So-Called Dollars

CALIFORNIA MIDWINTER EXPOSITION
1894
SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Purpose: To bring to California, exposition of "worldwide interest and significance"; to divert public mind from Panic of 1893; to bring homeseekers to state, showing them "resources and versatility of its inhabitants."

Organization: Idea conceived by M. H. de Young, owner of San Francisco Chronicle and vice president of Columbian Exposition, while attending latter Fair; campaigned vigorously for it in his newspaper. Executive Committee created to stage event; financed by public subscriptions and contracts to concessionaires. By opening day, $730,000 had been spent "without the gift of a single dollar from the nation, state or municipality." Ground broken Aug. 24, 1893; more than 100 buildings completed 6 months later.

Site, Dates, Attendance: Center of Golden Gate Park; 200 acres cleared for purpose. Held Feb. 28-July 9, 1894; attendance over 2,255,000. Palace of Fine Arts and Japanese Tea Garden were only permanent buildings but former replaced 1917 by de Young Museum; Tea Garden remains.

Participants: Many states, territories and foreign countries brought their exhibits from Columbian Exposition; only few erected own buildings but many California counties did. There was early complaint that Federal government actually hindered transfer of foreign displays from Chicago; several Federal departments represented but no Mint Exhibit.

Comment: Variety of architectural approaches--Old Mission, modified Corinthian, Egyptian, Moorish and East Indian, among others--earned name "Sunset City"; opened in winter to "accentuate the climatic possibilities of California...at the time of the severest low temperature in the eastern country." Exposition emphasized agricultural, horticultural and mineral exhibits; many new varieties fruits and grains displayed for first time. Original subscriptions apparently were in form of donations, requiring no reimbursement, so net proceeds of Fair used to buy foreign art exhibits as nucleus for city museum.

Medals: First two medals below long considered as "official" but actually there was no dollar-size piece so labeled by exposition; many aluminum medals listed were struck in Mechanics Building on grounds.

TYPE I


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Within plain circle at border, modification of California State Seal.
Rev. In 5 lines, across in center Souvenir / California / Midwinter / Exposition / San Francisco; below * 1894 *; around The Land of Sunshine Fruit and Flowers--all within plain border circle.

HK-245 Brass. 33mm.

TYPE II


Photos courtesy of Stack's Rare Coins, New York, NY

Obv. Modified State Seal differs from last: sun rays, which reach from behind mountains in background, end short of stars at border; three vessels and miner with pick much smaller than on last; bear is lying down; near bottom edge Moise S. F.; no border circle.
Rev. Similar to reverse No. 245 [5 lines of text], but date and Souvenir / California / Midwinter / Exposition much larger; no border circle.

HK-245a Brass. 33mm.

ADMINISTRATION BUILDING--
ELECTRIC TOWER DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Within sunken center, edifice; above, around Administration Building; on edifice base, r., A. Hylen. Chi.; below edifice, microscopic Blumenfeld S. F. C. and bear, walking r.; outside, around California Midwinter International Exposition * 1894 *
Rev. Electric tower; within scroll, to l. in field, 18 and within scroll to r., 94; below tower is bear, walking r.; outside, around Souvenir of San Francisco

HK-246 Aluminum. 40mm.

ADMINISTRATION BUILDING--
FERRIS WHEEL DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 246 [Administration Building].
Rev. In center circle is Ferris Wheel with Firth Wheel above; outside, around Souvenir of San Francisco. California * 1894 *; (Firth, not Ferris, is lettering on medal).

HK-247 Aluminum. 40mm.

DE YOUNG DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Bust of M. H. de Young, president and director-general of Exposition; around California Midwinter International Exposition * 1894 *
Rev. Modification of State Seal; around Souvenir of San Francisco California * 1894 *

HK-248 White Metal. 40mm.
HK-248a Gilt White Metal.

ELECTRIC TOWER--STATE SEAL DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. View of Exposition buildings, Bonet Electric Tower in foreground--all within beaded circle; outside, above California Midwinter International Exposition; below * San Francisco 1894 *; beaded border.
Rev. Modification of State Seal, stars and Eureka missing, sun and rays in r. and edifice in l. background; below bear Hanson Chi.--all within wreath-like circle; beaded border.

HK-249 Aluminum. 38mm.

EXPOSITION VIEW--GOLDEN GATE DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Within circle, view of Exposition, tower in distance; around California Midwinter International Exposition * San Francisco 1894 *; plain circle border.
Rev. Within circle border, view of Golden Gate; above, around Golden Gate; below, around San Francisco, Cal.

HK-250 Aluminum. 38mm.
HK-250a Gilt.

MECHANICS ART BUILDING DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Electric Tower, to l. Electric, to r. Tower--all within circle, open at top; outside, around California Midwinter International Exposition; below 1894; beaded border.
Rev. Edifice, below Mechanics Art / Building-- within circle; outside, above * Souvenir *; below, around of the Sun-Set City; beaded border.

