Saturday, November 8, 2008
First in a series on the American Numismatic Association.
r. George F. Heath of Monroe, Michigan is not a name that resonates with most Americans. In fact it is hardly known except among some numismatists. In 1888 he published Vol. I No. 1 of the four page pamphlet called "The American Numismatist."
At first it was an editorial forum with some ads for coins for sale. Dr. Heath published additional volumes over the next few years and in 1891 announced the formation of a national numismatic association to be known as the American Numismatic Association. His original printing press now resides the ANA headquarters in Colorado Springs.
Over the years, The Numismatist has gown in size and scope to become the leading numismatic journal. The 15 editors of the journal have published key and groundbreaking articles on coins, medals, tokens, and paper money. They are:
George F. Heath, 1888-1908
Farran Zerbe, 1909-1910 (Creator of numerous political medals known as "Zerbe" medals of the 1890s)
Albert Frey, 1911-1912
Edgar H. Adams, 1912-1815
Frank G. Duffield, 1915-1942
Lee F. Hewitt, 1942-1943
Burton H. Saxton, 1943-1944
Stuart Mosher, 1945-12954
Elston G. Bradfield, 1954-1966
Glenn B. Smedley, 1966-1967 (Moved with the publication to the new ANA headquarters in Colorado Springs)
Edward C. Rochette, 1967-1972
Thomas Marshall, 1972-1973
Edward C. Rochette, 1973-1974
N. Neil Harris, 1974-1988
Barbara J. Gregory, 1988-present
Most of the editors of the past also held other positions in the ANA.
The Journal has undergone a few face lifts and the current version is a full color magazine in a larger format than the earlier versions which were 6.5x9 inches, entirely in black and white. Half the journal was ads relegated to the back pages.
Rochette is a present member of the board and a past president as well as a former executive director. The current magazine goes out to some 30,000 ANA members each month. The ads are dispersed through the issue from the inside cover to the back cover.
A detailed history of the early years of Dr. George F. Heath is a feature story in the October 2008 issue of the magazine by past president. Q. David Bowers.
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