KATEN, FRANK JOSEPH

KATEN, FRANK JOSEPH

Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

Francis “Frank” Joseph Katen, (1903-2001), his real name is Francesco Giuseppe Cincinnati Catanzariti. He was born on January 21, 1903, the son of Rocco Antonio Catanzariti (1870-1917) and Ataliana Labianca (1883-1976) in Plati, Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy. However, several birth records report him born in New York. The correct location is not known for certain at this time and very well may be America making him a Calabrian American. The 1915 New York State Census lists his father working as a designer and all of the six children given English forms of their names cited as being born in the U. S. At that time the family lived at 1363 71st Street, Kings, New York.  After the death of his father his mother remarried taking on the name Lacalamita. 

            Sometime between 1915 and 1925, when Italians were treated very unfair and biased especially during the case of Sacco and Vanzetti  he changed his name to Katen. He married Ruby Locke (1904-1933?) in 1924, daughter of Anna Kueffel and Herman Locke. Her father was born in Germany and her mother a native New Yorker. In the 1925 New York Census he is listed as being 27 years old working as a printer. If correct he would have been born in 1898, not 1903. At that time he was president of E. L. Vandergrift Inc., 299 Madison Avenue, New York. The 1930 U. S. Census lists him as 39, i.e., born in 1899, married to Ruby with two daughters Ruby and Estelle, with him as the owner of a novelties company. 

             It is believed by the family that Ruby died giving birth to Frank, Jr. He began dealing coins five years after the death of Ruby in 1938 through his novelties company. He moved to Wallingford, Connecticut briefly in 1939 and removed to New Haven. The 1940 U. S. Census lists him as a widower living with his fifteen year-old daughter Ruby Louise Katen (1925-2003) and his occupation as a Government Inspector. Another 1940 U.S. Census reports him with three children Ruby Louise (1925-2003), Frances (1928-), Estelle (1929-), and Frank J Katen, Jr (1933-). 

            He joined the ANA in 1942 and in February was given ANA Member No. 8920. He had married Frances M. Katen (1911-) about this time. His mailing address at that time was 18 Pearl Hill, Milford, Connecticut. Oddly, his application for membership in the ANA neither appears in the January 1942 issue nor in any issue of 1941 of The Numismatist

            In 1944 he operated from his home at 18 Pearl Hill, Milford, Connecticut. From 1916 through the 1920's the Edgewood Stamp Company had been the philatelic dealer located at Milford, Connecticut. The Collector's Shop at 280 Elm, New Haven Connecticut was another established stamp dealer throughout the 1930's. Also during the 1930's Ellis C. Hulme was a stamp dealer at Hartford, Connecticut.  J. M. Coffee Jr., of New Haven was an avid transportation token collector, who published in 1950, The Fare Box, a monthly newsletter devoted to that field of numismatics. Katen moved right in and took charge of the established market there. The 1942-1945 Milford, Connecticut City Directories lists him married to Frances M Katen and oddly reports him working as a Government Inspector instead of a coin and stamp dealer. In January 1945 he opened a shop at 486 State Street, New Haven, Connecticut. He and Frances were members of the New York Numismatic Club. He ran a full page advertisement for his coin shop selling German Notgeld in January issue of The Numismatist, page 68.


Fig. 1. Earliest known Katen coin dealership envelope doing business as Milford Coin & Stamp Company circa 1945. The label is pasted onto a 3" x 5-3/8" clasp envelope. Scott #805 1 1/2 cent Martha Washington, bister brown, issued May 1938. Postage commercial bulk rate with double oval canceller New Haven Post Office. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

            In April 1945 he named the shop Milford Coin & Stamp Co. 487 State Street, New Haven, Connecticut, which he ran under that name until sometime between 1964 and 1966. He was a charter member of the Nutmeg Stamp Club in March 1945, and elected vice-president. He was one of the founders of the American Coin Dealer's Association.

