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U.S. CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION
1876
PHILADELPHIA, PA

Purpose: To commemorate 100th anniversary of signing of United States Declaration of Independence.

Organization: Our first major multiple-building World's Fair; distinguished by direct Federal sponsorship. After spirited rivalry among larger cities, Congressional Acts 1871, 1872 settled issue; also created Centennial Commission on which all states and territories represented, and Board of Finance to work with Exposition Company; latter chartered locally, $10 stock certificates sold to public. City granted $1,000,000; state and Congress over $4,000,000.

Site: Portion of Fairmount Park, 236 acres, presented "free of all expense" by city. Of 167 buildings erected, only one was permanent. Built of "granite, glass and iron," Memorial Hall became Philadelphia's Museum of Art.

Dates, Attendance: May 10-Nov. 10, 1876; officially "opened" by President Grant. Attendance almost 10,000,000; over 8,000,000 paid.

Participants: All states and territories and 49 foreign countries represented; 26 of former and some of latter erected own buildings. Exhibitors numbered 30,000; many Federal displays included Mint Exhibit.

Comment: Our first "international exhibition of the arts, manufactures and products of the earth" proved to American citizens and foreign visitors alike that U.S. had "grown up…able to takes its place among nations of the world in commerce and industry." With 71 acres under roof, architecture was of "gingerbread" type, its influence still felt in older sections of some cities. Multiple-structure approach, as opposed to single large building, followed new European plan. Exposition emphasized machines and mechanical progress; "served as inspiration for decades" for industrial expansion. Alexander Graham Bell exhibited his telephone for first time. Aesthetically, America was electrified by display of work of world's artists. Previously, material problems concerned our young nation; art playing no significant part in American life. With this awakening, numerous art schools and societies sprang into being; there was rush of American students to Paris. Total impact on our cultural life was remarkable and permanent.

Medals: Official Medals sponsored and issued in two sizes by Centennial Board of Finance; authorized by 43rd Congress. Large size precluded from listing here. Of issues below, Silver was struck in Mint Exhibit on grounds, sold for $3; Bronze and Gilt pieces struck at Philadelphia Mint, sold for 50 cents each. Dies were destroyed when exposition closed. See separate listing, Part I, for Nevada Dollar--1876.

OFFICIAL MEDALS

Engraved by William Barber. One of White Metal specimens was sold by Presidential Coin and Antique Company in 1983 from personal collection of Charles Barber, son of William Barber; other two specimens reported as from same source.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Genius of American Independence, rising from recumbent position, grasps in r. hand sword to enforce her demands; raises l. hand in appealing pride to 13 stars blazing in firmament; beneath date 1776--all within beaded circle; around, These United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, Free and Independent States.
Rev. Within wreath, In / commemoration / of the / Hundredth / Anniversary / of / American / Independence; outside, around By authority of the Congress of the United States; below 1876.

HK-20 Silver. 38mm. Julian CM-10. 10,133 struck.
 In original presentation case*
HK-21 Bronze. Julian CM-10. Approx. 13,000 struck.
HK-22 Gilt. Julian CM-10. Approx. 10,500 struck.
HK-22a White Metal. 3 known.

* Case is inscribed in gilt letters Commemorative Medal; quotes 1874 Act of Congress designating piece as Official Medal.

LIBERTY BELL-INDEPENDENCE HALL DOLLARS

Struck and issued by Messrs. Deihl, Philadelphia; designed by Key. Some of pieces with small bell struck as early as 1872; with large bell, 1874, in anticipation of centennial celebration. Liberty Bell, made of bronze, weighs 2,080 pounds, is 3 feet high, measures 12 feet around lip. John Pass and Charles Stow recast bell in 1753, it having cracked year before; in 1835 it cracked beyond repair. It now hangs in Liberty Bell Center, a dedicated museum within Independence National Historical Park near old State House, renamed Independence Hall, where Declaration of Independence was unanimously adopted by Continental Congress, July 4, 1776.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Large Liberty Bell bearing lines Lev XXVVX proclaim liber / in Philada by order of the / Pass and Stow, Philada / MDCCLIII; to l. in field 1776; to r. 1876; above Liberty Bell; below Lev. XXV VX.; around Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; 6-pointed star between thereof and proclaim.
Rev. Edifice; to l., 1776; to r. 1876; below Commenced 1729 / Finished 1734; microscopic Key. F beneath edifice; above around Independence Hall; no trees in front of hall.

