Bern Nagengast submitted this news release and historical background concerning the E&T Kointainer company. Thanks! Pictured is a BU cent that has been in a Kointain for 62 years.
The E&T Kointainer Company, provider of archivally safe numismatic storage products,
has a new owner.
Bernard A. Nagengast, who has owned the company for 41 years, is retiring. Mr. Randy
A. Moore, who has been associated with Mr. Nagengast and E&T Kointainer for the last
11 years, has purchased the business and will continue to offer the same quality
products numismatists have been using from this American company since 1950. The
product line includes Kointain and Saflip coin holders, Safgard currency sleeves, Metal
Safe corrosion inhibitor, Koinpage generic coin album, and other accessories.
Kointainer sells only numismatic products that will not harm coins and paper money.
The company has a history of important innovations in numismatic storage with many
firsts that include the Kointain coin capsule, Saflip, the first non-PVC coin flip, the
earliest plastic coin tubes and the use of inhibitors to prevent toning of coins.
Collectors interested in investigating Kointainer products can access the company
www.vcoins.com/us/kointainer. Catalog requests can be sent to Randy
firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to E&T Kointainer, PO Box 103, Sidney OH
Best of luck and continued success for the new owner. Here's the historical background, written by Bern Nagengast. Thanks.
Profile of a pioneer in numismatic storage
More than fifty years ago a southern US collector purchased a proof 1856 Flying
Eagle cent. Within a year, the coin was spotted. The horrified collector, Dr. Francis Stevens Epps, suspected that the coin holder had ruined his expensive coin and he
decided to do something about it. Enlisting the help of a friend who was a research
chemist, Dr. Epps began investigating the methods and devices used to store coins. He
concluded that then-used holders were unsuitable and damaging to coins, and he set out
to invent the perfect coin holder. The result was the KOINTAIN; a round plastic holder
made of inert materials, convex in shape so as to touch the coin only on its edges. The
holder was thin enough to appear almost invisible at a distance.
Dr. Epps organized E&T Kointainer Company in 1950 to market the new coin holder.
The E & T in the name was derived from Epps and Trainer, Mr. Trainer being the other
partner in the company. The two men first offered a Kointain for cents, expanding the
offerings to include all major US denominations over the next few years.
The Kointain was not Dr. Epps’ only innovation. Realizing that storage of BU rolls in
paper wrappers was unsuitable; Dr. Epps invented the plastic coin tube in the mid-1950’s.
The first plastic tubes were plastic pill bottles, selected so that the diameter and length
closely matched the various coin roll sizes. Later, custom tubes with caps at each end
Cellophane envelopes were widely used to store coins, even being used by the U.S.
Mint for proof coins prior to 1955. However cellophane released sulfur fumes and
became brittle with age. Dr. Epps’ solution was the KOINVELOPE; an envelope made
of polyethylene. This type of envelope, widely used by coin auction houses as late as the
early 1970’s, is still used by collectors today as a short-term protection for coins in PVC
Dr. Epps passed away in 1973 at age 70. Along the way, the coin-storage inventor
found the time to found two coin clubs in West Virginia and Michigan and write
numerous articles on coin preservation. He was active for 18 years in the Central States
Numismatic Society serving as secretary, president and secretary-treasurer. When Dr.
Epps retired from official CSNS duties at their 34th. Convention in 1973, the assembly
sang "For he’s a jolly good fellow" followed by a standing ovation. After he died, Dr.
Epps was remembered not only as a "recognized expert on the chemistry of plastics to
protect coins" but also as one "active in every phase and in spreading the word of the
hobby to almost every person he met."
Epps’ successors at E & T Kointainer have continued the legacy of numismatic
storage innovation that focuses on quality and safety. Space-age technology debuted in
numismatics in 1978 when METAL SAFE, an atmospheric corrosion inhibitor for safes
and safety deposit boxes, was first sold. PVC "green slime" problems led to the
introduction of DISSOLVE neutral coin solvent in 1979. An improved product,
KOINSOLV, was later introduced. In 1980, the danger of PVC flips was met with the
first MYLAR TM flip, the SAFLIP.
The KOINPAGE album was announced in 1998. The album features inert, non-vinyl
plastic pages with slide in coin pockets and acid free title-date strips. The pages,
separated by acid and sulfur free divider pages, hold any combination of coins in a 3-ring
binder, allowing flexibility in the size of the collection.
Dr. Epps’ legacy of products are still used not only by collectors, but by libraries and
museums including The Smithsonian Institution, The ANA Money Museum, The
American Numismatic Society, Harvard, Princeton, James Madison, Cornell and
Michigan Universities. And yes, Dr. Epps original invention, the Kointain, is still
available, finding use with 1856 Flying Eagle cents and with state quarters and
Sacagawea dollars as well.
A complete catalog of numismatic storage products is available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Kointainer, POB 103, Sidney, OH 45365-4128.
"After 41 years I am retiring from the coin supply business (but I'm not retiring from Numismatics!). I would expect some subscribers either knew Dr. Epps or had heard of him."
Thanks again for the great information. Can anyone share stories of Dr. Epps and/or their use of E & T products?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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