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Commems Collection: 1920 Maine 100th - Revisited

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 Posted 08/06/2013  8:13 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
To support the official celebration of Maine's Statehood Centennial - held in Portland, Maine from June 26th to July 5th 1920 - the Maine Centennial Committee set up its "Centennial Headquarters" in the East Wing of Portland's City Hall. At the HQ, Committee representatives received guests, answered questions about the celebration and local accommodations, provided visitors with literature about the planned activities and sold the group's official publications and souvenirs.

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Chief among the publications was an informative book of Maine history titled "The Maine Book." It was authored by Henry Dunnack, the Librarian of the Maine State Library, and was specially prepared for the Centennial. The Committee had also planned to sell the Maine Centennial commemorative half-dollar at its HQ, but ultimately could not do so as the coins did not arrive from the US Mint in time for the Celebration; sales of the coins were later handled through the State Treasurer's office. Note: The Maine commemorative half-dollar was not authorized until May 10, 1920 and the Committee's order of 50,000 coins was not struck until late summer.

The Committee's two marquee souvenir items were co-promoted via a 12-panel brochure that includes details and ordering information on each. It also features photographs of Maine's Capitol Building and Executive Mansion plus illustrations of two famous sailing ships from the State's past.

The coin is illustrated in the brochure via what appears to be the final plaster models for the coin. The obverse presents the Seal of the State of Maine, while the reverse features a simple commemorative inscription within a wreath. Anthony de Francisci prepared the models for the coin based on the design sketches provided by the Centennial Committee.

The brochure touts a coin + book "Combination Offer" at a price of $2.00. This "Offer" was not actually a sale price, as the book and half-dollar each sold for $1.00.

As the brochure is undated, it is difficult to say exactly when it was printed - before or after the celebration - but it is likely that it was used to promote the coin and book beginning in 1920 and well into 1921 (and possibly beyond) as the State Treasurer had inventory of the coins for years after the 1920 Centennial.


1920 Maine Centennial Brochure - Front Panel

1920 Maine Centennial Brochure - Coin Panel

1920 Maine Centennial Brochure - Book Panel

1920 Maine Centennial Brochure - Combination Offer Panel

1920 Maine Centennial Half-Dollar - Obverse

1920 Maine Centennial Half-Dollar - Obverse

Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 08/08/2013  9:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very informative read of the brochure ... and of course your excellent interpretive narrative nails the history lesson.

Thanks again for sharing from your vast wealth of material and knowledge.

Take a look at my other hobby ...
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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