HK-23 Silver. 38mm.
HK-24 Bronze.
HK-25 Copper. [Die variety has rounded 6 in dates, period after XXV on obverse, and other minor differences.].
HK-26 White Metal.


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

Obv. Similar to last, but much smaller bell suspended from its supporting beam; bell bears no lettering; Leviticus is not abbreviated; The is added before Liberty Bell; star between "Thereof" and "Proclaim"; beaded border.
Rev. Edifice; above, around Independence Hall; below, 1776.; two trees and statue in grounds before hall; beaded border.

HK-27 Copper. 38mm.
HK-27a Bronze. No star.
HK-27b Silver.
HK-28 Brass.
HK-29 White Metal. Thick (3mm.) and thin (2mm.) planchets.
HK-29a White Metal. No star.

OTHER LIBERTY BELL DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 23 [Liberty Bell].
Rev. Military bust Washington by Key, r.; Born Feb 22 1732 / Died Dec 14 1799 on scroll below. Issued by Messrs. Deihl, Philadelphia.

HK-30 Silver. 38mm. Baker 397.
HK-31 Copper. Baker 397A.
HK-32 White Metal. Baker 397C.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 23 [Liberty Bell].
Rev. Naked bust Washington r.; below 1776; around General Washington

HK-32a Copper. 38mm.


Photos courtesy of H. Joseph Levine, Presidential Coin & Antique Co. Inc.

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 23 [Liberty Bell].
Rev. In 11 lines, first and last curved, others straight Centennial Memorial / of / Siloam / M.E. Church / Philadelphia. / Founded AD. 1859 / Finished A.D. 1876 / We trust in the / living God / I. Tim. IV. X. / Jehovah-Jireh.

HK-33 Copper. 38mm.
HK-33a Silver.
HK-33b White Metal.


Photos courtesy of H. Joseph Levine, Presidential Coin & Antique Co. Inc.

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 23 [Liberty Bell].
Rev. In 12 lines, first and last curved, others straight Centennial / Memorial / of the / Cumberland St. / M.E. Church / Philadelphia. / 1876 / God is our refuge and / strength, a very / present help in / trouble., Ps. XLVI I.

HK-34 Brass. 38mm.
HK-34a Silver.
HK-34b White Metal.


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

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 23 [Liberty Bell].
Rev. In 6 lines, first 4 curved, others straight Union Avenue / Baptist / Sunday / School / June 7 / 1876; 13 stars in field.

HK-35 Copper. 38mm.
HK-35a Silver.
HK-36 White Metal.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 23 [Liberty Bell].
Rev. G.A.R. badge: eagle seated on cannon (top), U.S. flag (center) and star (bottom); above around Fraternity Charity Loyalty; below, around 1861 1865.

HK-37 Copper. 38mm.
HK-38 White Metal.

INDEPENDENCE HALL DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Same as reverse of No. 23 [Independence Hall].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 30 [Military bust Washington r.].

HK-39 Silver. 38mm. Baker 392.
HK-40 Copper. Baker 392A.
HK-41 White Metal. Baker 392B.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Edifice; above around Birth Place of American; below Independence / 1776.
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 32a [Naked bust Washington r.].

HK-42 Silver. 38mm. Baker 394.
HK-43 Copper. Baker 394B.
HK-44 Gilt. Baker 394A.
HK-45 White Metal. Baker 394C.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Same as reverse of No. 23 [Independence Hall].
Rev. Centennial / Celebration / Chosen Friends / Lodge / No. 100 I.O.O.F / Sept. 20, 1876.; chain of 3 links below Centennial.

HK-46 White Metal. 38mm.
HK-46a Copper.
HK-46b Gilt.
HK-46c Silver.


Photos courtesy of Ron Abler

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 42 [Independence Hall].
Rev. Six-pointed star with rays; above around Struck in the Centennial buildings / in the one hundredth year; below of American / Independence / 1876; small No below and r. of 6 in date; beaded border.

HK-47 White Metal, reeded edge. 38mm.
HK-47a Copper.

LIBERTY SEATED DOLLARS

Designed by Soley, these pieces greatly resemble Longacre pattern trade dollars.


