Rare 1873 Silver Chicago Fire Medal Dies by William Barber. Illinois. Chicago. 1873 Chicago Fire. Se

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Rare 1873 Silver Chicago Fire Medal Dies by William Barber. Illinois. Chicago. 1873 Chicago Fire. Se
300.00USD+ (60.00) buyer's premium + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2018 Sep 21 @ 20:21UTC-7 : PDT/MST
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Rare 1873 Silver Chicago Fire Medal
Dies by William Barber. Illinois. Chicago. 1873 Chicago Fire. Second Anniversary Commemorative. Silver. Plain Edge. 51 mm. 660.5 grains. Holed for Suspension. Choice AU, Nearly as Struck. Obv: city scene in flames, angel flying left above with sword and torch, CHICAGO OCT. 8-9 1871 / FORT DEARBORN CHICO. / 1812. in exergue, tiny W. BARBER at left base of conflagration scene. Rev: SECOND ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL IN COMMEMORATION OF THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE OCT. 8-9 1871 around an inner beaded circle, MADE AT / THE INTER-STATE / INDUSTRIAL / EXPOSITION / OF CHICAGO OCT. 1873 / CHICAGO REBUILT POP. 400,000 / IN 1823 POP. 50 / DEDICATED IN GRATITUDE / TO THE / WORLD within inner circle. A deep steel-gray specimen with splashes on deep blue in a bold light source, and with bold-relief design elements and excellent eye appeal throughout. One of 500 pieces reportedly struck, though we have no record of how many were actually distributed. The present example in only faintly marked, no doubt the signs of handling over the last 145 years, but the surfaces are still choice by any standards. Scarce and desirable - perhaps this will hammer to a citizen of the Windy City.
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The Great Chicago Fire began on the night of October 8, 1871 and raged uncontrollably through the next day and night, October 9, destroying an estimated 17,500 structures! Block after city block was taken by the raging firestorm, and numerous deaths - some 300+ in fact - and injuries were tallied as well. Legend has it that a cow owned by one Mrs. O’Leary kicked over a lantern in her barn - some say it was illegal gamblers who kicked over the lantern - which started the violent conflagration. By the time the fire crew arrived at O’Leary’s place, the flames had already spread to numerous buildings. Chicago counted 185 firefighters and 17 horse-drawn fire wagons among its forces, a total that proved woefully inadequate almost from the start. The fire eventually took out 2,000+ acres of Chicago real estate, and buildings alone were not the only casualties. Some 73 miles of roadway and 120 miles of sidewalk disappeared in the blaze. A strip some four miles long and up to ¾ mile wide in areas was destroyed, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless and destroying an estimated $220+ million dollars in property (in 1871 dollars). The whole world responded to the emergency; New York city came through with $450,000 along with clothing and provisions, St. Louis anted-up $300,000, and even the Common Council of London sent along 1,000 gold guineas, as well as £7,000 from private donations. Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Cleveland, all commercial rivals of Chicago, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars. Milwaukee, along with other nearby cities, helped by sending fire-fighting equipment. Additionally, food, clothing and books were brought by train from all over the continent. Chicago Mayor Mason placed the Chicago Relief and Aid Society in ultimate charge of the city’s relief efforts.