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The E-Sylum: Volume 4, Number 13, March 25, 2001, Article 2

GLENN A. MOONEY (1918-2001)

Glenn A. Mooney, a longtime fixture in Pittsburgh numismatics, passed away at age 82 on March 17th (St. Patrick's Day). For many years he was a volunteer curator of numismatics at Carnegie Museum, working closely with William W. Woodside.

While his interests spanned numismatics from ancient to modern, most of his writings were on the topic of medals and tokens. His 1976 monograph on the Washington Before Boston medal traced the history of the medal and its restrikes, and provided a detailed reference guide to the various strikings and varieties.

His March, 1969 article in The Numismatist is the earliest reference to Play Money found in NIP (the Numismatic Indexes project of the Harry Bass Research Foundation), predating Richard Clothier's 1985 reference by 16 years.

As a volunteer curator, he devoted many a Saturday to working with the collection, cataloging specimens, and assisting researchers and the general public until 1978, when the museum decided to sell the collection. With other local numismatists, Mooney fought the planned sale, and although ultimately the bulk of the collection was sold in succeeding years, a court decree kept the George H. Clapp reference collection of U.S. large cents intact, along with a representative U.S. type collection, and items with a local or regional connection.

Of interest to bibliophiles is the museum's numismatic reference library, which, as part of the decree, was transferred to The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, where it still resides today. The library includes a complete set of The Numismatist, including the rare original first six volumes.

Born in Denison, TX, Mr. Mooney served as a Captain in the Army Signal Corp in the South Pacific in WWII. A graduate of Texas A&M, he became a manager at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh, where he met Nikola Tesla and worked with Admiral Rickover building the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear powered submarine (launched in 1955). He is survived by his wife Jeanne, six children, twelve grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

[Editor's note: Mooney became my numismatic mentor and role model in 1978. I had called him after reading an interview with him in the local paper about the museum's planned sale. I was a college student, and an interested coin collector, but was only peripherally aware of organized numismatics.

He invited this stranger into his home for an hours-long discussion of numismatics. Later that year he sponsored my membership in the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society. Only later did I realize what an honor it was to be invited to join, as the youngest member since George Clapp himself, who cofounded the club at the same age exactly a century earlier.

It was an eye-opening experience to meet and learn from such advanced collectors, and I have Glenn and the members of WPNS to thank for drawing me headlong into the realm of numismatic research. It's become a lifetime hobby. Were it not for Glenn Mooney, I wouldn't be here working on The E-Sylum week after week. This one's for you, Glenn.]

Wayne Homren, Editor

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