HK-251 Aluminum. 38mm.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 251 [Electric Tower].
Rev. Within open wreath, tied at bottom with ribbon Aluminum / Souvenir / Stamped / in / Mechanics Bld. / San Francisco, Cal.; beaded border.

HK-252 Aluminum. 38mm.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as reverse of No. 251 [Mechanics Art Building].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 252 [Aluminum Souvenir].

HK-253 Aluminum. 38mm.

MISCELLANEOUS LARGE, 45mm, DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. View of Exposition, setting sun above; below, to l., microscopic Schwaab S & S Co., [Schwaab Stamp & Seal Company] to r. microscopic Milwaukee; below 1894 / San Francisco, Cal.; above all Midwinter Exposition; beaded border.
Rev. Five edifices within beaded circular panels as on reverse of No. 260, but with caduceus, artist's palette and brushes over scroll, mechanic's tools and bouquet of fruits, vegetables and flowers added between outer circular panels; microscopic S. S. & S. Co. Milwaukee at bottom border; beaded border.

HK-254 Aluminum. 45mm.


Photos courtesy of William D. Hyder

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 254 [View of Exposition].
Rev. Facts about San Francisco in 22 lines across--all within circle; outside above, around Souvenir of San Francisco; below, around Metropolis of the Western Coast; beaded border.

HK-255 Aluminum. 45mm.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Modification of State Seal within irregularly shaped border of scrolls; below, a single star; outside, around California Midwinter International Exposition; beaded border.
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 254 [Five edifices].

HK-256 Aluminum. 45mm.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 256 [Modification of State Seal].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 255 [Facts about San Francisco].

HK-257 Aluminum. 45mm.

NEW METAL, ALUMINUM, DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Edifice, above Administration Building--within circle; outside border legend, around California Midwinter International Exposition *1894 *
Rev. Across center Aluminum; above, in 6 slanting lines, Malleable / Ductile / Tasteless / Sonorous / Untarnishable / Strong; below Cubic Foot of Gold 1204 lbs. / " " Aluminum 179 " / This is the Lightest / Metal the World / Has Produced.; below, microscopic Noble Chicago.

HK-258 Aluminum. 45mm.


Photos courtesy of William D. Hyder

Obv. Bear, on crag upper l., overlooks Exposition; above Midwinter / Fair; below, on ribbon, 1894.
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 258 [Malleable, Ductile...].

HK-259 Aluminum. 45mm.


Photos courtesy of William D. Hyder

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 258. [Administration Building].
Rev. Same as obverse of No. 259 [Bear on crag].

HK-259a Bronze. 45mm.

STATE SEAL--FIVE EDIFICES DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of William D. Hyder

Obv. Modification of State Seal, within circle; outside, around California Midwinter International Exposition; below 1894.
Rev. Five edifices in beaded circular panels; in overlapping center circle, Administration Building; above, Palace of Horticulture and Agriculture; to r., Palace of Manufactures and Liberal Arts; below, Palace of Fine Arts; to l., Palace of Mechanics Art.

HK-260 Aluminum. 35mm.

STATE SEAL--EXPOSITION VIEW DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Within border of roses between circles, modification of State Seal; below, 1894; around * Souvenir * San Francisco California, U. S. A.
Rev. View of Exposition, tower in foreground; above around * California *; below around Midwinter International Exposition

HK-261 Aluminum. 41mm.

LAUER'S EXHIBITION PALACE DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Modification of State Seal; beaded border.
Rev. Exposition view across center; above California / San Francisco; below Midwinter / International / Exposition, 1894; at lower l. of scene, near edge, Lauer; beaded border.

HK-262 Aluminum. 35mm.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 262 [Modification of State Seal].
Rev. Edifice; legend above California Midwinter Internat. Expos. / San Francisco 1894; below edifice Fine Arts / Building; Lauer at lower l. of edifice, near edge; beaded border.

HK-263 Aluminum. 35mm.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 262 [Modification of State Seal].
Rev. Edifice; above California Midwinter Internat. Expos. / San Francisco 1894; below edifice Mechanics / Building; at lower l. of edifice, near edge Lauer; beaded border.

HK-264 Aluminum, 35mm.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 262 [Modification of State Seal].
Rev. Edifice; legend above California Midwinter lnternat. Expos. / San Francisco 1894; below edifice Agriculture / Building; at lower l. of edifice, near edge Lauer; beaded border.

HK-265 Aluminum. 35mm.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 262 [Modification of State Seal].
Rev. Edifice; legend above California Midwinter Internat. Exposition / San Francisco 1894; below Manufactures Building; at lower l. of edifice, near edge Lauer; beaded border.

HK-266 Aluminum. 35mm.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 262 [Modification of State Seal].
Rev. Edifice; legend above California Midwinter Internat. Exposition / S. Francisco 1894; below edifice Administration / Building; beaded border.

HK-267 Aluminum. 35mm.

HK-244 to HK-244b