So-Called Dollars


Research fails to establish definite origin of these issues but evidence points to fact that either or both medals were struck from metal of vessel itself.

Early in 1899 "some eastern people" conceived idea of using some of ship's armor plate to make variety of souvenirs and they prepared "extensive assortment of dies and patterns." Springfield Iron Co., Springfield, Illinois, re-rolled "several carloads" of plate, reducing thickness to point that permitted metal to be stamped or spun into "scarf, hat and stick pins, ash receivers, ink stands, candle sticks, rings, pen holders, paper weights, medallions, medals and miniature replicas of the ship." These souvenirs proved popular and had countrywide sale.

Battleship Maine, Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee commanding, was sent to Havana, Cuba, January, 1898, on goodwill tour. It blew up in Havana Harbor Feb. 15, 1898, with loss of 264 men and 2 officers. A U.S. inquiry blamed an external explosion; Spanish inquiry an internal one. When Spanish American War broke out April 1898, "Remember the Maine" became a rallying cry. Hulk of famous ship was raised finally in 1911.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Battleship; below microscopic R. Sneider. New York.; below M*A*I*N*E / 5 stars in row / * Launched * at * the * / Brooklyn Navy Yard, Nov. 18. 1890
Rev. ** In Commemoration ** / * of the * / Officers / and / Crew / Who Perished in / Havana • Harbor / • Cuba • / On Board the / U. S. Battleship "Maine." / * Feb. 15th 1898 *

HK-285 Bronze, thick planchet. 38mm.
HK-285a White metal.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Battleship; above Remember; below ship The Maine; beaded border.
Rev. Four busts, separated by scrolls, within center circle; outside, above We Did; outside, below Remember the Maine; beaded border.

HK-286 Brass, reeded edge. 35mm.

HK-281 to HK-284b