Photos courtesy of John Raymond

Obv. Liberty seated, facing to l.; above around Free and United States; below 1876.
Rev. Same as obverse of No. 42 [Independence Hall].

HK-48 Silver. 38mm.
HK-49 Copper.
HK-50 Gilt.
HK-51 White Metal.


Photos courtesy of John Raymond

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 48 [Liberty seated].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 32a [Naked bust Washington r.].

HK-52 Silver. 38mm. Baker 405.
HK-53 Copper. Baker 405A.
HK-54 Gilt. Baker 405B.
HK-55 White Metal. Baker 405C.
HK-55a Brass. Baker 405D.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 48 [Liberty seated].
Rev. Scene within fort includes two soldiers and woodsman; below 1776; above, all-seeing eye surrounded by star with rays between American and Colonies

HK-56 Silver. 38mm.
HK-57 Copper.
HK-58 Gilt.
HK-59 White Metal.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 48 [Liberty seated].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 47 [Six-pointed star with rays].

HK-60 Copper, reeded edge. 38mm.
HK-61 White Metal.

CENTENNIAL FOUNTAIN DOLLARS

Obv. Fountain; above Centennial Fountain; below Fairmount Park / Dedicated to / American Liberty / July 4, 1876 / Phila.
Rev. Blank except for ornamental scrolls around border.

HK-62 Silver. 38mm.
HK-63 Copper.
HK-64 Gilt.


Photos courtesy of Dave Hayes

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 62 [Centennial Fountain].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 32a [Naked bust Washington r.]

HK-65 Silver. 38mm. Baker 434.
HK-66 Copper. Baker 434A.
HK-67 Gilt. Baker 434B.
HK-68 White Metal. Baker 434C.

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 62 [Centennial Fountain].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 47 [Six-pointed star with rays]

HK-68a Copper, reeded edge. 38mm.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 62 [Centennial Fountain]. Two dies known.
Rev. Emblem with Christian cross in center, letters CTAU of A at top; around * Erected by the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America

HK-69 Gilt Copper. 38mm.
HK-69a Silver.
HK-69b Copper.
HK-70 White Metal.

NOTE: At least one overstrike (on an unidentified other medal) is  known for this medal.

Other George Washington Dollars


Photos courtesy of Ron Abler

Obv. Same as reverse of No. 32a [Naked bust Washington r.]
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 60 [Six-pointed star and rays].

HK-70a Copper, reeded edge. 38mm.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Same as reverse of No. 30 [Military bust Washington r.].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 62 [Ornamental scrolls]

HK-70b White Metal. 38mm.
HK-70c Copper.

Other AMERICAN COLONIES DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of John Raymond

Obv. Same as reverse of No. 56 [American Colonies].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 32a [Naked bust Washington r.]

HK-71 Bronze. 38mm. Baker 404A.
HK-72 Brass. Baker 404B.
HK-72a White Metal. Baker 404.
HK-72b Silver. Proof. Baker 404C.


Photos courtesy of Ron Abler

Obv. Same as reverse of No. 56 [American Colonies].
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 47 [Six-pointed star with rays].

HK-72c Copper, reeded edge. 38mm.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN DOLLAR

Obv. Clothed bust r.; around Abraham Lincoln
Rev. Our / Nation's / Freedom / Achieved by / Washington / and / Perpetuated by / Lincoln around, within inner ornamented ring *** Centennial of American independence 1876

HK-73 Pewter. 40mm. King 505.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE DOLLAR

See U.S. Semicentennial-1826 for facts on Declaration.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Copy of John Trumbull's painting of 1776 Congress; Committee of Five making its report on Declaration (heads facing); above The / Declaration; below of Independence / 1776
Rev. In / Commemoration / of the / Centennial / of / Colonial / Independence / 1876; at top, around United States of America; bottom edge around, microscopic Pat. Nov. 3, 1874 H&L

HK-74 White Metal. 43mm. Baker 390D.
HK-74a Bronze.
HK-74b Brass.

Obverse engraved by Abraham Demarest; reverse engraved by George Hampden Lovett.


Photos courtesy of Jeff Shevlin

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 74 [Declaration of Independence], with addition of Demarest. Sc. at bottom.
Rev. Naked bust Washington r., microscopic Lovett on truncation of bust; above, around To commemorate the 100dth anniversary of the below, around Declaration of / Independ­ence; ornamental border of cavalry and infantry.

