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V13 2010 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 17, April 25, 2010, Article 12

MORE ON COIN CLUB MEETING REPORTS

David W. Lange writes:

To follow up on Bruce W. Smith's observation about coin club reports being useful in numismatic research, I can confirm that these can make for some interesting reading. I read through all of the meeting minutes for the Pacific Coast Numismatic Society dating back to its founding in 1915 as the host city for that year's ANA convention.

I compared what I found within the minutes with what was reported in the club's monthly bulletins to get a broader picture of both the numismatics and politics that transpired. This information, combined with my general knowledge of the hobby's history during that time frame, was incorporated into my history of the society, which ran serially in The Journal of the Pacific Coast Numismatic Society about twenty years ago. Some of what I learned was not flattering to certain individuals who were either still living or were well remembered by current members, so I decided to end the series of articles at about the year 1950.

It was also fun to read about the interaction with the society of prominent figures such as Abe Kosoff and the Stacks. Particularly of interest to students of ANA history was the correspondence relating to the 1949 ANA convention in San Francisco. Since it had been unsuccessful in persuading the ANA to come to San Francisco during the 1930s, the PCNS had sponsored a series of regional conventions which were called, I believe, the Far Western Numismatic Conference (I don't have my PCNS Journals handy). These ran 1933-39 and were the brainchild of Ernest Wernstom, whose untimely death in 1938 was largely responsible for their demise.

The ANA finally relented for the centennial of the California Gold Rush in 1949, but it evidently deemed the resulting convention a miserable failure. Of course, both the hobby and the nation were in a recession that year, but SF and its numismatic leaders were considered the culprits by the mostly eastern or mid-western ANA establishment. This led to repeated refusals to go back to the city throughout the 1960s by board members who recalled the debacle, and particularly frustrating was the failure of PCNS to host the ANA convention on its 50th anniversary in 1965. Indeed, the ANA didn't return to San Francisco until 2005, and then it was only because its original destination, San Jose, announced that it was holding an Indy car race the same week. It turned out to be a moderately successful event, though lacking the attendance of most eastern conventions.

I'll add my own endorsement for the use of club reports in numismatic research. I used some of these in my history of the early years of the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society (WPNS). -Editor

To read the complete article, see: AN OVERLOOKED RESOURCE: COIN CLUB MEETING REPORTS (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n16a16.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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