We're still low on information about the Retail Coin Dealers Association. A search for that organization came up blank in the library catalogs of the American Numismatic Association and American Numismatic Society.
A search for Hank Bieciuk in the ANA library catalog reveals him as the author of the 1961 book, Texas Confederate County Notes and Private Scrip. A check in the ANS library catalog finds that reference plus an article titled Terminology for Obsolete Notes in the Winter 1963 issue of Paper Money.
A look in the online index of Paper Money yields more clues about Bieciuk.
He was the first President of the Society of Paper Money Collectors, and also the first Editor of Paper Money (as noted in the January - February 2001 issue). Other entries describe him as a resident of Kilgore, Texas.
The January - February 1993 issue included a short obituary and he was pictured on the cover. But no mention is made of the Retail Coin Dealers Association. Bieciuk was employed full time in the graphics arts business. In 1961 he had come to the Altanta ANA convention to promote his new book on Texas notes. He was present at an organizational meeting of SPMC, and ended up getting drafted as President and Editor of the new club. An ad in the Fall, 1962 issue advertises "Hank Bieciuk, Inc." as "America's full-time obsolete currency dealer".
So by 1963 he was a full-time dealer and by 1964 he was involved with the Retail Coin Dealers Association. Perhaps he retired and started a second career in the numismatic world.
Dick Johnson writes:
The Retail Coin Dealers Association was founded, I assume, in 1959. The organizer lived in Dennison, Texas.
I pulled out four membership cards of this organization from my files. These were issued for 1960 through 1963. I was not a coin dealer but as editor of Coin World at the time I was made a charter member, with honorary membership #2.
The organization issued one or more membership lists in small pamphlet size. I remember its green paper cover, but cannot find it now in any pamphlet file. This would indicate the size of the organization and how wide was its acceptance in the field.
I believe the organizer lacked the organizational ability and national acceptance in the field, as did a Sol Kaplan or Dave Bowers of the later Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG).
While a short-lived organization, it was another brick in building of the commercial numismatic structure of today.
It's rare that E-Sylum readers get stumped on a numismatic question.
Thanks, Dick! Perhaps one of those pamphlets or the convention program will turn up someday and shed more light on the organization and its membership.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
MORE ON THE RETAIL COIN DEALERS ASSOCIATION
Wayne Homren, Editor
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