Lewis and Clark Exposition

This page can be slow loading due to the several pictures.

My major collecting interest today is coins, tokens and exonumia that relate to the only major Exposition that Oregon has had, namely 'The Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition' from 1904 and 1905. (Exonumia is a hobby word that probably is not in a regular dictionary. It basically means something that is coin-like but is not an actual coin.)

Some of these tokens are listed in the book by Hibler and Kappen, SO-CALLED DOLLARS. Another useful list is in the article by Terry Trantow, THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPOSITION published in the June 1968 edition of the TAMS Journal. These lists are good starting places, but more work needs to be done.

Two issues make it very difficult to describe a collection. The first issue is that the lists by Trantow and H&K are strangely organized. The numbering (and especially lettering) systems are non-intuitive. Clearly what has happened, is that as additional pieces are discovered, they have been squeezed into the lists by adding a letter to an already used number. The other difficult issue is that every piece seems to come in a bewildering variety of metals and finishes. In particular, deciding if a worn piece is bronze, brass, gilt bronze, gilt brass, plated copper or any of the other esoteric varieties listed by Trantow seems impossible. I will concentrate much more on die varieties, and avoid some of the metal debates. Eventually, it could be worthwhile to invent a new numbering system, using numbers for the different die combos, and letters for the different metal and finish combos. But for now I will resist that impulse. The last thing we need is yet another incomplete list, and I too keep finding new material!

Due to the large amount of material covered, I have somewhat randomly broken this down into several web pages. Here is the current state of my collection, cross referenced to the article by Trantow:

So called dollars as listed by Hibler and Kappen (Trantow items 1 through 4) are on their own page. They are described here:
Go to the so called dollar page

A page showing the problems third party grading firms have had, sorting out the so-called dollars is here:
Go to the slabbed page

Watch fobs (includes Trantow items 6a, 8a and 20a) are on their own page:
Go to the fob page

Pieces (other than fobs) that are holed or looped for suspension are here:
Go to the suspended page

The large 2.5 inch award medal (includes Trantow items 15a, 15b and 15c) has a page just for it:
Go to the Trantow item 15 page

All encased coins (includes Trantow items 22a and 22b, and many others) are on their own page. They are described here:
Go to the encasement page

The start of a page showing celluloid buttons (Trantow 14) and silk ribbons is here:
Go to the button/ribbon page


Everything else, remains on this page! Keep on scrolling down.


Trantow 6a, usually is found not looped. An example with two loops is also known as part of a watch fob.
Here are the obverses of two examples of Trantow 6a:


Here are the reverses of Trantow 6a:


Trantow 7b, (Trantow's numbering system is confusing. This piece is completely different from 7a and I do not understand why it does not rate a unique number!) I have several examples of this Wonder Millinery piece.
Here are the obverses of Trantow 7b:


Here are the reverses of Trantow 7b:


A piece that is very close to the looped pieces (e.g. Trantow 8a and 8b) used in watch fobs, is an unlisted piece issued by Haseltine. This piece does not appear to be looped, so it is listed here instead of with the watch fob page.

Here is the obverse:


Here is the reverse:


An unlisted and unlooped piece that is somewhat similar to 9a has been reported courtesy of Mike Locke California Gold (see www.calgoldcoin.com).
Here is the obverse:OBVERSE
Here is the reverse:REVERSE

Trantow 10a, is the 1904 Lewis and Clark gold $1 commemorative coin. I have a slabbed NGC AU-55 example.
Trantow 10b, is the 1905 dated $1 coin, and I have a beat up and bent example.
Trantow 10c, is a private issue 25 cent gold token, and I have one in my collection.
Trantow 10d, is a private gold 50 cent token, and I have two.
Here are the obverses of my five gold pieces:


Here are the reverses:


