Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

Fig. 1. Photo of John Jacob Price published on his letterhead of 1903. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Apologies to all with an urge to sing along but he is not related to John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.

John Jacob Price had more than one iron in the fire. He simultaneously worked as a travel agent, paint & glass dealer, and sold coins, stamps, curios, Indian relics, eggs, and guns.

John Jacob Price (1867-19--), he was born in September 1867 in Missouri. His father was from England, and his mother was a native of Vermont.

In 1889, he married Sarah (1876-), a native of Illinois.

According to the U. S. Census 1900, the same address as printed on his letterhead : 1322 Seventh Street, Des Moines Iowa. The Census reports that he was married eleven years, and worked as a commercial travel agent, and sold paint and oils. The city directories from 1896 on consistently list him as a travel agent. His business envelopes are commercial advertisements selling paint and oils.

His main career was in some respects similar to his numismatic contemporary Ralph Randolph Barker (1856-1913), where Price was engaged in both selling paint and oils and glass. His sideline was selling curios, coins, Indian relics, guns, and so forth.

He applied for membership in the ANA in December 1900 and became ANA Member No. 229. He was a contemporary of Harry Wyman Tapley (1863-1939), a fellow numismatist and member of the ANA active in Des Moines, Iowa.

He ran two advertisements in the January 1902 issue of The Oologist, wanting to exchange birds eggs in sets, and in the other advertisement wants old pistols, coins, stamps and Indian relics.

Figs 2 & 3. Price correspondence with John Gideon Laidacker postmarked September 28, 1902. The business envelope is that of Heath & Milligan Mfg. Co., a paint manufacturer in Chicago, Illinois, which has been struck through and his rubber hand stamped name and address added. Price was a sales agent for the Chicago paint firm. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The John Gideon Laidacker Archive. The Laidacker Archive is for sale in The Museum Store on this website. Estimate $60,000-$120,000.

He is listed as a member of the American Society of Curio Collectors, when Thomas L. Elder was vice-president, and is listed as part of the recruiting members in the February 1903 issue of Philatelic West, Vol. XXII, No. 2.

Figs 4 & 5. Above : shown is the second page of a two page letter to J. G. Laidacker. The first page is not shown here but is in the Lupia Numismatic Library complete and intact. In April 1903, he was partners with Newton French Sturges (1858-1928), selling paints, oils, and glass in the firm of Sturges & Price Paints and Glass Company, 614-616 West Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. They were retailers of Masury’s Liquid Colors, a brand name popular at that time. Price added his name in pencil to the business envelope since they had not yet printed the new ones. Previously, N. French Sturges traded as Sturges & Campbell in Clinton, Iowa. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Figs 6 & 7. Above : Letterhead and business envelope of Sturges and Price sent to John G. Laidacker. This cover advertisement is of the Heath & Milligan paint. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.


[1] There is a record that seems erroneous stating by a researcher that Price died on January 25, 1916. Dr. Agee published a later date in 1918. See P. M. Agee, M. D., A Record of the Agee Family (Independence, Missouri, 1937) : 129

Bibliography :

The Numismatist, December (1900) : 333