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The plaquette's obverse bears U.S.S. Nashville at sea within roped border. At upper right, U.S.S. / NASHVILLE; signed at lower right, J · H · RIPSTRA
The reverse bears several lines of inscription, · ARRIVAL · OF · / · U · S · NASHVILLE · / · IN · CHICAGO · HARBOR · JUNE · 4 · 1909 · / · FIRED · FIRST · SHOT · / · IN · SPANISH - AMERICAN · WAR · / CHICAGO NUMISMATIC SOCIETY - · MEDALLIC · SERIES · 1909
The U.S.S. Nashville became famous for firing the first shot in the Spanish-American war. She captured four Spanish vessels and assisted in the cutting of the undersea cable to Cienfuegos. She was decommissioned in 1906 and transfered to the Great Lakes with her new homeport at Chicago.
This plaquette was the first art medal issued by the Chicago Numismatic Society, the precursor to the Chicago Coin Club.
The rounded ractangular plaquette measures 76mm x 38mm and was struck in bronze and silver. The reported mintage is 500 pieces in bronze and 100 in silver. The original price for a bronze was 75 cents and for a silver $2.50.