So-Called Dollars

PANAMA-PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION
1915
SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Purpose: To celebrate opening of Panama Canal; to commemorate 400th anniversary of discovery of Pacific Ocean; to celebrate rebuilding of San Francisco following 1906 earthquake and fire.

Organization: Suggested as early as 1904; one of our six largest World's Fairs. New Orleans and San Diego made strong bids; latter finally yielded when awarded second exposition. Two Fairs not competitive but complementary; San Francisco's "universal, all-inclusive, final summary of man's past achievements"; San Diego's to have "distinct, outstanding...differentiating purpose." Panama Pacific International Exposition Co. chartered March 1910, public subscribed to $7,500,000 stock; city and state each granted $5,000,000 (bond issues); California counties $3,000,000. "Endorsed" by 62nd Congress, with $5,000,000 grant to include cost Federal displays. Ground broken by President Taft Oct. 14, 1911.

Site: Natural amphitheater facing Golden Gate, now Marina district; 635-acre area, extending 2 1/2 miles along Bay. Palace of Fine Arts was only permanent structure; post-exposition viewing of many exhibits held there until Oct. 31, 1916.

Dates, Attendance: Feb. 20-Dec. 4, 1915; Opened by President Wilson pressing gold key at Arlington, VA, causing doors to open and mechanical exhibits to operate. Attendance over 18,000,000; 13,000,000 paid.

Participants: Forty-four states and territories, 58 California counties and 42 foreign countries represented; 28 of former, 22 of latter and New York City erected own buildings. Exhibits totaled 80,000. Many Federal displays included Mint Exhibit.

Comment: Eleven exhibition palaces and 240 other buildings created "City of Domes." Designing exposition buildings and grounds had become "almost a profession." Architectural approach here followed "novel plan," series of courts "which met climatic need by trapping sunlight and sheltering visitors from brisk breezes" blowing across Bay; buildings were secondary but color used lavishly.

Dominant was Tower of Jewels, 435 ft. high; its "thousands of gems" (Austrian cut glass) flashing under floodlights. Electric illumination otherwise come of age; first use of indirect lighting. Exposition essentially was contemporaneous; exhibits not eligible for awards unless produced since 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition; "utility" was keynote of 900 conventions held during Fair.

Medals: Official Medals below authorized by Congress; struck in Mint Exhibit on grounds. Contest conducted for design; $1,000 awarded to winner, Robert Aitken, sculptor. Sold by Department of Official Coins and Medals; Farran Zerbe, chief; Silver (.890 fine) for $1; Bronze and Gilt for 25 cents and 50 cents, respectively.

OFFICIAL MEDALS


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Winged Mercury opens Canal locks, through which passes Argo, symbol of navigation, setting sun reflecting on her sails; below vessel "On! / Sail On!"; at lower r. edge Aitken / Fecit.; legend around • To • Commemorate • the • Opening • of • the • Panama • Canal • M•C•M•X•V•
Rev. Two females, representing the two hemispheres, entwined about earth and holding in hands cornucopias; below, seagull, bird of Canal Zone; around • Panama-Pacific • International • Exposition • San • Francisco • California • M•C•M•X•V•

HK-399 Silver. 38mm.
HK-400 Bronze.
HK-401 Gilt.

STATE FUND DOLLARS

Several states issued medals in advance of exposition as one means of raising funds for exhibition purposes; usually sold for $1. Except for Arkansas' Aluminum piece, all were Bronze; some silver-plated officially, others privately. Arkansas medal presented to "home folks and notable visitors"; Maryland's distributed on Maryland Day to officials and others.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. State Seal within circle; outside, above Alabama; below Great Seal; single stars at l. and r. borders separate upper and lower lettering; beaded border.
Rev. Within open wreath Alabama / at / Panama / Pacific / International / Exposition / San Francisco / 1915 / [scrollwork across]; on ribbons of bow, which ties wreath at bottom, microscopic W & H Co [Whitehead & Hoag Co.] on l. ribbon, Newark N.J. on r. ribbon; beaded border.

