William West Bradbeer

Year of Induction: 

Bradbeer was author of the groundbreaking Confederate and Southern States Currency; Historical and Financial Data, Biographical Sketches; Descriptions with Illustrations in 1915.  In February 1914 he gave an “Interesting Lecture on Confederate Paper Money” at the New York Numismatic Club. After the business portion of the meeting had been conducted, including resolutions of sympathy over the death of Chicago dealer Ben Green, the club adjourned to the Park Avenue Hotel for a banquet and Bradbeer’s lecture. Club secretary Moritz Wormser records the following in the club’s minutes: “Mr. W.W. Bradbeer gave an extremely interesting lecture on Confederate Paper Currency. The lecture was illustrated by some forty or fifty lantern slides which showed some very rare paper issues of the Confederacy and gave the audience a great deal of historical information in connection with the subject with which they had been entirely unfamiliar.” In 1915 on the 50th anniversary of the war’s end, Bradbeer’s book, 162 pages with halftone illustrations within the text was published.  Bradbeer wrote. “The currency of the South reflects the buoyant hope and utter despair of a people who staked their all and lost.” The book offers a great deal of historical information, as well as variety rarities. The book is also apparently based in part on the early descriptive work accomplished by Thian. Bradbeer numbered the Confederate series by variety consecutively from the Montgomery $1,000 through the Jefferson Davis 50-center of 1864, a total of 579 issues. The book was announced in the August 1915 issue of The Numismatist.