Reflections on the American Numismatic Association: Q David Bowers

This YN before YNs were allowed is now a hobby mentor
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 07/15/16
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The Joys of Collecting column from the Aug. 1, 2016, Monthy issue of Coin World:

The summer of 2016 could have been my 64th anniversary as a member of the American Numismatic Association.

It will not be, because in the summer of 1952 when I discovered the world’s greatest hobby, I was only 13 years old. To be a member you had to be 18. Young numismatists were not wanted. 

This caused a problem when in 1955 I desired to have a bourse table at the annual ANA convention, held that year in Omaha, Neb. 

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Lewis M. Reagan, general secretary, was “the” ANA. He made decisions, awarded contracts, arranged with hotels, and was in charge of the bourse. If I would have my father send a written guarantee that he would stand behind my business at the show, and if I could send other recommendations, I might be allowed.

My father did that, and Lee F. Hewitt, publisher of The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, wrote to endorse me — as during my course of being an advertiser he never received a complaint.

I joined the ANA when I turned 18. Fast forward to the 1960s when I contributed to the headquarters building in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the 1970s and 1980s when I was a member of the board, then vice president, then president (1983 to 1985).

For a number of years I gave my popular “All About Coins” Summer Seminar course, where I came to realize that Young Numismatists (by then allowed to be members) were always the brightest and the best in the class.

In 1991 I contributed the narrative for the three-volume Centennial History of the American Numismatic Association

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