So-Called Dollars

CENTURY OF PROGRESS EXPOSITION
1933-1934
CHICAGO, IL

Purpose: To establish both centennial of Chicago as municipality and "century of progress" in science, engineering and technology.

Organization: Our second largest exposition; company chartered 1930, bonds sold to public. This was unique World's Fair venture because (1) no governmental subsidies were sought or accepted; (2) despite national depression, it was financial success--only international exposition to pay its debts, reimburse its bond holders in full plus interest and still have cash surplus at closing. All this at cost of over $50,000,000.

Site: Over 400 acres on shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago's southside; then and now part of city's public parks system.

Dates, Attendance: May 27 to Nov. 12, 1933 and 1934. Total attendance over 39,000,000 paid.

Participants: Practically all states and territories; many housed exhibits in giant Hall of States; others erected own buildings; Tremendous industrial representation but, by comparison, "poor support" by foreign countries. While no financial aid sought from Congress, United States did erect $1,000,000 Federal Building; extensive national displays included Mint Exhibit.

Comment: Dozen major palaces and 200 other buildings designed for "honest functioning." Architecture was "ultramodern," complete departure from past "following no pattern...of former expositions; depended on simple planes, color and lighting for character and effectiveness"; outstanding feature was color, with little ornamentation or decoration. All emphasis given to scientific and industrial progress; Hall of Science, 80 acres, was focal point. At other extreme, Sally Rand's show grossed $1,500,000 in 1933 alone!

Medals: Official Medals struck in Mint Exhibit on grounds; designed by Emil Robert Zettler, sculptor and head of Industrial Art Section of Chicago's Art Institute. Artist obtained design patent D90,162 for his medallic design June 20, 1933. Dies were produced by Medallic Art Co. in New York City, but contract to strike the medals was awarded to Crowe, a metalworking firm in Chicago. Issued in 2 3/4 in., 2 1/4 in., and 1 1/2 in. sizes; only last qualifies for listing here. Two larger sizes were struck for both years, second year's issue bearing "1934 edition" on reverse, but 1 1/2 in. medal is known only in 1933 issue. On obverse, male figure is symbol of energy and action; represents intellectual arch between man's resources and man's work; words "Research" and "Industry" Fair's Theme.

OFFICIAL MEDAL


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Full male figure, nude with flowing loin-cloth, outspread arms and legs, on top of and astride pillars; under r. foot 1833, under l. foot 1933; under r. hand, vertical Research, © to lower l., leaves above hand; under l. hand, vertical Industry, below is microscopic E R Z, above hand is small graph.
Rev. Relief map of Exposition grounds and lake, above is directional N arrow, to l. is small vertical Zettler (designer)--all within large center circle; outside around A - Century - of - Progress - International - Exposition - Chicago - 1933 -

HK-463 Bronze. 38mm.

A. & P. CARNIVAL DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Within wreath of fruits and vegetables A & P / Carnival / small Chicago Worlds / Fair / 1933; above wreath, on ribbon A Century of / Progress.
Rev. A large pig, standing l. holding bowl of fruit and vegetables, on bowl A & P; below on ribbon Hi-Ho; at bottom edge, small T.S

HK-464 Gilt. 35mm.


Photos courtesy of R. Zenon Lada

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 464 [A & P Carnival].
Rev. A large cow, jumping facing l.; flower above and below. Below on ribbon Cheerio; at bottom, small T.S.

HK-464a Gilt. 35mm.

FORD DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. In center is radiator front of 1933 Ford car; across radiator, in script, Ford; to l. vertical 1903; to r. vertical 1933
Rev. Large V-8 (superimposed on each other) within and upon open wreath; above Thirty Years; below wreath of Progress

HK-465 Bronze. 34mm.

NOTE: This medal was restruck in 1973. The later strikes have proof-like surfaces and a microscopic 1973 added to the reverse following the word Progress.

NOTE: Copper, brass, and aluminum specimens of this medal started appearing on eBay in 2012 and 2013, all struck on thick planchets. The designs are generally similar to those shown here, although with enough minor differences to make them easily distinguishable even without looking at composition or thickness.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Gear wheel covers most of surface; across is horizontal V-8 (superimposed on each other) pointing l.; above to r. Ford / Exposition; below V-8 is 1934; at bottom edge, small © W D T [Walter Dorwin Teague, industrial designer]
Rev. Large vertical V-8 (superimposed on each other); at upper l. Ford; below, around A • Century • of • Progress • Chicago •

HK-466 Bronze. 34mm.

NOTE: Copper, brass, and aluminum specimens of this medal started appearing on eBay in 2012 and 2013, all struck on thick planchets. The designs are generally similar to those shown here, although with enough minor differences to make them easily distinguishable even without looking at composition or thickness.

