David Lange forwarded this press release about a new discovery which answered an open question in his research into early coin collecting boards. -EditorA recent internet auction purchase has solved the mystery behind the elusive coin collecting boards published by Gramercy Stamp Company in 1940. A simple, four-page booklet reveals the reason why this publishers brand of coin boards carry so little information on them regarding their manufacturer and purpose. These boards, of which but two titles are known, were originally issued not as stand-alone items but as part of a boxed coin collecting kit.
In his book Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s & 1940s A Complete History, Catalog & Value Guide, board collector and researcher David W. Lange listed these two titles put out by Gramercy Stamp Company and speculated that they may have been included in just such a set. This notion was based on his discovery of a submission made by that business to the United States Copyright Office. Entry number KK 5046 was dated July 17, 1940 and records the delivery for copyright protection of the Pennyhobby Coin Collecting Outfit No. 103. Nothing was stated as to the contents of this item, but Lange reasoned that it likely included the two penny boards listed and illustrated in his book.
Lange recently obtained confirmation of this assumption through his purchase on the internet of a small booklet titled HANDBOOK and INSTRUCTIONS which illustrated the box art for that very same PENNYHOBBY COIN COLLECTING OUTFIT No. 103. This box also carries the notation PROFITABLE EDUCATIONAL FASCINATING, as well as the advice to SAVE while PLAYING. The box features large illustrations of the obverse of an 1864 Indian Head Cent and a 1909 Lincoln Head Cent, as well as a charming scene of Mom, Dad, Son and Daughter gathered around a card table examining pennies and mounting them in the boards. The inside pages of this booklet describe the contents of the coin collecting kit, while its back page lists the average prices dealers would pay at the time for Eagle, Indian and Lincoln Cents. This sort of information typically is found on coin boards, but its inclusion on a separate instruction guide explains the minimal text seen on the actual Gramercy boards.
Also found on the box cover are a collage of cents, as well as the very same line drawings which appear on the coin boards themselves. Included is an illustration of the young Abe Lincoln splitting rails and a Native American on horseback riding past a cluster of teepees. Another image is that of the U. S. Capitol building as seen on the Gramercy board for Lincoln Cents. These two coin boards are unique in that they are in landscape, or horizontal, orientation.
While the acquisition of this rare piece of ephemera has proved that the two Gramercy Stamp Company coin boards were indeed issued as part of a boxed coin collecting kit, the set itself has still not surfaced. So rare are the Gramercy brand boards that Lange has seen only four in 25 years of collecting antique coin boards. He is very interested in obtaining additional pieces, as well as the complete boxed set.
David W. Lange buys and sells old coin boards, as well as offering his book on the subject. He puts out newsletters and price lists regularly. His website devoted to coin boards is www.coincollectingboards.net. He may be contacted at David W. Lange, POB 110022, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211-0022, by email at email@example.com and by telephone at 941-586-8670.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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