So-Called Dollars


Purpose: To promote "trade and social relations" with our Pan-American neighbors.

Organization: First suggested 1896 during Atlanta Cotton States Exposition. Exposition Co. chartered June 1897; opening planned for 1899. Spanish American War almost caused abandonment but Buffalo Mayor revived interest December, 1898. Capital stock and bonds, to total of $5,000,000 quickly subscribed by public; state granted $300,000; Congress $500,000.

Site: Over 350 acres on shore of Delaware Park lake, northwest section; today an area of fine residences and parkways. Only one structure was permanent. Of white marble, it serves as library and Museum of Buffalo Historical Society.

Dates, Attendance: May 1 to Nov. 2, 1901. Attendance over 8,000,000; 5,300,000 paid.

Participants: "Every (?) state in Union and every (?) country in Western Hemisphere," with 9 states and "most" Central and South American countries erecting own buildings. Industrial exhibits numbered more than 3,500; Federal displays included Mint Exhibit.

Comment: While primarily a business and industrial enterprise, the "artistic and aesthetic permeated all." Architecture "expressed itself in the free classical style as developed in Chicago in 1893"; also "polychromatic coloring...for first time...extensively and intelligently applied to a group of pubic buildings." Progress in electricity provided new effects in illumination and there was "a wonderful electrical display."

It will be remembered that tragedy struck the Exposition and the Nation on Sept. 6, 1901. President William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, was greeting citizens late that afternoon in Temple of Music when shot down by Leon Czolgosz, anarchist terrorist. The President died Sept. 14.

Medals: Official Medals struck in Mint Exhibit on grounds; designed by George Thomas Brewster.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Standing heroic Indian figure, l. arm upraised, astride a soaring eagle; below to l., microscopic G. T. Brewster
Rev. Relief map of Western Hemisphere with monogram of the Exposition below; above map Pan • American / Exposition / Bvffalo • N • Y • V • S • A • / May 1 • Nov 1 • / MDCDI

HK-287 Silver. 34mm.
HK-288 Copper.
HK-289 Brass.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Bust, part r.; above President McKinley / Born Jan. 29, 1843.; below bust Assassinated in Buffalo / Sept. 6, 1901. / Died Sept. 14, 1901.; beaded border.
Rev. Edifice; above, around Pan-American Exposition; below edifice Temple of Music; beaded border.

HK-290 Brass, reeded edge. 34mm.
HK-290a Aluminum.


Photos courtesy of John Raymond

Obv. Buffalo standing l.; above Souvenir; below 1901; beaded border.
Rev. In center circle, scroll / May-November / Buffalo, N. Y. / scroll; outside, above Pan-American; outside, below Exposition; beaded border.

HK-291 Brass, reeded edge. 34mm.

HK-285 to HK-286