The History of Central States
Part 9 - 1955-1956
by W. Ray Lockwood
The year, 1955, gave proof that the number 13 can be a lucky number. 1st, there are 13 letters in Central States. 2nd, there are 13 states in the CSNS region. 3rd, the 1955 CSNS Convention in Detroit was the 13th edition. The convention medal featured a cartwheel with the 13 states as spokes and Detroit as the hub.
The motto on the Great Seal of Detroit reads in part: "We hope for better things." This is exactly what Ivan Ebeling, Detroit Coin Club President and Convention Chairman had in mind for the 13th show at the downtown Detroit Statler Hotel, April 29-May 1, 1955.
The convention featured the first use of a 100-point system for judging exhibits. "Information conveyed" was the prime criteria and was worth 30 points. The six exhibit classifications were: U.S. Coins, Ancient, Foreign, Paper, Medals and Special. The Best in Show trophy went to F.W. MacKay for his massive display of medals and decorations. The U.S. Secret Service had a special non-competitive exhibit with counterfeiting as its theme.
Convention registration equalled 362 representing 28 states, D.C. and Canada. The auction was conducted by James Kelly of Dayton, Ohio and featured nearly 2,000 lots. The bourse had 50 dealers from 15 states and Canada. The show was held in the large mezzanine ball room and laid out with dealers around the walls and exhibits in the middle.
CSNS officers elected for 1955-1956 were: C.C Shroyer, Ohio, President, E.C. Gerber, Wisconsin, V.P., and Governors: Henry X. Boosel • Illinois, Harold Bowen - Michigan, Harry Collins - Wisconsin, Lloyd Gettys - Nebraska, Sol Kaplan - Ohio, Richard Kenney - Kentucky, Mark Nelson - Minnesota, Theodore Pokorney • Illinois, and Leo G. Terry - Indiana.
As per a resolution adopted at the Detroit convention, CSNS was incorporated May 16, 1955, as a non-profit organization. Dues remained at $1.00 a year which included a subscription to the Sentinel edited by Elston Bradfield. As of March, 1955, CSNS membership totalled 320 of which 56 were life members. Secretary, Earl C. Brown, lamented that 36 members were dropped after failing to respond to three dues notices mailed at a cost of 9 cents for postage plus stationery.
The 14th annual CSNS convention met in the famous Indianapolis Claypool Hotel, April 27-29. General Chairman, Ray Fiscus, of the host Indianapolis Coin Club, noted that bourse fees were $27.50 which included a banquet ticket and registration fee. The Professional Numismatist Guild decided to hold a bourse on the day preceding the CSNS convention. Under the leadership of President Sol Kaplan, PNG had held a similar pre-convention bourse at the 1955 ANA convention.
Plans for the Indy Convention included two shows. One was held as part of the convention banquet. It's playbill included Eddie Burnette, French Mystery Queen, Ooh La La Yvonne, Dance stylist, Jacky Etter, Al Verdi, the "Ton of Fun," and Walt Jackson's Band, The other show for ladies only starred Robbie Robinson, nationally famous cartoonist and originator of "Little Josephine."
The May issue of Numismatic Scrapbook asserted that the Indianapolis Convention would be remembered as the "Proof Set" meeting. The dominant topic of conversation and most active sale item were proof sets. Sol Kaplan had a large black board with the latest bid and ask prices carried hourly through the bourse area to notify dealers. 1936 to 1956 proof sets all sold well with the bid price of the 1936 set rising some $50.00 during the show. 57 bourse dealers representing 18 states, Canada and England seemed to be busy all the time. California's Abe Kosoff conducted the successful auction. Bids on proof coins were 5 to 25% above current catalog selling prices.
Henry X. Boosel captured Best in Show for his outstanding exhibit of U.S. coins. Other classification winners were: Theodore Pokoraey - Ancients, William Steinberg - Foreign, M. Burgett - Paper, Col. James Curds • Medals, and L. Ward Hicks - Specialized, Officers elected were: E.C. Gerber - President, Henry X. Boosel - V.P,, Earl C. Brown - Secretary/Treasurer, Governors: Harold Bowen, Harry Collura, Harold Baker, Wayne Johnson, Sol Kaplan, Richard Kenny, Clifford Lindall, Mark Nelson and Theodore Pokorney.
The 1957 CSNS convention was awarded to St. Louis and the Missouri Numismatic Association.