Dave Lange writes:
Regarding the Hall of Fame medals, I've never acquired any of these, but I've been trying to locate the display album for them for
many years now. If past experience is any predictor, I may have to buy the album complete with medals, as I've done this for several of the
Medallic Art Company albums printed by Whitman.
Both the HOF medals and the album were distributed by the Coin & Currency Institute, which was the publishing division of Robert
Friedberg's Capitol Coin Company. The entire line of medals and the album were sold through his chain of department store coin
counters during the 1960s. The medal series kicked off in the fall of 1962, with the album following some time later.
I'm attaching a couple of ads from The Numismatist that illustrate this promotion. The second is a two-page spread that
also lists the department stores then part of the Friedberg concessions.
Thanks! I've seen the medals individually, but wasn't aware of the album. As Dave says, I'm sure they exist somewhere. As a
bibliophile, I'm now curious about the 192-page Hall of Fame Handbook offered for $1 in one of the ads. It says it includes
bios and images of the busts, but I wonder if there is also any information about the medals. Copies are available for sale online in
multiple editions over many years, with a reprint in 2013. -Editor
Rich Jewell writes:
You asked if any readers had a complete set of this series, well I have to admit that I own a complete set. The 3" in bronze, and
the 1-3/4" in bronze and silver. I completed the collection in 2007.
One interesting aspect of the Medal series was it was open to the initial sculptors who did the bronze bust to do the medals.
Eight sculptor/engravers answered the call:
Granville Carter did the Jane Addams- sculptor & medal
Stanley Martneau did the Alexander Graham Bell- sculptor & medal
Stanley Martineau did the Josiah Willard Gibbs- sculptor & medal
Walker Hancock did the Stephen C. Foster- sculptor & medal
Joseph Kiselewski did the Oliver Wendell Holmes,Jr-sculptor & medal
Joseph Kiselewski did the Sylvanus Thayer- sculptor & medal
C. Paul Jennewein did the Edward MacDowell-sculptor & medal
Laura Gardin Fraser did the sculpture of Gilbert C. Stuart and she and K. Gruppe are credited with doing the medal
Malvina Hoffman did the Henry David Thoreau-sculptor & medal
Paul Fjelde did the Orville Wright bust (only) and the medal
Rich Jewell adds:
I do not have the album. What I do have is the book the NYU Press published in 1962 (The Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York
University) edited by Theodore Morello. It is one hundred ninety-two pages with photos of the busts, biographies of the awardees and diagrams of
the colonnade and the layouts of the busts through June of 1961. Truly a great old book.
The book does not deal with the medals at all. The medals didn't start until 1963, a good two years after this book was published.
Other information from the book lists the year the individuals were elected to the HoF, names that were not chosen by the committees,
sculptors of the busts, the college of electors from 1900 through 1960 and donors of the busts, just to name some additional
One can hope, I guess - perhaps later editions have something on the medals. -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
HALL OF FAME FOR GREAT AMERICANS MEDALS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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