There is another gold token, that is not listed by Trantow. I am indebted to Mike Locke for the information that I do have on this rare token.
The 1905 dated obverse has a miner on it, and this same obverse die has been used on a Nevada token. The reverse side mentions the Lewis and Clark Exposition and has a plain looking wreath design. Recently Heritage auctioned a lot of three gold tokens, which included this miner token along with the 25 cent and 50 cent tokens that Trantow lists as 10c and 10d. The lot sold for $4255.00, and a 15% buyers fee must be added on to that price! The pictures from the Heritage auction are large (over 180k each) and available here: OBVERSE REVERSE

Trantow 11a, 11b, 11c and 11d are different sizes and metals with the same basic design. 11a and 11b are the size of gold dollars, with 11a supposed to be plain bronze with a loop and 11b being gilt bronze. I have five examples that come from two different sets of dies. The two looped pieces on the stickpins have thinner faces on the portraits and tend to be darker. The other three pieces have wider, squarish portraits, tend to be shinier, and come both looped and unlooped. This piece also has been seen as a set of cufflinks, but with the back side being blank instead of showing Mt. Hood. 11c and 11d are supposed to be 22 and 26 millimeters in size, but have not been seen by me. An Ebay item that probably is either 11c or 11d has been seen online.
Five examples of 11a and 11b:


Here are the reverses:


A slabbed version of 11b can be seen here: SLABBED


The cufflink examples can be seen here: OBVERSE REVERSE


The EBay example that may be 11c or 11d can be seen here: 11cd.jpeg

Trantow 14a, 14b, 14c, 14d are listed on the celluloid button/silk ribbon page.
Go to the celluloid button/silk ribbon page

Trantow 15a, 15b and 15c, are large 2.5 inch award medals. I have made a page just for these beautiful items, with several pictures:
Go to the Trantow item 15 page

Trantow 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, and 16f, are rolled cents. I have avoided collecting rolled cents.

Trantow 17a, 17b and 17c (Jury on County Awards) are pieces I have not seen.

Trantow 19a, (Championship) I do not have. It is odd that Trantow listed this item, as he did not normally list non-round pieces. An example was sold on ebay, complete with presentation box and ribbon (!) and described as probably being silver (Trantow only lists bronze). The picture from ebay can be viewed here: PHOTO
Another, regular bronze example can be viewed here: OBVERSE REVERSE
Another example, without the ribbon and loop can be seen here: OBVERSE REVERSE

Trantow 21a, (Indian head) I do not have. An example from ebay can be viewed here: OBVERSE REVERSE

Trantow 22a and 22b, are encased cents, and are listed on their own page.

Curiously, there is no Trantow number 23.

Trantow 24a has a confusing description, and no picture. I believe he is describing an employee badge, with serial number of 2429. However, the employee badges that I have seen pictures of do not have 'busts of Lewis & Clark on scroll' as Trantow describes 24a. Badges numbered 1655, 2422 and 2433 have sold on ebay. Those badge obverses from ebay can be seen here: OBVERSE1655 OBVERSE2422 OBVERSE2433. A typical reverse can be seen here: REVERSE1655

Trantow 25a and 25b, are buttons, which I do not collect.

Trantow 26a, is the piece from Fritz's Theatre, and it presents a mystery. I have two versions, one like 26a and one with one side mostly planed off. However, a little bit of lettering remains, and that lettering does NOT match with the design that is 'supposed' to be there.
Obverses like Trantow 26a:



The left reverse is Trantow 26a, the right reverse is unclear. In the lower right corner it looks like there is an "L" or perhaps a "T" turned the other way. The scan does not show it, but in the upper right corner there is a clear "A". The letters are further from the edge of the coin than on the regular 26a reverse. I now believe it to be a planed off version of the Theo Trautmann piece, described next.:



An unlisted piece that shares the obverse of Trantow 26a but has a different reverse, has been offed on ebay. The obverse from ebay can be seen here: Trautmann obverse
And the reverse here: Trautmann reverse

Trantow 27a, is a piece I do not have. It is an aluminum piece, about the size of a dime, that says 1905 on one side.

Go to the main page
mrjohngilbert@earthlink.net