WASHINGTON NATIONAL MONUMENT
This medal obviously commemorates dedication of the famous national monument. Issue probably struck privately; either presented to guests and officials at opening ceremonies or sold to visitors as souvenir.
Monument is tapering shaft or obelisk, white marble faced, 555 feet high, 55 feet square at base. Eight small windows, at 500 foot level, reached by stairway of 50 landings and 900 steps or by elevator requiring 70 seconds for ascent.
Thirtieth (1848) Congress created Washington National Monument Association to supervise construction; also authorized cost be met by popular subscription. Cornerstone laid July 4, 1848 but progress slow. Six years and $300,000 later, controversy ensued; contributions and work ceased. Construction resumed 1880 by Corps of Engineers at government expense; dedicated Feb. 21, 1885; opened Oct. 9, 1888.
Photos courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. www.StacksBowers.com
Obv. Male bust facing l., in very high relief; to l., around George; to r., around Washington; beaded border.
Rev. Monument in center; to l. of monument, around Cor. stone laid / July 4, 1848 / small 555 ft. high; to r. of monument, around Dedicated / Feb. 21, 1885 / small 81200 tons; border legend Washington Monument; below monument Washington D. C.; beaded border.
HK-145 White Metal. 45mm. Baker N-322.