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HomeCollecting StrategiesCoin Board News Number 52 - For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Coin Board News Number 52 – For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Coin Board News Number 52 - For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Antique Coin Boards with David W. …..


For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Number 52 — Fall 2019



Not long after the last issue of Coin Board News was published, I finally finished cataloging the vast Midwest Collection of coin boards. There are some quite scarce and desirable pieces that I’m offering for sale that will be very hard to replace.


The past quarter was relatively quiet in comparison to the first half of 2019.

The usual line-up of common Whitman and Oberwise boards was presented, but most of these offerings were not particularly choice or valuable. One standout entry was a wonderful pair of Colonial Coin & Stamp Company publisher-bound albums comprising Volumes I and II. It’s rare to find either album offered publicly, but this eBay seller had both for sale as a single lot. I spotted this opportunity just an hour or so after it was posted, and I spent no more than two or three minutes before pulling the trigger. The Liberty Head Dime board was lacking, always a possibility with these loose leaf albums, but both volumes were otherwise complete as issued. This pair of albums has since been placed with a happy customer.

The only other item of note on eBay is an extremely rare Whitman Second Edition board for Commemorative Half Dollars (W50ȼD2b), still available as of this writing. It has a high Buy-It-Now price, but the seller is open to offers.

The coin board lots that failed to sell in Goldberg’s June auction were offered again in the company’s Pre-Long Beach auction September 2.


Surprisingly, nothing new was spotted or reported during the past quarter.


Below are two more lots from the June Goldberg auction. Though partially filled, the boards remain in nice condition. Also shown are a pair of rare nickel boards I purchased recently. The Buffalo Nickel board has the richly marbled paper so prized by collectors, while the Jefferson board is a rare title in any variety.


A lot can be learned about coin board publishers by poking around old patent files that are now online. At right is an illustration of the Cannon Ball pinball game as it appeared in a patent application submitted by Frank Koehler in 1934. His patent was granted three years later, but there’s much more to the story. The Internet Pinball Serial Number Database lists Earl & Koehler Manufacturing Company of Portland, Oregon as the maker. It also cites the Encyclopedia of Pinball, Volume 2, which stated that this was the first pinball game to include a “kicker.”

Conflict arose when another patent was submitted by Ken C. Shyvers of Chicago with the same drawings but under the name Cannon Fire.

Shyvers had been negotiating with Koehler but then added additional kickers for his version. In an attempt to sort out this mess the Patent Office listed Koehler as the inventor of the kicker but assigned the rights to Shyvers. Evidently, Koehler declined to challenge the matter any further, as by 1937 newer pinball games were already outclassing either of the earlier products. It was not long afterward that Earl & Koehler moved on to the coin board craze, much to the delight of us board collectors.


Unless my doctors find yet another treatment I need to undertake (anyone for leeches?), I should be free by the end of September. It was a real blow to miss out on attending the ANA convention for only the fourth time in nearly 40 years. I heard that a number of readers came by the NGC booth looking for me. I’m on the line-up for Whitman’s Baltimore Expo in November, so I hope to see some of you then.

Best Regards,

David W. Lange,

Photo of the author's desktop and computer wallpaper. Courtesy David W. Lange - Coin Board News

The author’s desktop, featuring Gramercy coin boards as his computer wallpaper. Photo courtesy David W. Lange

* * *

David Lange
David Lange
The author of several books on United States numismatics, David W. Lange received numerous awards and accolades from both the ANA and the NLG. David was the former President of the Pacific Coast Numismatic Society, the California State Numismatic Association, and the New Jersey Numismatic Society. He also had memberships in the ANA, the NLG, the ANS, the LSCC, the EAC, the BCCS, and the Rittenhouse Society. Career highlights included the launching of NGC's Photo Proof and writing historical copy for the United States Mint's website and H.I.P. Pocket Change program for kids. His specialties have included Seated Liberty silver, Philippine coinage under U.S. administration, and British coinage from 1816-1970. In 2007, David published the first comprehensive reference to Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s and '40s, and for over a decade published Coin Board News four times a year. David Lange died on January 16, 2023. He is missed.

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