In Memoriam - obituary by Jerry Proctor
Julius Henry "Hank" Reinhardt, 73, a widely known authority on medieval arms and armor, and an icon of Southern science fiction fandom for over 50 years, died the morning of October 30th, 2007 at an Athens, GA, hospital following complications of heart surgery.
Known widely as "Hank," he had written numerous articles on swords and knives, and was in the process of writing a book on the history and use of the sword at the time of his death. He produced two videos with Paladin Press on the sword, and was a columnist for Blade magazine on swords in the movies. He was a cofounder of the mail order business Museum Replicas, Ltd. and a consultant to many sword makers. Unlike many experts, Reinhardt insisted on actually making and testing the weapons he wrote about, and through his various activities he has been instrumental in increasing the popularity of arms and armor in mainstream America.
Hank, born and raised in Atlanta, was a founder of the first Atlanta science fiction club, ASFO, organized in 1950. Since then he has been guest speaker and entertainer at numerous science fiction conventions, where he staged panels on medieval arms and armor, plus exhibitions of the fighting techniques of that era, most recently at Dragoncon in Atlanta in September.
Reinhardt also founded units of the Society for Creative Anachronisms, a medieval re-enactment society, in Alabama, where he lived for many years, Georgia, and Louisiana. He has received numerous awards for activities in science fiction and for his work with bladed weapons, most recently the Industry Achievement Award given at the 2006 Blade Show in Atlanta. Hank will appear in Reclaiming the Blade, a documentary due for release in 2008.
A sword and knife buff from early teen age, Reinhardt received an education in both during Army service in Europe in the 1950s, visiting famous museums. Upon returning to the United States, he worked at various jobs before meeting Bill Adams, founder and president of Atlanta Cutlery. Together in the 1980s they launched Museum Replicas Ltd., making accurate and battle-ready replicas of medieval weapons, and selling them via mail order throughout the world.
Reinhardt enlisted as a business contact Ewart Oakeshott, the head curator of the Tower of London Armories. Oakeshott wrote the authoritative book on European swords, and at the time Reinhardt was the only outsider allowed to enter the Armories and make photographs of its treasures. Because of these visits, Museum Replicas, Ltd. for years made quality arms and armor.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Janet. He is survived by wife Toni Weisskopf Reinhardt; two daughters, Dana Gallagher and Cathy Reinhardt; grandchildren, Hannah and Owen Gallagher; and the many, many friends he made throughout his life.
Hank’s Horde of Weaponry: On Sale Now!
BOOK NEWS: Hank’s Book of Swords Published by Baen!
MOVIE NEWS: Sword Film Featuring Hank!
FIGHT TEAM: Reinhardt Legacy Fight Team Site