1936 Wisconsin Territorial Centennial


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1936
Mints: Philadelphia
Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.50 grams
Total Mintage: approx. 25,015


Authorized along with the Delaware and Bridgeport commemoratives on May 15, 1936 the legislation provides for a minimum mintage of 25,000 coins but no Maximum. Despite this the initial press run was only 25,015 (with 15 coins reserved for Assay) and there were no further coins produced. Eventually all coins were sold, though there were still coins for sale by the state of Wisconsin into the early 1950s.

The event commemorated is the 1836 establishment of the Wisconsin Territory (which was broken off of the Michigan territory). Wisconsin did not achieve statehood until 12 year later.

The original designer was a University of Wisconsin Art student David Parsons, but upon completion of his design it was rejected by the Mint and the Fine Arts Commission. The Fine Arts commission then hire Benjamin Hawkins to redesign the coin. The Wisconsin Territorial Centennial Commission insisted that the design include a badger and the Wisconsin Territorial Seal (which includes the arm holding a pickaxe and a pile of lead ore).

The final design is somewhat ambiguous as to which side is the Obverse. In fact many of the common reference books disagree with Q. David Bowers calling the Bader side the front while Swaitek and Breen call the pickaxe side the obverse. On the one side you find a Badger facing left on a small mound. Behind his shoulders is a vertical group of three arrows. Behind his rump is a stylized Olive Branch. Above the badgers back, between the arrows and the olive branch is the inscription “In God We Trust” and under his belly is an “H” for Benjamin Hawkins. Around the outer rim are the inscriptions “United States of America” across the top and “Half Dollar” along the bottom. Inside this ring of text is another ring in much smaller font which includes “E Pluribus Unum” across the top and “Liberty” along the bottom.

On the flip side we find a muscular arm holding a pickaxe above a pile of Ore. Below this device is the inscription “4th day of July Anno Domini 1836” which refers to the date that the first Territorial Governor, Henry Dodge was inaugurated. Around the outer edge is the inscription “Wisconsin Territorial Centennial” with stars at either end, and the date 1936 at the bottom of the coin.

Obverse Reverse
1936_wisconsin_obv_ebay.jpg 1936_wisconsin_rev_ebay.jpg

General Market Notes

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