HK-402 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-402a Silver-plated Bronze.

Arkansas produces more than 90 per cent of nation's bauxite, source of aluminum; hence, aluminum theme of medal and reason for production in that metal.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. State Seal within circle; outside, around Panama Pacific International Exposition * San Francisco, 1915 *; beaded border.
Rev. Edifice; below Arkansas Building / Arkansas / Supplies the World / With Aluminum; above, around * * * Arkansas Exposition Fund * * *; below, around The Land of Plenty; in microscopic letters, below lower legend W & H Co. [Whitehead & Hoag Co.] Newark N J; beaded border.

HK-403 Aluminum. 38mm.


Photos courtesy of Tom Hoffman

Obv. Headless Victory stands in vessel passing through Canal, dividing lines San Francisco / 1915 behind her; around Panama-Pacific International Exposition
Rev. Modification of State Seal within circle; above, around For Florida Exposition Fund; below around, in ribbon In God We Trust; in microscopic letters at lower edge Robbins Co Attleboro

HK-404 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-404a Silver-plated Bronze.


Photos courtesy of Robert Mayer

Obv. Female figure strides l. before rising sun, carrying overflowing cornucopia; low sun with long rays, buildings and fields all in background; above, around For Georgia Exposition Fund; beaded border.
Rev. State Seal within circle; outside, around Panama Pacific International Exposition • San Francisco 1915 •; at bottom border, microscopic Whitehead-Hoag Newark • N • J •; beaded border.

HK-405 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-405a Silver-plated Bronze.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Within circle, edifice; Louisiana Building below; around Panama-Pacific International Exposition • San Francisco 1915 •
Rev. Within circle, variation of State Seal, superimposed upon lower portion of edifice and grounds; outside, around For Louisiana Exposition Fund * Union Justice Confidence *

HK-406 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-406a Silver-plated Bronze.

Maryland ignored achievements in commercial and industrial world to honor two of its native sons who, through songs, had made state famous.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. State Seal within circle; microscopic © M•C•P•P•I•Ex• 1915 at bottom; around all Maryland at Panama Pacific International Exposition • 1915 •; near beaded border at bottom, microscopic W. & H. Co. l. and Newark, N. J. r. of date.
Rev. Busts within twin circles, one above the other; legend above, around portrait in top circle James Ryder Randall and in bottom circle Francis Scott Key--all within laurel wreath; above, around Maryland My Maryland; below around Star-Spangled Banner; beaded border.

HK-407 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-407a Silver-plated Bronze.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Portraits Jefferson Davis, facing slightly to r., and John A. Quitman, facing front; Jefferson / Davis / 1846 in field above his shoulder, and John A. / Quitman / 1848 above his shoulder; around Panama Pacific Exposition San Francisco 1915 • Mississippi's Winners of the West •
Rev. Edifice; around Contribution of the Women of Mississippi • Mississippi Dollar Exhibit Fund •; microscopic Robbins Co Attleboro near legend at bottom.

HK-408 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-408a Silver-plated Bronze.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Within beaded circle, Winged Victory stands on prow of vessel, holding laurel wreath before her; Exposition buildings, hills, ship, sun and rays in background; above, around Panama Pacific International Exposition; below, between fronds, 1915; beaded border.
Rev. Within beaded circle, agricultural and mining tools in foreground; stream, trees, mountains, clouds, sun and rays behind; outside, around For Montana Exposition Fund; below, in ribbon Oro Y Plata; beaded border.

HK-409 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-409a Silver-plated Bronze.
HK-409b Gilt.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Sailing ship; above on ribbon The Land Divided; below ship, on ribbon The World United--all within circle; outside, above around • Panama-Pacific International Exposition •; below, around • San Francisco • 1915 •
Rev. State Seal within circle; outside, around * For • North • Carolina • Exposition • Fund * Esse Quam Videri [To Be, Rather Than To Seem] in ribbon; microscopic Robbins Attleboro below seal.

HK-410 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-410a Silver-plated Bronze.


