Prussia.

The result of these researches was my growing conviction that leaving out religious outlook, as well as social and political philosophy, would disastrously skew any picture of the history of economic thought. This is fairly obvious for the centuries before the nineteenth, but it is true for that century as well, even as the technical apparatus takes on more of a life of its own.

In consequence of these insights, these volumes are very different from the norm, and not just in presenting an Austrian rather than a neoclassical or institutionalist perspective.

The entire work is much longer than most since it insists on bringing in all the “lesser” figures and their interactions as well as emphasizing the importance of their religious and social philosophies as well as their narrower, strictly “economic” views. But I would hope that the length and inclusion of other elements does not make this work less readable. On the contrary, history necessarily means narrative, discussion of real persons as well as their abstract theories, and includes triumphs, tragedies, and conflicts, conflicts which are often moral as well as purely theoretical. Hence, I hope that, for the reader, the unwonted length will be offset by the inclusion of far more human drama than is usually offered in histories of economic thought.

Notes

[1] Joseph Schumpeter’s valuable and monumental History of Economic Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1954) has sometimes been referred to as “Austrian.” But while Schumpeter was raised in Austria and studied under the great Austrian Böhm-Bawerk, he himself was a dedicated Walrasian, and hisHistory was, in addition, eclectic and idiosyncratic.

[2] For an explanation of the three leading Austrian paradigms at the present time, see Murray N. Rothbard, The Present State of Austrian Economics (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1992).

[3] When the present author was preparing for his doctoral orals at Columbia University, he had the venerable John Maurice Clark as examiner in the history of economic thought. When he asked Clark whether he should read Jevons, Clark replied, in some surprise: “What’s the point? The good in Jevons is all in Marshall.”

[4] Joseph Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American Civilization (5 vols., New York: Viking Press, 1946-59); Quentin Skinner, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought (2 vols., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978).

[5] Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962, 2nd ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970).

[6] The attention devoted in recent years to a brilliant critique of neoclassical formalism as totally dependent on obsolete mid-nineteenth-century mechanics is a welcome sign of this recent change of attitude. See Philip Mirowski, More Heat than Light (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).

[7] At the present time, when English has become the European lingua franca, and most European journals publish articles in English, this bother has been minimized.

This is the introduction to his last great work, The History of Economic Thought: An Austrian Perspective, available now for $45 for the two volume set.

Murray N. Rothbard (1926–1995) was the author of Man, Economy, and StateConceived in LibertyWhat Has Government Done to Our MoneyFor a New LibertyThe Case Against the Fed, and many other books and articles. He was also the editor – with Lew Rockwell – of The Rothbard-Rockwell Report.

Copyright © 2006 Ludwig von Mises Institute
All rights reserved.

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