E-Sylum Feature Writer and
American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this follow-up
article on Junior Coin Clubs. Thanks!
Junior Coin Clubs
Last week I asked about the first junior coin club. I still don't know the first but I know it was
not my local club.
The first meeting of the New York Junior Numismatic Club was on February 19, 1924, with four
prospective members present. Typical attendance was six. After two years the name was changed
to the Long Island Numismatic Association. The club was active into 1932.
In 1925 there was a junior coin club associated with Central High School in Springfield,
A Lowell High School Coin Club (of San Francisco) was mentioned in 1927. It did not last long.
A Central High School Coin Club (Washington) was mentioned in 1930 but was last mentioned
in January, 1931.
There was a Buffalo Junior Coin Club in 1932. It was quickly out of business.
In 1933 there was discussion of forming several junior coin clubs in the Chicago area. The
Chicago Junior Coin Club No. 1 was organized on December 5, 1933, with eight charter
members. The Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) has no mention of them after 1934.
The Junior Coin Collectors of San Francisco were organized on October 10, 1934. Their original
advisor was Ernest R. Wernstrom. After his death in January 1938, Roy Hill became advisor.
The club was disbanded in the summer of 1952.
There was a Brooklyn Junior Coin Club in 1934. It is mentioned only once in NNP.
Thus there were at least eight junior coin clubs that pre-dated the Northwest Coin Club. We
know about them because they were mentioned in The Numismatist, Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine or some other hobby publication. Any number of other clubs may have existed without publicity.
Most of these did not thrive with their initial membership and were gone in five years.
Many collectors follow a typical pattern. They start collecting at age eleven and have enthusiasm
but limited funds. That initial interest fades about age sixteen and goes dormant during college
and child rearing years. The interest may be rekindled when free time and disposable income
Has there ever been a successful college coin club? When I was in college, I attended a local
coin club and was still in touch with some members twenty years later. That club was sustained
by the adult members who educated and supported the younger members.
The Rochester Junior Numismatic Association is one notable success. It began on January 21,
1947, with forty-eight members aged 12 to 17. Founding advisor was Edward F. Meinhart. It
benefited from a strong affiliated adult club.
What is the model for success? Can any E-Sylum reader describe their experience with a
successful junior club?
Marc Ricard writes:
"The Rochester Junior Numismatic Association, Rochester, New York, was formed in 1947 by Edward F. Meinhart, the 31st President of the RNA. My father, Charles J. Ricard, was a charter member of the club, as well as many other future RNA Presidents. Along with Mr. Meinhart, many of the great RNA members at that time mentored young collectors in their collecting pursuits. Those collectors included George Bauer, John Jay Pittman, and Alphonse Kolb, to name a few. My father was 17 years old at that time, and he then joined the RNA on his 18th birthday. He credited his RJNA experience as the motivation to remain a collector and numismatist the rest of his life. At the time of his death in 2017, he was the longest serving member of the RNA, some 70 years.
The RJNA is active today, holding monthly meetings and the Meinhart Lecture Competition for Young Numismatists."
Great example of nurturing from a strong parent club. The University of Pittsburgh Coin Club was started by me, but after graduating in 1980 and leaving the city I lost that connection and didn't resume it on my return in 1984. The Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society was strong in that period, but we didn't reach out to the University. Keeping a youth group going requires constant recruiting to replenish its ranks. Students graduate and go on to other things.
Julia Casey writes:
"I did some research into Pete Smith's question about junior coin clubs and found a report in the Numismatist, about the Buffalo Junior Coin Club that was associated with the Buffalo Numismatic Association. This Buffalo junior club was started in early 1932. I also found Buffalo newspaper notices that indicate some kind of junior club was established there in early 1930.
There is an article in the April, 1942 Numismatist by David S. Bingham, which mentions junior clubs and places the New York Junior Numismatic Club (later renamed the Long Island Numismatic Association) as the first. Bingham also makes mention of the Buffalo Junior Coin Club and says it failed for "lack of programs, leaders, new members and individual finance for coins" during the Great Depression.
I looked into the New York Numismatic Club and found reports in the Numismatist about the first meeting on February 19, 1924. When I researched the names of a few of the original members they seemed to be aged in their late teens and early 20s. Perhaps this is why the club decided to change their name just a couple years later - as the members quickly aged out of the junior level.
There is an interesting small file at the NNP containing Adolph Klein's correspondence with the ANS. Klein is noted to be the "Secretary and Treasurer" of the New York Junior Numismatic Club. The file indicates that Klein became a member of the ANS. He also applied for membership in the ANA in December 1923 (#2599)."
To see the original material on the Newman Numismatic Portal:
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
WHAT WAS THE FIRST JUNIOR COIN CLUB?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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