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 410 [Sailing ship].
Rev. Within open wreath two male figures facing, shaking hands--all within circle; outside above around For Kentucky Exposition Fund; in ribbon United We Stand Divided We Fall; microscopic Robbins Attleboro below seal.

HK-410b Bronze.

Although it called to mind Parthenon of Greece, huge Oregon Building, with its enormous fir log columns, was designed to make known fact that state had, within its borders, one fourth of all standing timber in U.S.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Edifice; below Oregon / State Building; above, around Panama Pacific International Exposition; below, around • San Francisco, 1915 •; microscopic W. & H Co. Newark. N.J. between legend and beaded border at bottom.
Rev. Variation of State Seal, within circle; above, around State of Oregon; below, around * 1859 *; beaded border.

HK-411 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-411a Silver-plated Bronze.


Photos courtesy of David King

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 410 [Sailing ship].
Rev. State Seal; above, around For South Carolina Exposition Fund

HK-412 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-412a Silver-plated Bronze.


Photos courtesy of David King

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 410 [Sailing ship].
Rev. State Seal, within circle; outside, around For Tennessee Exposition Fund; at lower edge a star; below, microscopic Robbins Co Attleboro

HK-413 Bronze. 38mm.
HK-413a Silver-plated Bronze.

EXPOSITION STATE DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of John Raymond

Obv. Female figure, standing, facing to r., holds California flag in l. hand and wreath in r.; bear stands to her l., beneath flag; view of Exposition, bay, hills, sun and rays below and behind her and bear--all within circle; around, above California the Exposition State; below; around San Francisco • 1915; beaded border.
Rev. Ship passes through Canal; to l., 19 and to r., 15--all within circle; outside, around Panama Canal Completion Exposition; below San Francisco; beaded border.

HK-414 Gilt Brass, reeded edge. 35mm.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 414 [Female figure].
Rev. Edifice; above Tower of Jewels--all within circle; outside around California the Exposition State; below San Francisco 1915; beaded border.

HK-415 Gilt Brass; reeded edge. 35mm.


Photos courtesy of John Raymond

Obv. Similar to obverse of No. 414 [Female figure] except as to general background which is heavily fluted (radiate) behind standing female figure; no buildings in background; sun and rays are missing; bear somewhat different.
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 415 [Tower of Jewels].

HK-415a Gilt Brass, reeded edge. 35mm.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Same as reverse of No. 415 [Tower of Jewels].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 414 [Ship passes through Canal].

HK-416 Gilt Brass, reeded edge. 35mm.


Photos courtesy of David King

Obv. Edifice; above Tower of Jewels--all within circle; outside around Panama Pacific International; below Exposition; beaded border.
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 414 [Ship passes through Canal], but from a different die; microscopic The Gustave Fox Co Cinc below ship within circle.

HK-416a Copper. 35mm.

EXPOSITION CITY DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of David King

Obv. Seated female figure, to r., holds palm branch with both hands above Exposition buildings in background; head of bear shows to her r.; below all 1915 / San Francisco / the / Exposition City; microscopic SA at lower l. edge.
Rev. Relief map of the Americas; nude female in Atlantic Ocean hands wreath across Panama Canal to nude female in Pacific Ocean; below, on crossed ribbon Commemorating the Opening / of the Panama Canal.; microscopic A. P. Starke Copyrighted around top edge.

HK-417 Brass. 37mm.
HK-418 Bronze.
HK-418a Gilt.

BAROQUE SHIELD DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Within circle, immense 1915; above San Francisco and below California; around Panama-Pacific-International • Exposition •; microscopic Greenduck Co Chi. at bottom edge.
Rev. Within baroque shield: blacksmith, sheaf of wheat, tree, house, boat, railroad train and three mountain peaks; below shield, on scroll Equality Before the Law

HK-419 Copper. 38mm.


Photos courtesy of David King

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 419 [Immense 1915]
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 662 [Montana Day, 1914]

HK-419a Copper. 38mm.

