The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 48, November 29, 2020, Article 19


The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists was a local sponsor for the cancelled Pittsburgh 2020 ANA World's Fair of Money Convention. PAN Chairman of the Board Don Carlucci penned a nice article for their journal The Clarion about the medal's conception and design. With permission we're publishing an excerpt here. Thanks to Clarion editor Rich Jewell for providing the text and images. -Editor

2020 ANA World's Fair of Money Convention Medal

Miss Carson's last and most famous volume, of course, was "Silent Spring." Published in 1962, it was the result of more than four years of investigation, research, and writing. Its publication resulted in an instant storm of protest and controversy. At issue was the widespread and growing use of pesticides, insecticides, DDT and other harmful chemicals.

Carson's assault on pesticides and herbicides shocked 1962 Americans, who generally viewed these chemicals as the latest marvel from the awesome scientists whose previous inventions and discoveries had won World War II.

Aquatic life was being impacted. Fish and crayfish were dying and frogs, tadpoles, and other forms of amphibious life were disappearing. And at the higher level of nature's food chain, our national symbol, the bald eagle, was starting to diminish in numbers when they consumed the lower levels of wildlife that were first contaminated by these pesticides.

While the down-hill plight of the American eagle was occurring, Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" jumped to the top of the New York Times best-seller list, and staying there for more than six months, selling more than 600,000 copies. At this point, a major war was declared by the chemical companies and their supporters against Rachel Carson and her writings.

The National Agricultural Chemical Association launched an anti "Silent Spring" public relations blitz that depicted her as a Luddite whose ideas, if followed, would cause the world to starve.

All of these attacks from both industry and government failed. Carson remained appealing, slight in stature, soft-spoken, modest, but forever confident. Her three previous books, all best-selling poetic guides to the seas and its creatures – had earned her a reserve of credibility.

Rachel Carson only lived about eighteen months after the publication of her most important book, "Silent Spring." On April 14, 1964, a month before her 57th birthday, she died in a hospital in the Maryland suburb of Silver Spring from complications of metastasizing breast cancer.

Rachel Carson did not live to see the positive impact of her message, including prohibition of the agrichemicals aldrin, dieldrin, and heptachlor; passage of the National Environmental Policy Act; establishment of the United States Environmental Protection Agency; and the environmental protection agencies established in each state, comparable to the State of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Finally, because of her writings and reports, DDT was banned in the United States in 1972 and the end of its use by much of the world's farming industry within the next fifty years.

Rachel_Carson_Medal_Obverse_Plaster Rachel_Carson_Medal_Reverse_Plaster

To design a medal that would best depict Rachel Carson and all that she stood for, and all that she represented, we need a first-class sculpture engraver. With the assistance of another numismatic friend, Thomas Uram, the current president of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists, the name Donald Everhart was offered and accepted. Don has created over one thousand coin and medal designs. He was retired as the master engraver of the United States Mint in Philadelphia and was now accepting private commissions.

Don was the right candidate for this commission. If you should study the obverse of his medal you see Rachel surrounded by the nature that she was able to restore and preserve. The furrows in the farmer's stream runs rain runoff waters toward the body of water no longer conveying the DDT's or pesticides from a bygone era. The fish are alive in the stream with the deer standing resolutely on shore. A majestic eagle is in flight surveying everything that is now right with nature. And finally, the monarch butterfly, that Rachel famously proclaimed "always returns" is top centered on the medal as Rachel would have wanted.

On the reverse, our national symbol, the American bald eagle is holding a trout in its mighty talons, plucked from a non-contaminated stream, in flight, heading for the healthy young eaglets in its nest.

Only three ANA Conventions in history have been cancelled: 1918 (Spanish Flu), 1945 (WWII), and now 2020 (Covid-19). But the 2020 convention medal is nevertheless available to collectors, and it's a nice one. PAN and Don Everhart have done a great job. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
2020 ANA World's Fair of Money Convention Medal (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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