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Commems Collection: 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition

 
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 Posted 12/16/2012  7:10 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
All of the early US commemorative coins (silver and gold) issued through 1915 were tied to World's Fairs or Expositions that were held in the US (with the exception of the Lafayette Dollar which had connections to the Paris Exposition of 1900 held in France). In total, 13 individual commemorative coins (five silver and eight gold) were issued for five different expositions:

- 1892-93 World's Columbian Exposition
- 1900 Paris Exposition
- 1903 Louisiana Purchase Exposition
- 1904-05 Lewis and Clark Exposition
- 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition

Five national/international expositions in less than 25 years would strike most of us today as an incredible number considering the infrequent staging of such events today. In fact, however, there were a number of additional expositions staged during this same time frame. Times have certainly changed!

In previous posts, I've covered some of the official commemorative souvenir medals that were struck by the US Mint in conjunction with the commemorative coins. Tonight, I thought I'd present a commemorative medal struck by the US Mint for an exposition that did not sponsor a commemorative coin.

The Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition was held in Nashville, Tennessee from 1 May to 31 October 1897. The Expo was staged to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tennessee's admission into the Union as its 16th state. It would have been nice to have held the Expo in 1896, Tennessee's actual statehood centennial year, but funding issues and construction delays pushed the event into 1897. Nonetheless, the fair was successful and was attended by just under 1.7 million visitors, it also earned a small profit.

Nineteen states (including Tennessee) participated in the Expo, with all of them coming from the central and eastern regions of the country (Texas was the westernmost state to participate). Also participating were 16 foreign nations, most were from Europe but Canada, China, Japan and Russia also attended and exhibited.

An impressive array of buildings was constructed to house the many exhibits and displays presented, with host city Nashville recreating the Greek Parthenon to be used as an art gallery. Why the Parthenon? At the time, Nashville's nickname was "Athens of the South" due to the many buildings in the city built in the Greek-revival style and its prominent educational institutions. (Today, Nashville is more commonly known as "Music City" due is thriving music business, especially in the Country music genre.)

The US Congress authorized $100,000 to participate in the Exposition, which included the set-up of a US Mint exhibit. Souvenir medals of a single design were struck in the Mint's exhibit booth. The medals were designed by Charles Barber and were struck in gold-plated (gilt) brass. The obverse depicts the Mint Building in Philadelphia, the reverse features an inscription identifying the Exposition.

Shown below is my example of the Exposition's official US Mint struck medal along with a few pages from a souvenir booklet from the Expo.

Enjoy!


1897 Tennessee Centennical Official Medal - Obverse




1897 Tennessee Centennical Official Medal - Reverse




1897 Tennessee Centennial Souvenir Program Images









Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 12/16/2012  9:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nlp coins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Unique! I like it. nlp
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 Posted 12/17/2012  8:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Tired from too many hours at work ... but writing here to acknowledge another tremendous commems thread.

Well done again ... and as always enjoy your photos ... appreciate your contributions ... and value you sharing your knowledge with all of us.

Best

David
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.jk-dk.art
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 12/20/2012  12:04 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cc99999 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Dave (Commems),

Do you have the Ms. Palmer SCD? I consider it the sister-piece to the Isabella. Thanks for bringing medals into the conversation. You are so right about them being related...

http://www.coinweek.com/commemorati...led-dollars/

Part one of a three part feature Hubert and I wrote for CoinWeek. Part two is not yet published and deals with the Vermont, Wisconsin, Hudson, and Long Island (to name a few).
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 Posted 12/20/2012  10:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Do you have the Ms. Palmer SCD?

Yes! Here's a link to my summertime post that included it: http://goccf.com/t/118906


Quote:
Thanks for bringing medals into the conversation. You are so right about them being related...

Absolutely! I've featured commemorative medals in my posts on classic US commemorative coins over the past year. I collect medals (and other items!) with direct tie-ins to the coins and have tried to bring them into the conversation whenever I could. I've posted too many "coin + medal" threads to add links here, but they can all be found here in the US Commemoratives section of CCF.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
12/20/2012 10:13 am
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 Posted 12/21/2012  01:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinsKelly to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Your material is astounding.
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 Posted 12/28/2012  09:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinsKelly to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I just re-read your Isabella thread from May, did you ever "uprage" her?
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 Posted 12/28/2012  5:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@CoinsKelly: No, not yet. I haven't been aggressively searching for an upgrade for my Isabella. I still do look when I'm at shows, but not with as much "energy" as when I'm actively seeking out an upgrade.

I like my current coin, so I guess I don't feel an urgency to upgrade. It will likely happen someday, however, when that "special" coin comes into view!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 02/09/2013  5:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add civilwarcoincollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
interesting read about my home state. I really like the coin as well. nice thanks
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 Posted 02/15/2013  2:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add brenpickle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Awesome, this is the reason why I love this forum. Everyone contributes the amazing knowledge that have acquired in their areas of interest. Thanks you for your work.
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