Whitman Publishing was a children’s book publishing company that had many popular titles from the early part of the 20th Century right thru the 1970’s. Sci-Fi, westerns, adventure stories. They also made puzzles, which would play into the hands of their new hire below!
Whitman Blue Coin Folders
Starting in 1938, after the hire of Richard S. Yeoman, Whitman Publishing began printing blue folders (for coins, not candy). They were all the rage. An easy and inexpensive way to collect coins from circulation was to buy a three panel Whitman Folder and fill the openings by pushing a coin into each slot. There was a place for each date and mint. Early on, during the Great Depression, it was an avid hobby of many Americans, not only for hobby sake but maybe they could score a complete set of Lincoln wheat pennies (for the WIN).
Even after the end of the Depression, for many a young numismatist, they began their passion with the Lincoln 1c folders that began in 1909, 1941 or 1959. It was fun to do and a sense of accomplishment when the folder was full.
But alas it was not all fun and games! Almost nobody could complete the 1909-1940 folder due to several rare pieces. Although those missing dates were part of the treasure hunt, it still frustrated any a young collector. But those that did score a 1909S VDB and/or 1914D probably did not leave them in the Whitman blue folder. Those coins are definitely a reason to “break the set” and get them encapsulated.
Through his efforts, Yeoman helped advance coin collecting in the US with this ingenious idea. On the research front, he also had Whitman publish “The Office Blue Book of U.S. Coins” in 1942 (see a color theme?), and then “The Official Red Book of U.S. Coins”. This reference arm of the company got a big boost in 1959 when Kenneth Bressett was hired to help write and edit the books with Yeoman. Ken is still at the helm, and a wealth of knowledge if you ever get to meet him. I have signed copies of the last few red books from Ken!
Today you can still get the Whitman blue coin folders (head over to Amazon)!