New subscriber Ernie Nagy submitted this diary of his visit to the recent American Numismatic Association convention in Chicago. Thanks!
The Chicago World's Fair of Money was the first national show I have attended. It was an experience which I will never forget; I loved every second of it.
On Thursday night I attended the Token and Medal Society (TAMS) banquet. I found an open seat next to someone who I had not previously met, John Mutch. John is the Maverick editor for TAMS. Mavericks are tokens or medals which do not indicate the city or state of their origin. John and other TAMS members attempt to attribute them to their origin through research. On my other side sat Cliff Mishler.
I asked Cliff what led him to his interest in world coins. He explained to me that he was raised in Vandalia, Michigan, which prior to the civil war was a site on the Underground Railroad. In studying the history of his home town he learned about Liberia, which was colonized in the 1820's by freed American slaves. Cliff started collecting coins of Liberia, and then neighboring countries. Eventually, he helped produce the Standard Catalog of World Coins!
I attended my first meeting of Early American Coppers, Inc. (EAC). In the round-the-room introductions R. W. (Bob) Julian introduced himself as a person who collects information. After the meeting I introduced myself to Bob and told him that I had used his book Medals of the United States Mint, the First Century 1792-1892 to learn about a collection of nine Michigan State Agricultural Society medals which were awarded to the Gale Manufacturing Company from 1862 through 1876 and passed down through my wife's family.
The investigation of these medals was my first extensive foray into numismatic research and Bob's book was the only source I had for the basic information about them. In his description of the medals, Bob mentioned correspondence about deteriorating dies. I told Bob that the evidence of the deterioration could be seen by a progression of rim cuds on the medals which were in my collection. Bob did not retain copies of the correspondence concerning the die failures, but he was able to give me a lead as to where I might be able to obtain it.
Also at the EAC meeting was John Wright, author of The Cent Book, the book I use for die variety attribution of Middle Date Large Cents. Later that day I was in the collector exhibit area and saw John and his wife Mabel reviewing the exhibits. I introduced myself to them told him how much I used and enjoyed John's book. John asked me what I was collecting these days, and I told him that I had an exhibit on Coins in Great American Literature.
It was very rewarding to me to see John spend considerable time studying my exhibit. Then I remembered that in my analysis of the large cents I was exhibiting as representatives of the "Two Broad Coppers" which the new boy held out derisively to Tom Sawyer in the first chapter before Tom pummeled him, I had included a citation to John and his Cent Book! Being able to show that citation to John was the highlight of the week for me.
What a great experience! The best part of conventions is the ability to meet and speak with numismatic personalities from all around the country (or the world). Numismatic people are top-notch, rarely unwilling to meet and talk with fellow collectors.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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