Born in Grafton, West Virginia. At the age of 12 he was accidently shot in the leg. This injury resulted in a disability and led to sedentary activities such as numismatics. Married to Sadie.
Adams was a co-founder of the New York Numismatic Club in 1908. He wrote a numismatic column for the New York Sun. He replaced Albert Frey and served as editor of The Numismatist 1912 to 1915. In 1912 he became the first paid employee of the ANA at a salary of $60 per month. His frequent articles included many on the people in numismatics. At the 1912 to 1916 ANA conventions he exhibited pattern coins and a Confederate Half Dollar. He also exhibited patterns at the ANS in 1914.
Adams was author of:
Official Premium List of U. S. and Territorial Gold Coins published in 1909.
United States Pattern, Trial and Experimental Pieces with William H. Woodin in 1913.
The ANS published 200 copies as the only book in their American Numismatic Series.
Private Gold Coinage of California, 1849-1855, Its History and Its Issues originally published in the AJN in 1913.
Hard Times Tokens Illustrated. United States Store Cards in 1920.
Adams cataloged William H. Woodin coins for sale February 10, 1911. He issued one fixed price list in December 1913. He was employed by the Guttag Bros in 1927. Adams coins were included in Thomas Elder sales June 27, 1932 and April 11, 1935. The 1935 sale included his collection of 350 pattern coins.
Adams was an invalid for about eight years prior to his death. He died at home in Bayville, Long Island, New York. In 1969 he was elected to the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame.
obit: NUM 53 Jun 1940 pages 425-426 (photo); ANAHist 596
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2 entries found for [year:1911]
Edgar Adams Plates with lot tickets included (the most recent being Kolbe & Fanning, sale 146, 7/15/2017, lot 261).
Notes by Saul Teichman regarding these Adams’ pattern plates:
#15, #16: Same obverse plate
#15: Plate mismatches
#17, #18: Same obverse plate
#17, #19: Same reverse plate
#25, #26, #30 Same obverse plate
#26, #31: Same reverse plate
#27, #32: Same reverse plate
#29, #31: Same obverse plate
#29, #30: Same reverse plate
#30, #31: Plate mismatches
#25 is Lohr-River Oaks example of J-1515.
#27 is 66 ANA, Coronet, Bass coin.
Adams 2/1911 sale of Woodin coins had examples of all coins photographed herein except for 20c pieces – the 1877 half dollars on plates possibly representing the J-1509, J-1523, J-1515, J-1502, J-1536, J-1531 in that auction. Reverse under #15 may belong to 1863 J-347. Probably 3 plates holding numbers 1-14 and one holding numbers 20-24 awaiting discovery.
Photographic plates of U.S. coins, mostly pattern pieces, apparently by Edgar Adams, representing coins sold by Adams to Virgil Brand. Date is approximate. Courtesy of Saul Teichman. Teichman notes:Many of these coins, the ten 1877 half dollars (see plate 4), the two 1875 gold patterns and the 1885 trade dollar (see plate 2) were sold to Virgil Brand by Adams on April 26, 1911 as noted below:
1875 $5 in gold (Brand ledger #57881) $750 plate 2
1875 $10 in gold journal (Brand ledger #57882) $750 plate 2
1877 half dollars (10) J1503, J1504, J1506, J1510, J1512, J1514, J1516, J1526, J1528, J1540 (Brand ledger #s 57883-57892) $50 each
1879 dollar patterns (2) - $50 each, probably goloid
1880 goloid dollar patterns (2) - $50 each
1885 Trade dollar (Brand ledger #57897) $750 plate 2