RODE, GEORGE WILLIAM

Copyright 2011-2019 John N. Lupia, III


George William Rode (1858-1904)was born on July the eldest child and son of immigrant parents; his father was from Hanover, Germany, George Christian Rode (1826-1890), a medical cupper and a barber, and his mother Sarah Ann James (1835-1881), from Donegal, Ireland.


In 1863, he worked as a clerk for Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, Pittsburg Office,  Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Over time he was promoted to cashier.


Founding member and first Secretary of the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society,  George Rode, occupied the position for most of the Society's first eleven years. If any one individual deserves special recognition for service to the Society during its formative years, it is George Rode. Then as now, the Secretary is the workhorse of the Society, writing minutes of every meeting and handling correspondence with other collectors and Societies. 


In 1877, he lived in his family home where his father ran a barber shop at 1933 Carson Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


George W. Rode correspondence with the Chapman Brothers placing bids as an agent, postmarked Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 13, 1879. Rode did not have any successful bids in Haseltine's auction held January 15-17, 1879 at Bangs. Amazing postage Scott #182 + 183, and Geometric Greek Cross cancellation markings. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.


George W. Rode correspondence with the Chapman Brothers sending payment of $2.21 for purchases using Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society orange tinted paper stationery without the imprint, postmarked Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 19, 1879. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

Rode specialized in medals, tokens and store cards relating to Pittsburgh and Allegheny.


George W. Rode correspondence with the Chapman Brothers sending bids on the Cogan sale September 1-2, 1879, at Bangs, postmarked Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 27, 1879. Apparently Rode crossed out the Philadelphia address thinking they were still in Atlantic City, New Jersey on vacation. Fortunately August has 31 days. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

Although a cashier, Rode is listed as a clerk [bookkeeper] in the 1878 Pittsburgh City Directory, working at 49 Fifth Avenue.  


George W. Rode correspondence with the Chapman Brothers using Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society stationery, postmarked Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 10, 1880. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.


He was a corresponding member of the ANS since November 16, 1880.


On March 15, 1881, he married Pittsburgh native Anna Mary Hartman (1861-1937). They had two children : Lillian Rode (1882-1959), and Harry H. Rode (1882-).


In 1888, he help organize the Twin City Philatelic Association, and became the Secretary.


In 1891, he was ANA charter member no. 12.


George W. Rode correspondence with the Chapman Brothers with payment of $20 for coins purchased using a corner card stamped envelope, postmarked Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, December 31,1892. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

He became a member and Trustee of the American Philatelic Society.


He was the Secretary member of the Pittsburg Philatelic Club.


            He served on the first Board of Temporary Organization of the future ANA in 1891, and as the first Superintendent of the Exchange Department of the ANA.

As this paper will show, Rode's correspondence on behalf of the Society was extensive. He exchanged letters with the American Numismatic Society in New York, and publicized the Society's formation and activities via the editors of various contemporary numismatic periodicals. Without these precious records, little would be known today of the existence of the band of coin enthusiasts who created the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society.            

   

            Although a cashier for years it was only in 1895 that Rode was listed in the Pittsburg City Directory as a cashier at 255 Fifth Avenue, living at 38 Hazelwood Avenue.


Rode became ANA Charter Member No. 12, who was nominated by founder George Heath to serve on the organization's "Board of Temporary Organization." Rode also briefly served as the ANA's Superintendent of Exchange from 1891 to 1892. He served as Secretary at the 1892 ANA Pittsburgh Convention.


He pointed out that coin and stamp dealers Brennan and Mason issued store cards in response to an article published in The Numismatist in 1902. 


He died of typhoid at his home 423 Whitney Street, Wilkinsburg, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, on July 30, 1904. 



George W. Rode is buried in Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.


His collection was sold posthumously by Geoffrey Charleton Adams on March 31, 1905.


Bibliography:

Numisma (1879)

Catalogue of the Collections of Coins, Medals, Autographs, Books, etc., The Properties of M. H. Stafford. Messrs., Mix, Gibson, Cramer and the Late Geo. W. Rode. Sold at Auction on March 31, 1905 by Geoffrey Charleton Adams. 

“Our Numismatic Directory” No. 14, The Numismatist, Vol. 3, No. 1, January (1891) : 6

Gnecchi, Ercole and Francesco, eds., Guida Numismatica 4thedition. (Milano : U. Hoepli, 1903. Edition) : 562, No. 5852

The Art Collector (1891)

Plain Talk, August (1891) 

The Numismatist, Vol. 4, No. 1, January, (1892) : 15;           Proceedings of the American Numismatic and Archeological Society(1903) : 23

The Numismatist, Vol. VII, No. 1, January  (1894) : inside back cover; The Numismatist, Vol. XV, No. 2, February (1902) : 52; No. No. 3, March (1902) : 87; Vol. XVIII, No. 4 April (1905) : 122

American Philatelist, Vol. 8, December (1894) : 34

Mason, H-I, No. 2, September (1879) : 10d; H-I, No. 2, September (1879) : 11a; H-I, No. 2, September (1879) : 14c; H-I, No. 2, September (1879) : 16b; H-I, No. 3, December (1879) : 25a-b; H-III, No. 1, June (1881) : 37d; H-III, No. 3, December (1881) : 54c; M-XIII, No. 2, September (1890) : 3; Numisma, Vol. 7, No. 1; 

Wayne K. Homren, “The Early History of the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society,”

Adams, Vol. 1, 32; 

The Numismatist, Vol. 7, No. 6, June (1894) : end paper ad;

Wayne K. Homren, “A Century of A.N.A. Membership,” The Numismatist, August (2014) : 84-85

 

Rodecker, H. R., Washington, C. H., Ohio. He applied to the ANA in February and joined the ANA in April 1909. 

Bibliography

The Numismatist,Vol. XXII, No. 2, February (1909) : 55; No. 5, April (1909) : 117

 

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