HK-75 Bronze. 43mm. Baker 388A.
HK-75a Silver.
HK-76 White Metal. Baker 388B.
HK-77 Pewter.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Similar to obverse of No. 74 [Declaration of Independence], but heads in profile and no standing figure to immediate right of rightmost window on rear wall.
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 75 [Naked bust Washington r.; border of cavalry and infantry].

HK-78 Bronze. 43mm. Baker 389A.
HK-79 Pewter. Baker 389C.
HK-79a Silver Baker 389. .
HK-79b Brass. Baker 389B.

EXPOSITION BUILDING DOLLARS


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Edifice, microscopic GHL [George Hampden Lovett, engraver] at lower r.; above Grand Entrance / International; below, 1776 1876 / Exposition / Philadelphia
Rev. Main Building / Length / 1880 feet / Width 464 feet / Height 70 feet / Area 22 acres. / Fairmount / Park / Philadelphia; around To commemorate the 100th anniversary of our nation's birth 1776 U.S.M. Co. 1876

HK-80 White Metal. 43mm.
HK-80a White Metal. Reverse has larger date.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Edifice (Main Building), microscopic W. H. Key. F [William H. Key, engraver] at lower r.; above Centennial / Exposition; below Philadelphia / 1876 (date and 13 stars within broad shield).
Rev. 1776 / Illustrating / the growth and prosperity / of a free people / in a hundred years / 1876; at bottom edge, microscopic Pat Nov. 3, 1874 H&L

HK-81 Copper. 43mm.
HK-81a Silver. Approx. 10 struck.
HK-81b Gilt.
HK-82 White Metal.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Edifice; above Centennial / Art gallery; below Philadelphia / In memorial; at lower l. edge edifice W. H. Key. F [William H. Key, engraver]
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 81 [Illustrating the growth...].

HK-83 Copper. 43mm.
HK-83a Silver.
HK-83b Gilt.
HK-84 White Metal.
HK-85 Gutta-Percha, Black. 38mm.
HK-86 Gutta-Percha, Red. 38mm.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Edifice; above Centennial; below Horticultural / Hall / Philadelphia; microscopic Key F [William H. Key, engraver] centered below edifice.
Rev. Same as reverse of No. 81 [Illustrating the growth...].

HK-87 Copper. 43mm.
HK-87a Silver.
HK-87b Gilt.
HK-88 White Metal.


Photos courtesy of Dave Hayes

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 83 [Art Gallery].
Rev. Same as obverse of No. 87 [Horticultural Hall].

HK-89 Copper. 43mm.
HK-89d Brass.


Photos courtesy of Tom Hoffman

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 81 [Main building].
Rev. Same as obverse of No. 83 [Art Gallery].

HK-89a White Metal. 43mm.
HK-89e Bronze.


Photos courtesy of John Dean

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 81 [Main building].
Rev. Same as obverse of No. 87 [Horticultural Hall].

HK-89b White Metal. 43mm.
HK-89c Brass.
HK-89f Gilt Copper.

LOVETT'S ‘EIGHT BATTLES' DOLLARS

Issued by George Hampden Lovett, New York City, to commemorate battles of 1776. Series of 8 priced at time of issue in white metal, $2; in bronze, $4; in silver, $14; case for each set, $1.


Photos courtesy of Darren Gunderson

Obv. Naked bust Washington r., within circle of 34 stars; around The centennial year of our national independence; below 1876; beaded border.
Rev. In center of beaded circle with rays, 1776; above around Battle of Moores Creek Bridge / February 27; below 1 / No. Carolina--all within wreath of oak leaves; beaded border.

HK-90 Silver. 34mm Baker 440. .
HK-91 Bronze. Baker 440A.
HK-92 White Metal. Baker 440B.


Photos courtesy of Darren Gunderson

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 90 [Naked bust Washington r.].
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 90, except Battle of Sullivan's Island / June 28 / 1776 / 2 / So. Carolina

HK-93 Silver. 34mm. Baker 441.
HK-94 Bronze. Baker 441A.
HK-95 White Metal. Baker 441B.


Photos courtesy of Darren Gunderson

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 90 [Naked bust Washington r.].
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 90, except Battle of Long Island / August 27 / 1776 / 3 / New York

HK-96 Silver. 34mm. Baker 442.
HK-97 Bronze. Baker 442A.
HK-98 White Metal. Baker 442B.