 

The Wilkes-Barre Coin Club invited Katen to talk about one of his favorite subjects, "Odd and Curious Moneys of the World". Wilkes-Barre Record, Tuesday, October 8, 1946, page 13. 

Fig. 3. Second earliest known Katen coin dealership envelope doing business as Milford Coin & Stamp Company 1948. Postage stamp Scott # 971, 3 cents, Peter Stuyvesant , Early and Modern Fire Engines, bright rose carmine, issued October 4, 1948. This is an example of a very early use during the first 10 days. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

        On July 20, 1951 after his expulsion from the ANA in August 1950 he moved to Europe with his second wife Frances M. Katen for a little over a year returning about October 1952. [1] He was a founding member of the International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN), which was created in 1951. A notice in the Naugatuck Daily News, Friday, July 27, 1951, page 7 reports he moved to Germany. He sold all of his household good through Phillip Sweedler, Auctioneer at New Haven. He opened a coin, numismatic literature shop, and mail order business at 1726 Upshur Street, NW,  Washington, D. C., running his first ad in the November 1952, Numismatic Scrapbook.

Fig. 4. Katen Returns From Europe ad in the November 1952 Numismatic Scrapbook.  In December 1952 he began advertising numismatic medals, tokens, badges and literature in Katen's Bargain List, a monthly. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. 5. Advertisement in January 1954 Numismatic Scrapbook selling numismatic literature. As this ad states it is only a partial listing, the complete list found in Katen's Bargain List. At the time he was married to Frances M. Katen.  Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.
                On June 24, 1954 he sailed on the S.S. Evangeline with his wife Frances M. Katen from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Boston, Massachusetts.

                In 1964, he married twice divorcee Laurese Byrd Boone Pusey (1917-2014), former wife of Linwood Wilson Pusey from 1932-1937; and former wife of a Mr. Gordon. She was born on September 15, 1917, in Crisfield, Maryland, the daughter of Lloyd Weldon Boone and Athol Byrd. They moved to Laurese's home state of Maryland in the early 1970's. She had an Associates degree in English and worked as a publicist and advertiser. In the February 1964 issue of The Numismatist, page 192 is a photograph of the officers of the Nation's Capital Coin Club, newly formed in the Spring of 1963, showing Frank J. Katen as the vice-president seated in the front row and Laurese Byrd Gordon (the future Mrs. Katen) standing in the back row. 

Fig. 6. April 1964 The Numismatist, page 192, Photo of the officers of the Nation's Capital Coin Club. Seated front row, Frank J. Katen. Standing back row [Mrs.] Laurese Byrd Gordon, Editor, Nation's Capital Coin Club News.

                In the 1950's Laurese headed the Advertising and Promotion Department of WTOP Radio. AT that time she also served as the Advertising Director for the Watergate Inn and Normandy Farm, Washington, D.C., twenty years before the scandal with Richard M. Nixon. In 1960, Mrs. Laurese Gordon was executive secretary of the Advertising Club of Metropolitan Washington. 

                In December 1964 Frank J. Katen was elected president of the Nation's Capital Coin Club, and the now Laurese Byrd Katen as the secretary. Apparently they married about the time the photo was published on February 22, 1964, at the Francis Asbury Methodist Church. Her uncle Dr. H. C. Byrd, former president of the University of Maryland gave her away at the wedding.

Fig. 7. Frank and Laurese Katen ad in The News, Tuesday, December 16, 1969, page 2. This ad gives reference to his being established in 1938 "31 Years of Service to Banks & Lawyers". 
            In October 1965 Laurese B. Katen joined radio stations WDON and WASH as public relations and sales coordinator. 
            In April 1969 the ANA apologized to Katen for his expulsion in 1950 exonerating him of all wrongdoing and granting him restoration in the Association. He and Laurese immediately began an active advertising campaign that year in The Numismatist beginning with the April issue advertising their "Book and Coin Auction Public and Mail Bid, Sale No. 33" in a half page ad on page 540.

