So-Called Dollar Discussions

Forum Navigation
Please or Register to create posts and topics.

1907 Jamestown Exposition

> From PCGS US Collectors Forum & Wikipedia:

Jamestown was the second attempt at a permanent colony in the tidewater region. In 1587, Sir Walter Raleigh left settlers on Roanoke Island, NC, one of whom gave birth to the first choild of English settlers in the New World. That child, Virginia Dare, is the infant cradled in her mother's arms on the reverse of the Roanoke classic commemorative. Raleigh's men sailed to England that summer promising to return the next year with supplies. Due to war with the Spanigh Armada, Queen Elizabeth impressed his ship into service, and he could not return until 1590. On Raleigh's return, when they approached the settlement, there was only silence. The houses had been taken down and a palisade constructed, on one post of which was carved "CROATAN," the name of a nearby island. The colonists had agreed on this kind of message if they had to leave Roanoke, but there was no Maltese cross, the signal that trouble had forced their departure. White's armour lay rusting in the sand, indicating that the colonist had been gone for some time. He wanted to sail to Croataon, but low provisions, the loss of sea anchors in a storm, and privateer's impatience prevented them from stopping there. Raleigh made several attempts to locate the colonists between 1590 and 1602, but no trace was found. Their fate will probably never be known. It is likely that they were attacked by Indians, and those not killed were assimilated into the local tribes.

In 1607, when the English established their first permanent settlement at Jamestown, they were well aware that a colony had been left on Roanoke Island twenty years earlier. The Jamestown colonists made several attempts to find the lost colonists; and investigated Indian reports of Europeans living at various locations; but no survivors ever surfaced. The fate of the lost colonists remains one of the great mysteries of American history.

The Jamestown Expo was held at Sewell's Point in 1907 in Norfolk VA to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown (along the James River) in the VA colony.  Thirty-six principal buildings and works were seen at the Exposition, including a boardwalk, government pier (with a naval review of 16 battleships), a 122 x 60 ft relief model of the Panama Canal, a wild animal show, a Wild West how, a San Francisco earthquake re-creation, railroad displays, a fire engine house, and 21 states funded houses (which bore their names like Pennsylvania House).  During the exposition, days were set aside to honor states individually (eg. Georgia Day on June 10, 1907). Perhaps the most popular attraction was a re-creation of the naval battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia which had taken place within sight of Sewell's Point 40 years earlier during the civil war.  Ships of two squadrons commanded by Admiral Robley Evans stood off in the bay from Sewell's Point. On opening day, an international fleet of fifty-one ships was on display. The fleet remained in Hampton Roads after the exposition closed and became President Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet under Admiral Evans, which toured the globe as evidence of the nation's military might.

A controversial feature of the exposition was its "Negro Building", designed by W. Sydney Pittman, which displayed African American Progress.  The building represented an achievement that few Southern whites would have thought possible: the building was architecturally elegant and was funded, designed and built by black Americans.  African American art exhibits and exhibits from both occupational and classical black educational institutions were represented, being one of the only exhibit series visited by President Roosevelt in either of his visits. While the overall exposition lost money, the African American exhibits in the building achieved nearly universal praise ,and the bank in the building recorded one the the expositions only profits.

Photos of a few SCDs from this expo include:

Uploaded files:
  • HK-346.jpg
  • HK-349a.jpeg

So I ran across the official medal on a hangar....

... the hangar top was apparently made by the George E. Benz Sr. (b.1854 d.1908), an engraver in St. Louis, MO.  He ran a company called the "St. Louis Engraving Co" (see attached 1884 ad) ... and also was part owner in "F. Dienstbier & Co, Jewelers".  I thought it was interesting to look into who made the hangar associated with this SCD on a hangar.  I wonder if he had a hand in the 1904 St. Louis Expo pieces on hangars ... and I found that there were A LOT of engravers in St. Louis... .this article showing the huge number and references this maker in the second part of the article:

Article Part I:
Article Part II:
I think Benz was German (kind of like the Heeren's of Pittsburgh PA who had a hand in HK-222).  His sons later formed a company in 1910 after their father's death (company led by George E. Benz Jr who was in business with his brother, Eugene A. Benz).  In 1910, the company was called the George E. Benz Badge & Regalia Co (see letterhead, although this was the sons), formed a few years after the father passed.
Uploaded files:
  • HK-346-var-badge-1.jpeg
  • HK-346-var-badge-2.jpeg
  • G.Benz-Badge-Back.JPG

Another fork in the road... I was wondering how many variations of the reverse dies on HK-349 exist; Jeff has told me there was "smoke" and "no smoke" on the reverse... but I have seen at least 5 variations; look close at these images (smoke, masts on the boats, flags, etc) and I think you will see a lot of variations....  maybe 16 to represent all the battleships at the expo ??

Uploaded files:
  • A.jpeg
  • B.jpeg
  • C.jpeg

More Variations

Uploaded files:
  • D.jpeg
  • E.jpeg