Who's our oldest member?

Orders & Medals Society of America Forums General Chat Who's our oldest member?


This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  fred j borgmann 1 year, 8 months ago.

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    I was thinking the other day about how long I have been collecting medals.    I had an interest in collecting all my life, but I never knew where to find medals.  I have only been active in the hobby since 2000 and I was aided by this fairly new tool known as the internet.  I can only imagine what it was like to be in this pursuit without ready access to information, dealers, sellers, and other collectors.  How did people even learn about OMSA back in the day?

    Our membership still hasn’t reached 10,000 after more than 60 years of existence.  On average, that means about 150 new members per year worldwide.  So, there really aren’t many of us.  I am curious to know who is our oldest member and what was it like when you first started collecting.

    OMSA #7096



    I’m not the oldest one here, but my interest in medals has been life-long… quite literally. I was aged six when my father gave me his war medals. You don’t give medals to a six-year-old unless they are really interested! He used to come and ask formally every year if he could ‘borrow’ them to wear them on Remembrance Day parades.

    I’ve never really been a collector, though. I bought a few as a teenager, but pocket money doesn’t go very far! Then one unidentified Pakistani medal I picked up set my feet on my present path. I took it round to the local museum to find out what it was – they had a very small numismatics and medals department. And they didn’t know! (It was the Pakistani Republic Medal 1956 if anyone’s interested, and I still have it tucked away!)

    Since then, I’ve concentrated on knowing about medals rather than possessing them. Like Kevin, the Internet has been a great boon. To start with, the technology was a space-efficient way to store information and pictures when hard disks were expensive… putting the resultant website online was almost an afterthought, and actually came about when sister society the OMRS asked me to set up their website for them in the early 1990s… when someone else became their webmaster, I took my image collection and started the Medals of the World website instead. Not quite sure when, probably about 1994 or -5, and it’s still going strong (even with Sunday afternoons now being spent here on the Image Database).

    I really must get around to some writing, though!


    fred j borgmann

    I am not the oldest member but I have been collecting for a while. I bought my first medals off a bid board in a local coin shop in 1963 or 1964. At coin shows medals would show up occasionally. Gun shows were also a good place to look. Best of all were classified ads in the local newspapers offering to buy medals etc. There were still a lot of WWII veterans around back then and after years of nagging from their wives they were ready to sell. For books all that I can remember were the lists and booklets by Al Babin with his line drawing illustrations. It was a fun time to collect.

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