1715 Fleet Society Member Profile #3: Pat McBride

We thought it would make a very interesting feature to periodically profile the accomplishments of our esteemed members. We call these “1715 Fleet Society Member Profiles”. Periodically we will choose from among our members, individuals that have accomplished something exceptional and whose stories we will share with other members as well as the larger, public Fleet audience.

Profile Information

Name: Pat McBride

Age: 70

Residence: McKeesport, Pennsylvania

Occupation: Benjamin Franklin

Avocation: Reenacting and Coin Collecting

After a tradesman career in wallpaper hanging, Patrick (“Pat”) McBride became a living history reenactor portraying Benjamin Franklin in 2019.

Patrick “Pat” McBride as Benjamin Franklin.

Pat has always had an interest in history as a long-time coin collector, but becoming Franklin was inspired by a suggestion from his good friend and 25-year reenactor, Dennis Boggs (who portrays Abraham Lincoln): “You know, Pat, you would make a wonderful Ben Franklin. You certainly have the personality for it!” Pat was already portly and balding, so he took the next economical step by letting his hair grow and purchasing a tri-corner hat.

He quickly immersed himself in the 18th century by reading everything about Benjamin Franklin he could get his hands on. After a few years of reenacting, he’s accumulated a wardrobe of colonial clothing from various vendors.

His appearances include regional and national coin shows, history centers, colonial fairs, club gatherings, and social events. He is based in Pennsylvania but is available to travel and has performed in various states.

This photo shows his very first purchases — a hat, glasses, and shoes. Once he bought the shoes, he knew there was no turning back.
Patrick in his first full costume in 2018 posed in front of his personal library.
The long red waistcoat was indicative of early Eighteenth Century dress.
His newest costume features more historically accurate eyeglasses and cloth buttons.

Pat McBride has collected U.S. Coins since 1962. He joined the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) in 1984 and is currently the association secretary. As PAN Life Member #18, he has presented his Rare Coin Basics talk at PAN Spring and Fall coin shows for the last five years. Pat was among those at the forefront to keep Pennsylvania a numismatic sales tax-free state. He has won various PAN achievement awards including the PAN Frank Gasparro Award. McBride is most recognized for his tireless efforts in organizing PAN’s Spring and Fall coin shows. He publishes the award-winning PANeNEWS electronic newsletter. He is the PAN social media voice including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. McBride is the PAN website administrator at www.pancoins.org.

McBride is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society, one of the oldest numismatic societies in the country. He created a beautiful non-competitive exhibit of the society’s history to commemorate the society’s 100-year anniversary as an ANA club.

Abe Lincoln and Ben Franklin at Starbucks on Day 3 of the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money.

The 1715 Fleet Society is honored to have Pat as a member. On a side note, Pat is a candidate running for one of the vacant Governorships of the American Numismatic Association. More about this will be published at a later time.

More about Pat McBride as Ben Franklin can be found here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top