In 1989, the first Function Associates (Lake Books) catalog
of numismatic literature was mailed to several hundred collectors. That
mail-bid sale consisted of 602 lots in 22 pages and featured the "Redbook"
collection of Harry X Boosel.
Now in its 23rd year, Lake Books has issued over 110 sales with some
80,000 lots of numismatic reference material being listed. The customer
base has increased to over nineteen hundred collectors and the distribution
list circles the Earth. The consignor list has grown to several hundred
people encompassing all areas of the numismatic experience. A complete
list of the sales is available at the link to the left marked "Past Sales".
As a coin collector, Fred Lake was keenly aware of the value of having
research material available to consult. The old Aaron Feldman dictum, "Buy
the Book Before the Coin", was reinforced by visits to the coin shop of
Frank and Laurese Katen. The Katens stressed the importance of education
in numismatics and they became good friends and advisors over the years.
Frank can best be described as the mentor who fostered the growth of our
present endeavours. He is missed as good counsel.
During these past twenty years, Fred has traveled extensively acquiring
consignments and visiting many coin shows where Lake Books has maintained
a "free" table at which a wealth of books and catalogs has been distributed
to the public. One noted numismatist dubbed Fred, "The Johnny Appleseed
of Numismatic Literature."
Fred and Joan Lake are partners in a very real sense.
Joan has a background in the publishing field as a production coordinator,
editor and manager. She also was the head librarian for a small, private
library in Marshfield, Massachusetts, where the Lakes started what is now
Lake Books. Fred is the cataloger for all of the sales and Joan assists
with the packing and shipping of the lots won by bidders in each sale.
They moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1989 and the business has been
conducted from their residence since that time.
Fred is active in a number of numismatic organizations including the
, EAC , ANA
and has been a Director of the Florida
United Numismatists (FUN) since 1998.