Throwback Thursday: Meet board member W. Kelsey Hall

November 13, 2014 By ekr


The above photo features W. Kelsey Hall, a former member of the ANA Board of Trustees (now known as the ANA Board of Governors). Hall was on the board from 1891-95.

W. Kelsey Hall was born in Ontario, Canada, on July 1, 1867, or as it was so eloquently put in The Numismatist, it was on the first day of July when he, “first saw the lights and shadows of this mundane sphere.”

Hall was interested in coins at a young age and his mother encouraged his hobby for she was also a collector. The following story was included in his biography in the February 1893 issue of The Numismatist:

“He cut his teeth on an old English copper, and though the chemical action of the salivary secretion on the copper, patinated his feeble digestive apparatus nearly resulting in cholera infantum, his patriotic spirit could not be swerved therefrom; and when his anxious parents tried to substitute an United States nickel cent therefor, he shewed his contempt by swallowing the same. And herein lieth his claim to being the youngest to begin the collecting of coins. And while he still remains enthusiastic allegiance to the crown, when he thinks that possibly he may be harboring an 1856 cent in some vital part of his anatomy, does his heart warm up for the United States.”

In addition to the numismatic collection stored in his body, Hall had a large collection of buttons, birds eggs, false teeth and fossils that he kept safely stored in his home cabinets. He was said to have been the owner of some of the rarest Canadian coins in existence.
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