E-Sylum Feature Writer and
American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this
article on Seattle area numismatist Allen Nystrom. Thanks!
Another Hundred-Year-Old Numismatist
Allen Nystrom (1909-2009)
Allen Nystrom never rose to prominence in numismatics on a national level. Service at the local level resulted in Allen and his wife, Nina, being named Numismatic News Numismatic Ambassadors in 1979.
I started my research with his obituary published by the funeral home. It gave his name as Allen Richard Nystrom and his life dates as January 17, 1909 – April 30, 2009. This was followed by a summary of his hundred-year life.
Allen R. Nystrom, age 100, passed away in Shoreline, WA. He was born to Leonard and Emma Nystrom in Velma, ND on January 17, 1909 but was a resident of Washington for many years. Allen was known for his cheerful disposition and love of homemade chocolate chip cookies.
I found an interesting wooden nickel offered on eBay. One side told me that he collected Washington trade tokens and wooden money. The other side noted that he specialized in pool and billiard tokens. Thus, I learned more of interest from a wooden nickel than from his obituary.
What else might be learned from a wooden nickel? Another piece in my collection stated,
ALLEN & NINA NYSTROM / MARRIED / NOV. 21st, 1933 / EVERETT/ WASH. / 1933-1983. Still another stated that he collected WWII Ration Tokens and related items.
I have eighteen wood flats issued by the Nystroms from 1973 through 1995 wishing their friends a Merry Christmas. The last three had just the name of Allen after the passing of Nina in 1990.
An obituary in The Seattle Times had some actual useful information. He had worked in construction and was the oldest member of Carpenter's Local 131, being a member for just short of 67 years. The obituary stated he,
had strong interest and participation in the Pacific Northwest Numismatic Assoc. The Seattle Northwest Numismatic Society, and IOWMC, DWMC and the Western Wooden Money Society. He had no surviving children.
If you look for biographical information on the Newman Numismatic Portal, you will find more with his listing of woods than with his listing on American Numismatic Biographies. That is being corrected for the next update.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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