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The story of Whitman Publishing began in the 1930s with Richard S. Yeoman, an important figure in coin collecting in America . Western Publishing Company hired Yeoman as a commercial artist in 1932. One of Western’s companies was Whitman Publishing Company, which specialized in children’s books, puzzles, and greeting cards. Yeoman, a coin collector himself, became interested in the new coin boards his company produced in 1938. He helped create an extensive sales network for the coin boards, with outlets ranging from hardware stores to dime stores, shoe parlors, and gas stations. In 1940, Yeoman even redesigned the boards to be easier to handle, changing the board format to one with folding panels, and added many new titles to accommodate a wider variety of coin denominations. He helped advance the hobby of coin collecting among the general public by bringing novice collectors a simple, inexpensive method of storage and a catalog their coins.

Yeoman also compiled information on the coin collecting market and the current values of coins, for he believed a book with this information would provide an incentive for collectors seeking rare coins. Handbook of United States Coins: The Official Blue Book of U.S. Coins was first published in 1942. Then and the now, the “Blue Book” has served as a source of information on coin history and pricing for dealers buying and selling coins. In 1946, a second book, A Guide Book of United States Coins: The Official Red Book of U.S. Coins, the “Red Book,” was published to provide collectors with pricing information for buying and selling coins to dealers. These definitive pricing guides are still the industry standard.

 

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