Posted 5 years ago
Some of the most interesting medals are those that are U.S. Navy related but not navy issues. One such medal is for the Kiel Canal grand opening of 1895. The Kiel Canal which was one of Kaiser Bill‘s pet projects, connects the North Sea and the Baltic Sea thus eliminating the need for ships to sail around the Jutland Peninsula. In a time when fancy military uniforms were the fashion, the grand opening of such an important canal was an event which Germany played to the hilt. Fourteen countries including the United States, sent fifty-one war ships to the grand opening ceremony held on June 20, 1895. As was often the case when the navy went cruising a medal was sure to follow. This was also a time when the US government had a balanced budget and so in order to insure that the US Navy would participate there was an organized fund drive by patriotic citizens to finance the trip. The medal illustrated here was issued to commemorate the fund raising for the trip. The 38 mm antique gold finished bronze medal is suspended from a pin back broach. The obverse has an allegorical woman holding an open book and an emblem of medicine and commerce. The reverse is inscribed “AWARDED FOR RECOGNIZED MERITORIOUS SERVICES TO THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC FOR INDUSTRIAL THRIFT FROM $200,000 FUND FOUNDED BY ASSOCIATED PATRIOTIC SOCIETIES AMERICAN CREDIT MENS AND NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL ASSN’S TO HELP CARRY THE STARS AND STRIPES OVER THE KIEL CANAL“ within a shield shaped border. So who do you think got the medals? Why the fund raisers of course!