70 years of news, an editorial feat

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Friendly contestants Chet Krause (left) and Clifford Mishler give away a longtime silver round World Currency editor Margo Russel.

Seventy years is a considerable lapse of time. I’ve been collecting coins for over 70 years – since 1950, to be exact. This October marks the 70th anniversary of Chet Krause’s publication of the first issue of Numismatic News. His first deadline was October 13, 1952. To say the world has changed since that time would be a gross understatement.

When it comes to publishing, 70 years is a real life and more. the venerable Life and See magazines have never reached this milestone. The Saturday night post as a weekly was not quite successful (1897 to 1963), as it is popularly renowned today, although through various incarnations it has now lasted over 200 years.

Numismatically, the venerable Numismatic album magazine (1935 to 1976) only lasted 42 years. The exception is The numismatistpublished by the American Numismatic Association, which was founded in 1888 and is currently in its 135th year, the only numismatic community publication that has surpassed the 70-year achievement of the Newno other publication has come close to its stature.

As a beginning coin collector in the early 1950s – the intercession of a young friend and his mother, avid collectors of used postage stamps, which resulted in my introduction to this hobby discipline at the summer of 1950 – it was probably in 1954 or 1955 that I learned of the existence of Numismatic News through a classified ad in an issue of Popular mechanics or a similar post of the day. I became a subscriber.

SCRAPBOOK

In 1958 I ventured into publishing, personally, inaugurating a five-year series of privately published annual pamphlets listing medal and token issues. In my early twenties, I lived in Vandalia, Michigan, where I made a living as a carpenter. Then, in early 1963, I made a commitment to join the staff of Numismatic Newsaccepting an invitation from Ed Rochette to move to Iola, Wis.

This move launched me into a career in the numismatic community and hobby publishing. I then spent 40 years on the staff of Krause Publications and what grew into an almost 60 year association with the New. The world has moved from Smith-Coronas and printing presses to processors and monitors, with print or fully electronic delivery over the Internet. What hasn’t changed is my and the publication’s commitment to the collecting community.

We’ve been through it all: the booms and the struggles, rejoicing in the accomplishments and lamenting the belittlements along the way. In the 1960s there was the loss and recovery of mintmarks, the era of redemption of silver certificates, and the silver bullion craze. In the 1970s, there was the boom in global numismatics. In the 1980s, there was a resurrection of the commemorative coin tradition. In these cases and in a myriad of others, the New was always there to lead the way.

As Krause Publications grew and expanded into various areas of hobby collecting in the 1990s, Numismatic News has always stood there as the rock of stability – as it remains today – for its hobby publishing niche. It is difficult to predict the future over five years, let alone over 70 years, but suffice it to say: I am convinced that the New will change with the hobby and will remain present, continuing to show the way of change to future adherents of our hobby community.

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