            In 1978 Frank and Laurese received the ANA award the Medal of Merit.

Fig. 8. Laurese Katen in 1995. Photograph printed in The Numismatist, February 1995. She was a dog breeder raising Schnauzers. 

                During that period Frank and his wife Laurese worked side by side in the coin shop. They began to focus on the use and sale of numismatic literature. It was from this new focus on  numismatic literature that we find some years later Aaron Feldman coin the phrase (pun intended) "Buy the book before the coin", developing a new generation of c informed buyers. 

                From 1966 to 1997 the coin auction sales no longer were part of the Milford Coin and Stamp Company but became the new business trading as Frank and Laurese Katen. 

                Besides the ANA he was a member of the ANS in 1948. From 1948 to March 1969 he published Katen’s Bargain List and resumed publishing in the beginning of 1985. In April 1968 Frank and Laurese began to publish Laurese's Little List. That was the only issue. On December 1, 1949 and February 21, 1950 he flew on American Overseas Airline to Europe. In March, 1950, he was brought up on charges of reporting irregularities in ANA elections from 1948 to 1949. He was expelled from the ANA in August 1950, still trading as Milford Coin & Stamp Co. From this controversy he began publishing a series of articles in his coin auction catalogues titled: Koin Kapers from June 1949 to March 1951. The series was reprinted into a single pamphlet titled: Let There Be Light

                In 1993 Frank J. Katen received the ANA Presidential Award.

                He died January 21, 2001. ANA Life member 132. He is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was survived by his wife Laurese, two daughters Dr. Frances Katen Burke, a political scientist of Boston, Massachusetts; and Ruby Goldsand of Virginia Beach, Virginia; a son Frank Katen, Jr., and a stepson, Larry Keith Pusey, both of Silver Spring, Maryland; a sister, Anita Marian Katen Richau (1915-2001) of Las Vegas, Nevada; a brother, Michael Katen of Florida; a step-brother Ferdinand Grayson of New Orleans, Louisiana; six grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

                Laurese died on December 12, 2014 at her home 14717 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland and is also buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, Maryland.

                        Frank J. Katen was a member of at least a half dozen numismatic organizations, including the Royal Numismatic Society, Numismatic Bibliomania Society, New York Coin Club, Montgomery County (Maryland) Coin Club, Metropolitan Washington Numismatic Association and the former Middle Atlantic Numismatic Association (MANA), which became part of Eastern States Numismatic Association - a co-sponsor of the ANA World's Fair of Money in 2000.

NOTE :

Special thanks to Kay the granddaughter of Frank J. Katen, Sr. for her kind assistance.

[1] He flew on Pan Am from New York to London on July 20, 1951. The New York Passenger list of January 28, 1952 list Frank J. Katen and his wife Frances M. Katen sailing from Rotterdam to New York.

Coin Auction Sales (83):

