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So-Called Dollars from my collection.


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1933, Aluminum

Santa Monica Breakwater

Hibler & Kappen 687

 

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Obverse: Aerial view of the proposed breakwater, SOUVENIR BREAKWATER 1933 / SANTA MONICA, CALIF.

Reverse: Female bather on beach, boardwalk in background, SOUVENIR FROM CALIFORNIA’S PLAYGROUND / OCEAN PARK / L.A.R.S. CO. 11

 

The token was struck by the Los Angeles Rubber Stamp Co. The number 11 is of unknown significance. Tokens are known with numbers 1 through 14 in the location as well as with numbers. This design was struck in silver, copper, bronze, brass, brass with bronze center, brass with aluminum center, nickel, and aluminum. Hibler and Kappen list the aluminum piece as very rare, but it is the typical piece I see for sale on Ebay.

 

The breakwater was supposed to create an enhanced recreation and boating area, but the design of the breakwater interrupted the normal flow of ocean currents and led to the erosion of important recreational beaches. The photographic history of the breakwater can be found at the Santa Monica Public Library.

 

An aerial view of the breakwater in the 1930-1940 range:

 

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And this 1934 image shows Ocean Park in the foreground and the breakwater in the distance:

 

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1939 Aluminum So-Called Dollar

Kelvinator 25th Anniversary

Hibler & Kappen 739a

35 mm

 

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Obverse: Bust of Lord Kelvin right, WE THOUGHT / OF A BETTER WAY / - LORD KELVIN. Around, KELVINATOR / SILVER ANNIVERSARY.

Rev: In wreath, THE OLDEST / MANUFACTURER / OF ELECTRIC / REFRIGERATION / FOR THE HOME / 1914 - 1939. Around, KELVINATOR / SILVER ANNIVERSARY.

 

The American company, Kelvinator, was founded in 1914 in Detroit. Refrigeration was their primary product, named for William Thomson, Lord of Kelvin who developed the concept of absolute zero and the kelvin temperature scale. I remember my grandmother had a Kelvinator fridge, although we don't see them today in the U.S. The company merged with Nash to become Nash-Kelvinator in 1937 and with Hudson to become a division of American Motors in 1954. A number of later mergers brought Kelvinator and Frigidaire together in 1986 and its products are now marketed under the Frigidaire label.

 

Lord William Thomson (1824 - 1907) was an Irish-Scotish physicist and engineer. He eaarned the title Baron Kelvin (kelvin after a river that flowed near his home) in honor of his scientific achievements. He was instrumental in the working theory and design of the transatlantic cable. His contributions to the study of electricity lead to the definition and measurement of the ampere and he served on the commission reviewing the design for the Niagra Falls power generation station.

 

Lord Kelvin:

 

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1939 So-Called Dollar

New York World's Fair, 1939-40

North Carolina Dollar

Hibler & Kappen 494

 

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Obverse: Mountain view observation area, Indian bust, GREAT SMOKEY MTS. NATL. PARK / FOR INFORMATION WRITE / GOVERNOR’S / HOSPITALITY COMMITTEE / RALEIGH, N.C. / NORTH CAROLINA.

Reverse: Wright brothers plane, island, female bust, FIRST FLIGHT / ORVILLE AND WILBUR WRIGHT / KITTY HAWK 1903 / ROANOKE ISLAND / BIRTHPLACE / OF VIRGINIA / DARE. Along border, W. & H. CO.

 

These tokens were distributed at the fair as part of a North Carolina tourism advertising campaign. The Aluminum Company of America donated the aluminum for 25,000 pieces. Presumably, W.&H. Co. struck the tokens. They managed to to promote the Great Smoky Mountains, the Cherokee, the Write brothers, and early American history.

 

The mountain view is what attracted me to this medal. Campare the view with this postcard from the same 1939 advertising campaign:

 

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1959, Gilt Bronze

Oregon Beaver Dollar

Hibler & Kappen 573

 

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Obverse: Replica of the Oregon Beaver $10 gold piece, OREGON CENTENNIAL / 1859 - 1959.

Reverse” Replica of the Oregon Beaver $10 gold piece, A SOUVENIR FROM MIRACULOUS / NORTH CLACKAMAS COUNTY / AN EXACT REPLICA OF THE HISTORIC “BEAVER” TEN DOLLAR GOLD PIECE.

 

20,000 tokens were issued by the Chamber of Commerce and sold for $.50 each to raise funds to pay for centennial activities. This is clearly not aluminum, but I really like the beaver gold pieces and I was born in Oregon. This is a common so-called dollar, easily attainable in high grade. At least two reverse die varieties are known.

 

A rare example in the Smithsonian collection:

 

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A few months ago, I won the following coin club token in a Blackhawk contest (thnaks Bill). Compare the badger and the beaver and I think you will see what attracted me to the Wisconsin token!

