Central States Numismatic Society
Serving the Numismatic Community since 1939
The History of Central States
Part 1 - 1939 continued
by W.Ray Lockwood
As published in the Spring 2003 (Vol 51, Number 1) Issue of the Centinel
The April, 1939, issue of the Scrapbook also contained two commercial ads promoting attendance at the Central States Conference. One proclaimed "Welcome to Chicago to Collectors and Dealers" from R. Green's numismatic bookstore on Bryn Mawr Avenue. The other featured a photo of the CSNC headquarters hotel, the Congress.
By all accounts, the Central States Numismatic Conference was an unqualified success. Ted Hammer, Scrapbook feature writer, proclaimed that "every minute was filled with interesting features." He noted that "they had to run out and find Lee Hewitt to get him to take a bow for conceiving the midwest organization plan." Regarding the exhibits, Hammer exhorted: "To yours truly, there never will be any better convention feature or drawing card than excellent displays, and the Chicago meeting was replete with these!"
There were 29 exhibits at the CSNC with an estimated value of $50,000. The list of exhibitors reads like a "Who's Who" of numismatic pioneers: Dr. Walter Hewitt Judd, B. Max Mehl, M. Vernon Sheldon, James Friberg, James Kelly and Arthur B. Kelley. The exhibits were open to the general public from l to 3 p.m. on Sunday with an estimated 1,000 persons viewing the displays.
Approximately 250 collectors and dealers attended the Conference. The first day began with a three reel movie, "Making a Medal." J. Henri Ripstra, ANA president and metallic sculptor, answered questions between reels.
The Saturday evening banquet began with taking the official attendees' photograph. A copy of this photo was donated to our Central States archives during our 63rd convention in Columbus. Old Gold cigarettes were distributed by "Miss Old Gold" during the meal. An auction followed with 259 lots sold at an average lot price of $3.00. The June, 1939, Numismatist noted that the "the ladies played cards during the sale."
On Sunday, April 23, an open discussion of club activities was held. Several club representatives expressed concerns, offered suggestions and shared club activities for the benefit of all. One common topic was finding ways to attract youth to the hobby. (Sound familiar?) This discussion was followed by presentations on cleaning coins.
At 11:30 a.m. a business session was conducted for the discussion of forming a permanent organization. Lee Hewitt chaired the meeting. The first successful motion was to form a central states group for the following thirteen states: ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA, MO, WI, IL, IN, MI, KY and OH. A motion to name the organization Central States Numismatic Federation lost out. Our present name, Central States Numismatic Society, was then adopted. As the purpose of the new society was to provide for an annual convention, the dues were set at the very low figure of 25¢ per year.
The following officers were named: President - Arthur B. Kelley of St. Louis; 1st V.P. - Dr. R. E. Davis of Chicago; 2nd V.P. - Hubert Polzer of Milwaukee; and nine (9) Board Members: Dr. Walter H. Judd of Omaha, Earl F. Barger of Chicago, Dr. Richard G. Hellman of Kansas City, Clifton Temple of Detroit, R. R. Reynolds of Flint, MI, Ted Hammer of Burlington, IA, H. W. Walker of Warren, OH, Dr. E. D. Skeen of Gary, IN, and M. J. Carls of Racine, WI.