Philadelphia Sesqui-centennial Exposition 1926

Image of fairgrounds The Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition of 1926 was a world's fair in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the 50th anniversary of the 1876 Centennial Exposition.

The honor of hosting this celebration was awarded to Philadelphia in 1921. Initial grand plans were scaled down tremendously by the time the fair opened. The original director of the exposition, Colonel David C. Collier, resigned in protest over these budget cuts. His replacement, Captain Asher C. Baker, retired due to illness days before the festival opened, leaving things in the Image of fair logo hands of E. L. Austin. Baker died less than two weeks later.

The fair opened on May 31, 1926, and ran through November on grounds bounded by 10th Street, Packer Avenue, 23rd Street, and the U.S. Navy Yard (Terminal Avenue) in South Philadelphia. Originally known as League Island Park, these grounds are now occupied by FDR Park, Marconi Plaza, Packer Park Residential Neighborhood, the three stadiums of Philadelphia's massive South Philadelphia Sports Complex (Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field, and Citizens Bank Park), and the Philadelphia Eagles training complex which now occupy that portion of the grounds which from 1933 to 1993 were the site of Philadelphia Naval Hospital (demolished 2001).

The senior draftsman for the design of the exposition buildings was a young Louis Kahn, later a world-renowned architect, then working under City Architect John Molitor. Sculptor Charles Tefft was chosen as the director of sculpture for the fair while noted Philadelphia sculptor and artist Albert Laessle created the fair's Medals of Award.

The fair drew a much smaller crowd than anticipated (about 10 million people). It ended up unable to cover its debts and was placed into receivership in 1927, at which point its assets were sold at auction.

Click on the Medals tab to see some of the medals issued for this exposition.

Click or tap the medals to see their reverse sides.

Philadelphia Sesqui-Centennial Exposition Award Medal1926

Leassle designed this medal for an exposition on his "home turf" in Philadelphia. The obverse bears an eagle standing guard over nest with two eggs in front of Independence Hall and rising sun. Signature ALBERT LAESSLE. The reverse bears a laurel wreath around central field with rising sun and legend MEDAL OF AWARD. Around, SESQUICENTENNIAL - INTERNATIONAL - EXPOSITION - PHILADELPHIA / 1776 - 1926.

The medal measures 76mm in diameter and was struck by Baily Banks & Biddle Co., Philadelphia.

Laessle himself won his design in gold at this exposition.

References: Marqusee 235

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The Exposition's Wikipedia entry
I sourced most non-medallic information from here.