‘FOUR PORTRAITS' DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Exposition buildings and grounds, in miniature, cover North America; below Pacific and the Ancon, first ship to pass through Canal; to r. Atlantic; sun casts rays and airplane flies l., above; above, around Panama Pacific International Exposition; below ****** San Francisco, Cal. 1915 ******; below 7 stars, microscopic Pat Aug 1914; below 6 stars, microscopic W & H Co [Whitehead & Hoag Co.]
Rev. Four busts: center Pres. Woodrow Wilson, l. Theodore Roosevelt, r. Col. George W. Goethals, below Count F. De Lesseps; above latter on ribbon Honor to the Beginner [all names on ribbons below proper busts]; above all, spread- winged eagle; below eagle, on ribbon Glory to the American Nation / and Her Able Officers / Accomplishing This Tremendous Task; stars scattered around rim of medal and around Wilson bust.

HK-420 Silver-plated, antiqued. 34mm.
HK-421 Bronze.

U.S. EXPOSITIONS DOLLAR


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

Obv. Large ornamental gate, tower in lower center foreground; bay and setting sun in background; at top, on ribbon Golden Gate, [to l.] 1849, [to r.] 1906 / [on gate l.] Panama [r.] Pacific, [in center of gate] International Exposition, 1915; 16 stars outside to l. and 15 stars outside to r. of gate; below gate San Francisco, California
Rev. Map of U.S., Mexico, and Central America, showing cities and dates of previous Expositions; above map, to l. around, microscopic Copyrighted 1912 by E.E. Hensley S.F.; below map around, small Estimate Cost $375,000,000 Length 49 miles--all within circle; around International and Industrial Exhibitions Held in the United States; below, at Canal • Panama Canal 1904-1915 •; on two of three known reverse die varieties, microscopic I. & J. [Irvine & Jachens, who struck the medals] appears off coast of Mexico on one and off coast Central America on the other. It is missing from third variety.

HK-422 Gilt. 36mm. Three reverse die varieties known.

OCTAGONAL DOLLARS

Irvine & Jachens, Daly City, CA, struck these pieces using oreide (commercial bronze) as the metal.

TYPE I


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Within beaded circle Souvenir / PPIE [interwoven monogram letters] / [microscopic] Design. Pat. Appld. for / Panama-Pacific, International / Exposition / San Francisco / 1915; outside, around The Days of Old the Days of Gold the Days of Forty Nine; microscopic C.G. Brinker S.F. at bottom.
Rev. Within beaded circle is design similar to 1851 Augustus Humbert $50 gold slug, target reverse variety, principal difference being 000 Thou, in upper ribbon; legend around Imitation of Famous California Fifty Dollar Gold Slug, Used by the Pioneers * 1850 *

HK-423 Silver-plated. Octagonal. 40mm x 40mm. Obverse of silver-plated medal always found very weakly struck.
HK-424 Gilt Bronze.

TYPE II


Photos courtesy of Fred Holabird

Obv. Within beaded circle Official / Souvenir / Days of ‘49 / Panama Pacific / International / Exposition / San Francisco / 1915 / Copyrighted
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 423 [Design similar to $50 gold slug], but In God We Trust in banner above eagle; Copyrighted below eagle and Fifty instead of Fifty Dolls.; legend around Facsimile of Famous California Fifty Dollar Gold Slug Used by the Pioneers * 1850 * Much thinner planchet than was used for Type I.

HK-425 Gilt Bronze. Octagonal. 40mm x 40mm.

GOLD DOLLAR

Issued by Thomas L. Elder, who had piece struck in 1910 in anticipation of exposition. Apparently produced by jeweler H. Kroll of New York City, based on stylistic analysis and comparison of the original dies by California Gold expert Mike Locke.

Crudely engraved obverse; well-engraved but imperfectly struck reverse; some letters double cut.


Photos courtesy of Heritage Galleries (HA.com)
Photo shown twice actual size.

Obv. Relief map of North, Central and South America; above, l., Panama Canal; above, r., U. S. of America; beaded border.
Rev. San / Francisco / 1915; outside around Panama Pacific Internat. Exp.; beaded border.

HK-1030 Gold. Proof. 13mm.

HK-398 to HK-398b