GREENDUCK DOLLARS

Following issue struck both years by Greenduck Co., Chicago, with variations as indicated.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Involved design of full female figure, seated r., holding miniature log cabin in l. hand, sky-scrapers in r. background--all superimposed on spokes of wheel; at l. edge, around A Century of, to r. edge, around Progress; below all, microscopic Greenduck Co Chi.
Rev. Relief map of Exposition grounds and lake; above to l. 1833, above to r. 1933; below all Chicago.

HK-467 Bronze. 37mm.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 467 [Female figure].
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 467 [Relief map of Exposition grounds] except upper right date is 1934.

HK-468 Bronze, thick planchet. 37mm.

NOTE: There is difference also in color of metal in these two medals, that for 1933 being darker.

HALL OF SCIENCE DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Edifice; above Hall of Science; below edifice A Century of / Progress / Chicago / 1933
Rev. Four-leaf clover within a horseshoe, wishbone below; above all, around Keep Me for Good Luck

HK-469 Gilt. 32mm.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Edifice; above Hall of Science; below edifice Worlds Fair / 1933 - Chicago - 1934
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 469 [Good luck symbols], but different shape horseshoe and other minor differences.

HK-469a Gilt. 32mm.

INDIAN HEAD DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Indian head, full front with feather headdress, superimposed on city skyline; above all A Century of Progress; at neck of Indian, to l. 1833; to r. 1933-4; below Chicago.
Rev. In center circle is spread-winged eagle facing l.; outside circle, around are 5 stars at l. and 4 stars at r.; at top Take Me; at bottom For Luck; beaded border.

HK-470 Brass. 33mm.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Indian head, full front with feather headdress, slightly at l., superimposed by female head crowned with eagle, slightly at at r., no background; above all A Century of Progress; at neck of Indian, to l. 1833; at neck of woman to r. 1933; below Chicago / World's Fair.
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 470 [Spread-winged eagle].

HK-470a Brass.

ITALIAN EXHIBIT DOLLAR

Struck by Stefano Johnson, Milan, Italy. Figures in very high relief; design on both sides is set on concave field which raises near outer edge to form high rim.


Photos courtesy of Tom Hoffman

Obv. Draped female figure, hand raised to shield face from fiery sun; Chicago buildings in background; legend around, A - Century - of - Progress - Chicago - MCMXXXIII; designer's name, Johnson, below left foot.
Rev. Nude, muscular male figure marches l., before huge outspread eagle's wing; legend around, = Mostra = ltaliana A.XI.E.F. =; signed Nagni in lower r. field.

HK-471 Bronze. 34mm.


Photos courtesy of Tom Hoffman

Obv. Nude male and female figures facing rear, male figure leaning on pickaxe, female figure standing on books, jointly raising torch above Chicago skyline with Fort Dearborn in background; above all, around A Century of Progress; at l. edge, around Esposizione Mondiale; to r. edge, around Chicago MCMXXXIII.
Rev. Edifice; above, 20 airplanes converging toward upper r.; at l. edge, around Italia, to r. edge, around A•XI; below all, microscopic Silva; at r. edge, microscopic Johnson.

HK-471a Bronze. 34mm.

MARTIN LUTHER DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Male bust part r.; to l. 1483, to r. 1546--all within center circle; outside above, around 450th Anniversary • of • Birth • November • 10 • 1933; below • • • • Martin Luther • • • •
Rev. At top, around A Century of Progress; edifice below, to l. 1833 / From Century / to r. 1933 / To Century; across The Lutheran Church / Proclaims / Her Unchanging Faith / That Jesus Christ / Died for All; below Chicago

HK-472 Bronze. 35mm.

MICHIGAN DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. State Seal within circle; outside, above * Michigan *; outside below, around A Century of Progress Exposition
Rev. Relief map of Michigan within beaded circle; outside, above * The • Nation's • Playground *; outside, below Come • to • Michigan • to • Play

HK-473 Gilt, reddish. 33mm.
HK-473a Aluminum.
HK-473b Dow Metal.
HK-473c German-silver.

TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Edifice of ornate or contemporary design; above Travel and Transport; below edifice A Century of / Progress / Chicago 1933
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 469 [Good luck symbols].

HK-474 Gilt. 33mm.


Photos courtesy of Heritage Galleries (HA.com)

Obv. Edifice of ornate or contemporary design; above Travel and Transport; below edifice Worlds Fair / 1933 - Chicago - 1934
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 469a [Good luck symbols].

HK-474a Gilt. 32mm.

UNIFACE DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of John Raymond

Obv. In center is upright rectangular shield bearing design of Exposition; on shield, at top 1933; at bottom A Century / of Progress / Chicago; 6 lines extending out from shield divide surface into 6 equal parts, each bears an edifice; from upper right, clockwise around Electrical Building, Travel & Transport, Hall of Science, Fort Dearborn, The Adler Planetarium, The Shedd Aquarium.
Rev. UNIFACE except for microscopic Spies Bros. / Chi. at lower edge.

HK-475 Bronze. 37mm.

HK-461 to HK-462