01.  April 6, 1946, 402 lots

02.  02. June 28, 1946

03.  December 14, 1946

04.  March 15, 1947

05.  May 6, 1947

06.  March 18, 1948

07.  June 18, 1948

08.  August 23, 1948 ANA

09.  November 19, 1948

10.  January 28, 1949

11.  March 18, 1949

12.  April 29, 1949

13.  May 27, 1949

14.  June 30, 1949

15.  September 30, 1949

16.  November 4, 1949

17.  December 2, 1949

18.  January 6, 1950

19.  February 17, 1950 - February 10-11, 1950  -ad Numismatist, Jan p. A25

20.  March 24, 1950

21.  June 2, 1950- May 19-20, 1950  -ad Numismatist, Apr p. A179

22.  June 29, 1950, 1539 lots

23.  October 26, 1950, 1519 lots

24.  November 24, 1950, 1535 lots

25.  January 5, 1951

26.  February 9, 1951

27.  April 6, 1951

28.  July 30, 1954

29.  June 21, 1958

30.  November 28, 1959

31.  October 14, 1966

32.  October 18, 1968

33.  May 23, 1969 - his first ad after exoneration by the ANA in The Numismatist, April  page 540.

34.  August 8, 1970

35.  April 9, 1971

36.  August 15, 1971

37.  November 27, 1971

38.  November 28, 1971

39.  July 14, 1971

40.  July 13, 1973

41.  July 20, 1974

42.  March 22, 1975

43.  September 26, 1975

44.  September 11, 1976

45.  March 19, 1977

46.  April 29, 1977

47.  December 2, 1977

48.  March 18, 1978

49.  April 15, 1978

50.  September 15, 1978

51.  April 20, 1979

52.  October 12, 1980

53.  October 24, 1980

54.  April 24, 1981

55.  April 23, 1982

56.  October 15, 1982

57.  April 22, 1983

58.  December 9, 1983

59.  May 11, 1984

60.  December 8, 1984

61.  April 19, 1985

62.  February 1, 1986

63.  April 18, 1986

64.  December 5, 1986

65.  April 10, 1987

66.  October 16, 1987

67.  July 8, 1988

68.  December 2, 1988

69.  July 14, 1989

70.  April 13, 1990

71.  October 19, 1990

72.  April 5, 1991

73.  October 18, 1991

74.  June 19, 1992

75.  June 11, 1993

76.  March 23, 1994

77.  March 25, 1994

78.  March 24, 1995

79.  December 8, 1995

80.  March 22, 1996

81.  April 26, 1996

82.  June 14, 1996

83.  July 11, 1997

Bibliography :

1915 New York Census

1925 New York Census

1925 New York City Directory, page 1237

1939 Wallingford Connecticut City Directory (1939) : 173,  moved to New Haven.

U. S. Census 1940 – West Haven Connecticut, April 11, 1940

Milford, Connecticut City Directory, (1942) : 207 lists Frank J. Katen and his wife Frances M. Katen. 

The Numismatist, February (1942) : 121 ANA Member No. 8920.

The Numismatist, December (1943) : 1096 1/8 page ad

The Numismatist, February (1944) : 186

The Numismatist, March (1944) : 274 ½ page ad

The Numismatist, April (1944) : 372  ½ page ad

The Numismatist, October (1944) : 987

The Numismatist, November (1944) : 1090 1/8 page ad

The Numismatist, December (1944) : 1211  1/8 page ad - Canadian nickels

The Numismatist, January (1945) : 68 Full page German Notgeld

The Numismatist, February (1945) : 162

The Numismatist, March (1945) : 292

The Numismatist, April (1945) : 388 Milford Coin & Stamp

Hobbies Vol. 51, No. 11 (1947) : 137

The Numismatist, June (1949) : 257 Frances M. Katen on a spurious 1804 Silver Dollar

The Numismatist, June (1950) : 379 New York Numismatic Club meeting

The Numismatist, August (1950) : 545 Expelled from ANA

Numismatic Scrapbook, (1951) : 735 Moved to Europe

The Numismatist, November (1952) : 988

Numismatic Scrapbook, December (1953) : 1226 whole page ad numismatic literature sale Part XI

Numismatic Scrapbook, January (1954) : 76 whole page ad numismatic literature sale Part XII

Massachusetts Passenger List, June 24, 1954

1954 Washington D.C. Directory, page 670 lists Frank J. Katen and his wife Frances M. Katen.

The Bridgeport Post, Sunday, March 15, 1959, page 7

Crisfield Times, March 6, 1964, pages 1 and 8

Evening Star, Sunday, December 27, 1964, page 75

Evening Star, Sunday, October 5, 1965, page 16 Photo of Laurese

Remy Bourne, American Numismatic Sales and Informational Literature (1989) : 105-7, and 109

Remy Bourne, American Numismatic Periodicals 1860-1960, 1940-34 (Katen Koin Kapers)

Charles Davis, American Numismatic Literature, entries 556-561

Martin Gengerke, American Numismatic Auctions



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