The Joys of Collecting column from the April 18, 2016, Weekly issue of Coin World:
On March 15, 1858, Augustus G. Sage and friends formed the American Numismatic Society, the second such coin-collecting group in the United States.
The other, the Philadelphia Numismatic Society, was two months and 15 days older, having been formed on New Year’s Day.
Excitement prevailed at the ANS, and in the next two weeks five more meetings were held.
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Additional meetings followed in that year, continuing into spring and early summer 1859, after which time-out was called for the hot summer.
It seems that at the end of the school term, in spring 1859, Sage resigned as a teacher in School No. 12 in the Seventh Ward, and decided to become a full-time numismatist and book dealer.
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The first ANS meeting of the autumn was held at Sage’s office on Oct. 13, at which time it was announced that arrangements had been made for “the temporary gift of a room in the Cooper Institute.”
On Oct. 20, 1859, the new room was utilized at a meeting that included Dr. Mark W. Collet, of Philadelphia, as a guest and featured speaker.