So-Called Dollars


Purpose: To promote better trade relations with southern states by bringing together "industrial prowess of Ohio Valley" and "commercial strength of South"; to celebrate centenary of steamboat navigation on Ohio River.

Organization: Originally discussed as local exposition, similar to city's earlier annual industrial fairs, "blossomed...into enterprise...of national reputation and scope" of direct interest to "20 states and 41,000,000 people." Chamber of Commerce led movement; Exposition Company chartered 1908; guarantors subscribed $500,000; modest grants by city and state. Forty railroads helped enlist exhibitors over wide area.

Site, Dates, Attendance: Principally in famed Music Hall, then on banks of Miami-Erie Canal; additional structures erected along canal and in Washington Park. Held Aug. 29-Sept. 24, 1910; attendance almost 1,000,000. Music Hall completely renovated 1954 at cost of $500,000 but canal long since drained and paved over, now Central Parkway.

Participants: Twenty states and "number" of foreign countries, most using facilities of huge Music Hall. Commercial and industrial exhibits exceeded 10,000; many Federal displays included exhibit of Panama Canal, still 5 years from completion, and Mint Exhibit.

Comment: Exposition emphasized manufacturing methods in lieu of mere display of "finished, inanimate objects"; ranged from complete model coal mine to cocoa-producing plant. Orville Wright headed exhibit on aviation; "leading aeronauts of America and Europe" appeared. Sharing spotlight was dedication of Fernbank Dam, part of Federal plan to assure 9-foot water in Ohio River year-round from Pittsburgh, PA to Cairo, IL; giant river pageant included "every class of craft...from Indian floating river palaces..."

Medals: These were Official Medals struck in Mint Exhibit on grounds; issue quite limited. See also Part I, Ohio Valley and Central States Centennial Exposition--1888 and Part II, Cincinnati Fall Festival--1906.

Photos courtesy of Victor Annaloro

Obv. Large sheaf or spray around at l. border; across in 7 lines, The / Ohio Valley / Exposition / Cincinnati / August / September / 1910; beaded border.
Rev. Full female figure, facing part l.; right arm outstretched holding wreath in r. hand over valley and river; steamboat on river, mountains in background; sheaves of grain and corn at feet of female figure; large sheaf or spray around at l.; above all Ohio Valley; beaded border.

HK-393 Silver. 34mm.
HK-394 Copper.
HK-395 Bronze.

HK-390 to HK-392