Michael E. Marotta submitted this note about a Michigan pharmacist and numismatist, Robert E. Matthews.
A literature search on another topic brought up an old E-Sylum item (Volume 11, Number 36, September 7, 2008, Article 11), "ON PHARMACIST-NUMISMATISTS." The Editor queried the readership and over a dozen were cited including, of course, Lewis Feuchtwanger, George Francis Heath, and William Elliot Woodward. I would like to add Bob Matthews.
Robert E. Matthews' first pharmacy was in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where his family was from. He later moved the business to Howell, where I met him in 1994. The pharmacy and coin shop were separate, but joined by archways.
He was known to Early American Coppers for his Large Cents and his collection was auctioned by Superior, May 28, 1989. I found the catalog as lot A65 in Fred Lake's Sale Number 70 (http://www.lakebooks.com/70CAT.pdf).
A Google search for "Robert E. Matthews" returned a pedigree for the 1812 Large Cent in the Coin Facts database. He also garnered two mentions in the romance, "Confessions of an EAC Addict," by John Pijewski on http://www.largecents.net. His passing was announced on August 3, 2000.
Bob Matthews told me that when he first opened the pharmacy in Ypsi, he had a revolving case for wristwatches into which he placed coins. The case was on the lunch counter. Customers would ask why they should pay 50 cents for a quarter or a dollar for a dime, and he would explain why. He allowed that he did not make many sales that way.
Bob often said, "Knowledge is king." He claimed to have made the downpayment on the strip mall where his pharmacy and coin shop were from the $11,000 sale of a coin he bought from another dealer for $1100.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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