REA – The Early Years
Robert Edward Auctions history dates back to 1970, when future REA president Robert Lifson’s vintage baseball card and memorabilia business really started to take off. Unfortunately, he was only ten years old. His parents had to drive him everywhere. By 1973 Lifson was one of the most active dealers in the country and already recognized as one of the most knowledgeable vintage card scholars in the field.
All I did was study cards and talk with collectors. Because of the era in which I started in the field, I had the unique opportunity and advantage of handling more great collections than anyone had ever handled before. Finally - cards were worth enough to justify long distance calls, traveling, and advertising. As a youngster, I had all the time in the world to work with my cards and memorabilia business. It was 24-hours-a-day, every day, seven days a week! I was lucky that my parents put up with my business. We joke today that I’m lucky they didn’t send me to a psychiatrist instead of letting me spend literally all my time learning about cards and running the business. In the early days, cards had value, but nothing like today. We had no idea that I’d be doing this as a career.
National Geographic World Magazine, November 1975
Germantown Courier, October 9, 1975, covers the first 'Willow Grove Show' (then held at Spring Garden College)
Sports Collectors Digest – September 20, 1974. Hey – no jokes about the haircut! This was the 1970s!