 

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The So-Called Dollar book is an interesting mix of national medals and tokens, siginificant local tokens, and the odd piece that cannot be explained why it made it in and something else did not. Note the power of a printed catalog to define a collecting topic and value to some extent.

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You have a wonderful collection. I noted your comment on the power of a printed catalog. The primary references in the Napoleonic medals area have long been a means of focus to my collection. There must be a bit of the "cataloger" (for lack of a better term) as well as the hoarder in all coin collectors.

 

In any case the aluminum pieces are remarkable. My dad worked over 50 years for Kaiser Aluminum so the metal has always held great interest for me. :ninja:

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  • 1 year later...

Another so-called aluminum addition to the collection:

 

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Dickeson dies Continental Dollar restrick in aluminum for the 1964 6th Boy Scout Jamboree.

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From the Weber Collection, a 1915 Arkansas State Fund Dollar from the Panama Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco. Arkansas produces more than 9-% of the ore used in the production of aluminum, as fact touted as the main theme of the medal and it is composed of aluminum. The medal is signed by Whitehead and Hoag at the bottom reverse of the medal.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

1897 Bickford Dollar (Aluminum and Brass)

Hibler and Kappen 835

 

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Dana Bickford was frustrated while visiting Europe around 1870, he could not easily change money as he travelled from country to country. On his return to the US, he convinced the director of the mint that the US should strike an international coin and in 1874, the mint struck a ten dollar pattern coin carrying valuations in dollars, sterling, marken, kronen, gulden, and francs. Congress did not approve the plan, but Bickford tried to resurrect it in 1876 with new designs that were never produced as patterns. In 1897, Bickford had a variety of "Republican International Dollars" struck during the height of the gold versus silver battles.

 

The obverse plea reads: This combination coin will when adopted be good in all nations, heal all differences between gold and silver men and fully settle all financial questions. Approved by all good business men. On the raised mound below the brass center plug are the words, "Gold and Silver."

 

The reverse reads: Here is shown the value of our dollar in the coin of different nations of the world. The eight rings include the value in Sterling, Francs, Kronen, Gulden, Marken, Guilder, Rouble, and Yen. The inner ring reads: Invented and protected by Dana Bickford.

 

Bimetallism in its finest, purest form and expression!

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1909 Aluminum So-Called Dollar

Hendrik Hudson Daalder

Hibler & Kappen 370

38 mm

 

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I've always liked the design of this medal issued by Thomas Elder for the 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration. The piece was designed by Frank C. Higgens and modeled by J. Edouard Roine (his hallmark appears on the obverse). The pieces were struck by the Medallic Art Co., but on the silver pieces are marked such on the edge. I love the reverse design of the ship and the emblems that can be seen in the sails.

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1880 (?) White Metal So-Called Dollar

Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

Hibler & Kappen 717A

40 mm

 

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An Ebay purchase because the price was right. I've bid on a number of these, but I've always dropped out when the price got too high. I've wanted one bacause I like the early grand hotels, but its never been a priority. Well, one finally came along at a price I was willing to pay. August Corbin acquired title to the land known as Manhattan Beach and decided to build luxuary hotels. He owned the New York and Manhattan Beach Railway and extend the rail lines to the beach. The architect, J. Pickering Putnam, built the Manhattan Beach Hotel in 1877 with 258 rooms and luxuary shops. William A. Engeman's Brighton Beach Hotel opened in 1878 in an attempt to one-up the Manhattan. Being closer to the seedy Coney Island, the Brighton Beach Hotel was more middle class, while the Manhattan attracted the wealthier clients. I figure this undated medal was produced about 1880.

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1891, Aluminum

Stockton Courthouse Dedication

Hibler & Kappen 623

 

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Sheriff Thomas Cunningham was born in Ireland and his family later moved to Brooklyn. At 17, he boarded a ship for San Francisco and began work making harnesses in Stockton. He bought out the shop where he worked and established his own business five years later. He served as a volunteer fireman and became Stockton's fire chief in 1865. He was also elected to the city council in 1865 and again in 1870. In 1872 he was elected sheriff, an office he held until his voluntary retirement in January 1899. Cunningham was obviously very popular in Stockton and was well known throughout California as a touch lawman and he participated in many of the major manhunts that brought criminals to justice. Some attribute the capture of the famed Black Bart to Sheriff Cunningham.

 

An R-6 medal (21-75 known) and rare in uncirculated condition. An Ebay purchase.

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  • 4 months later...

I've added additional so-called dollars over the past year, but they have not all made it to my list to post. I recently acquired another so-called dollar, holed and still attached to the original badge. I went after this one because of the bird's eye view of the exposition grounds.

 

Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition 1898.

Hibler & Kappen 284a, White Metal

 

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