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Commems Collection: 1936 Cleveland, OH Centennial / Great Lakes Exposition - 1937 Cousin

 
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 Posted 08/10/2022  1:27 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Separately from the Cleveland Centennial Commemorative Coin Association - the private, non-aligned sponsor of the commemorative half dollar (i.e., Thomas G. Melish) - the Great Lakes Exposition board awarded Distinguished Service medals in 1936 and 1937 to those who made notable contributions. Each of the medals had a blank cartouche upon which a recipient's name could be engraved; many of the medals found in the marketplace are blank.

Shown here is the rectangular 1937 version of the medal; the 1936 version is round. The bronze 1937 medal is 1-7/8" wide by 2-11/16" tall.

The obverse presents three allegorical figures representing (left to right) science, agriculture/farming and industry. The figures stand in the clouds, looking upon Cleveland's waterfront along with multiple signs of modern technology (for the time): in the air, a dirigible and a seaplane; in the water, a modern cargo ship unloading; on land, automobiles, a locomotive, electrical power lines and four steam boilers generating power for industry.

It seems likely that the figures were inspired by the Art Deco "Guardians of Traffic" figures that had been carved into the pylons of the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge in 1932. (Note: Since September 1, 1983, the bridge has been named the Hope Memorial Bridge.) Here's a nice introduction to the "Guardians": The History Behind Cleveland's Guardians of Traffic.

The medal's reverse is a simpler design, with the Exposition's name and logo (plus "1937") above the cartouche which is presented as a folded ribbon.

Though it had nothing to do with the Coin Association of Melish, I still consider it a "cousin" of the commemorative half dollar as it was issued by the organization that managed the event that was being commemorated by the coin. I enjoy having it as part of my collection!

1936 Cleveland, OH / Great Lakes Exposition - Half Dollar


1937 Great Lakes Exposition - Distinguished Service Award




For other of my posts about commemorative coins and medals, including more on the history and designs of the Cleveland half dollar, see: Commems Collection.



Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
08/10/2022 1:30 pm
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 Posted 08/10/2022  5:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Always a good read, thank you.
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 Posted 08/12/2022  10:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kopper Ken to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Commems...thank you for the postings...I'm actually taking a close look at many of these issues for the first time.

KK
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 Posted 08/12/2022  1:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'm actually taking a close look at many of these issues for the first time.

Glad to hear it!

IMO, there's lots to like in the series!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 08/12/2022  4:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting example commems - thanks for sharing the story.
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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