The Clarence A. Smith “Smitty Award”

ATCA Board Announces Recognition Award Named After Founding Member

In it’s December 2020 meeting, Director Scotty Poling proposed a measure to award an ATCA member each year who has served the club membership and the antique telephone collecting hobby as a whole. The member has also been instrumental in promoting the collecting and preservation of historic telephones. The name of the award was chosen in honor of Clarence A. “Smitty” Smith #20. Clarence Smith was one of the founding members of the Antique Telephone Collectors Association. He was from LaCrosse, Kansas and was the secretary of the LaCrosse, Kansas Chamber of Commerce in 1971. He and another man, Roy Ehley got together and hosted and promoted the first sidewalk show which was sponsored by the chamber. Clarence Smith was also the first secretary of the club and published the newsletter for several years. He corresponded with many prospective members in the early days and helped get the club off the ground. We owe him a debt of gratitude for what helped develop. Due to his hard work and early contributions to the club, the board named the award in his honor.

The ATCA board will chose one person each year whose work or actions have contributed to the preservation and collecting of the telephone. The person chosen to receive the “Smitty Award” will presented a plaque honoring him or her along with an annual membership at no charge for the membership year following the receipt of the award. The award will be given each year at the annual National Show if possible. The board elected to bestow this honor on the following for the year 2020:

The 2020 Clarence A. “Smitty” Smith award goes to a longtime member who has helped many collectors restore antique telephones with this precision craftsmanship and attention to detail. Without his expertise, many sets would be without needed parts and pieces. His attention to detail and accuracy is beyond compare. The first recognition is awarded to John LaRose of Barre, Vermont.

Fred Mecke presenting John LaRose

2020 Clarence A. Smith

“Smitty Award”

John LaRose, Barre, Vermont

Fred Mecke (L) presenting on behalf of the ATCA Board of Directors to John LaRose (R), both of Vermont

2021 Clarence A. Smith

“Smitty Award”

Ron & Mary Knappen, Galesville, WI

ATCA Chairman Dennis Fowler (R) of Houston, TX present Ron and Mary Knappen the plaque at the 50th Anniversary Show banquet on Friday evening, August 6, 2021.

2022 Clarence A. Smith

“Smitty Award”

Tom Adams, #213, Durham, NC.

ATCA Board Member Jason Burwell, #3996 of Ft. Mill, South Carolina presents the “Smitty Award” for 2022 to longtime member Tom Adams in his home.

Jim Engle Smitty Award
Jim Engle, 2023 Smitty Award Recipient, California, Kentucky