Photos courtesy of Darren Gunderson

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 90 [Naked bust Washington r.].
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 90, except Battle of Harlem Plains / September 16 / 1776 / 4 / New York

HK-99 Silver. 34mm. Baker 443.
HK-100 Bronze. Baker 443A.
HK-101 White Metal. Baker 443B.


Photos courtesy of Darren Gunderson

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 90 [Naked bust Washington r.].
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 90, except Battle of Lake Champlain / October 11 & 12 / 1776 / 5 / New York

HK-102 Silver. 34mm. Baker 444.
HK-103 Bronze. Baker 444A.
HK-104 White Metal. Baker 444B.


Photos courtesy of Darren Gunderson

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 90 [Naked bust Washington r.].
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 90, except Battle of White Plains / October 28 / 1776 / 6 / New York

HK-105 Silver. 34mm. Baker 445.
HK-106 Bronze. Baker 445A.
HK-107 White Metal. Baker 445B.


Photos courtesy of Darren Gunderson

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 90 [Naked bust Washington r.].
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 90, except Battle of Fort Washington / November 16 / 1776 / 7 / New York

HK-108 Silver, 34mm. Baker 446.
HK-109 Bronze. Baker 446A.
HK-110 White Metal. Baker 446B.


Photos courtesy of Darren Gunderson

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 90 [Naked bust Washington r.].
Rev. Similar to reverse of No. 90, except Battle of Trenton / December 26 / 1776 / 8 / New Jersey

HK-111 Silver. 34mm. Baker 447.
HK-112 Bronze. Baker 447A.
HK-113 White Metal. Baker 447B.

UNITY OF GOVERNMENT DOLLAR - CIRCA 1861

NOTE: This medal, Nos. 114 through 114g inclusive, should not be included in this section of the book. It has been proven that it was not issued as part of the U.S. Centennial Celebra­tion, but rather was issued for the Confederate States of America Election of 1861. It has been left in place solely for the reason to keep it in numerical order. These have been moved into an earlier section on its own as duplication. Dies prepared by Robert Lovett Jr.


Photos courtesy of W. David Perkins

Obv. Military bust Washington, facing slightly r. of front; around Unity of government is the main pillar of independence
Rev. He is / A freeman / Whom the truth / Makes free. [William Cowper (1731-1800), English poet, The Task vol. 1]; around Liberty and independence * July 4, 1776 *

HK-114 White Metal. 34mm. Baker 264E.
HK-114a Copper. Baker 264A.
HK-114b Bronze. Baker 264B.
HK-114c Brass. Baker 264C.
HK-114d Nickel. Baker 264D.
HK-114e Silver. Baker 264.

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 114 [Military bust Washington]. UNIFACE.

HK-114f Silver. 34mm. Baker 264F.
HK-114g Copper. Baker 264G.

CHILDREN OF AMERICA DOLLARS

Although this medal is unsigned, the central bust of Washington also appeared on a different medal (Baker 271) that was signed G. H. L., so it is likely that this medal was struck by George Hampden Lovett as well.


Photos courtesy of Dave Hayes

Obv. Draped bust Washington l. within open wreath of palm and oak; around 100th anniversary of the Declaration / of Independence * July 4, 1876
Rev. Dedicated / to the / Children / of / America; around, open wreath of laurel and oak; at top, 1876

HK-115 Bronze. 34mm. Baker 415A.
HK-115a Silver. Proof. Baker 415.
HK-116 Copper. Baker 415B.
HK-117 Pewter. Baker 415C.

E PLURIBUS UNUM,
WASHINGTON-GRANT DOLLAR


Photos courtesy of Victor Annaloro

Obv. Two full male figures stand on either side of U.S. shield; on streamer to l. of shield, vertical Washington, to r. of shield, vertical U. S. Grant, and below shield, 1776 1876; spread-winged eagle, seated on shield, streamer from beak bearing E Pluribus Unum; outside around, 25 stars; below, Centennial / F X Koehler.
Rev. Within open wreath, tied at bottom with ribbon, * / Dedicated / To the / People of the / United States / As a memorial / Of the first / Century of / Liberty.

HK-118 White Metal. 41mm. Baker 409B.
HK-118a Silver. Baker 409. Issued holed.
HK-118b Bronze. Baker 409A.