1936 Cleveland Centennial and Great Lakes Exposition Half Dollar

1936 Cleveland Centennial and Great Lakes Exposition Half Dollar


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Cleveland, Ohio and the Great Lakes Exposition.

Maximum Number Authorized: a minimum of 25,000 pieces and maximum of 50,000 pieces.

Sale Price: $1.50


    Obverse – Brenda Putnam

A bust of Moses Cleaveland facing left. He is wearing a wig. The name “MOSES CLEAVELAND” appears just above his head. The incused initials of the designer is below the bust.

Online Resource: https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Moses_Cleaveland


   Reverse – Brenda Putnam

A map of the Great Lakes region including nine stars to represent its cities. The cities include Duluth, Milwaukee, Chicago, Toledo, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Toronto and Rochester. The star representing Cleveland is the largest. A large compass appears over the map. The inscription “1836 GREAT LAKES EXPOSITION 1936 CLEVELAND CENTENNIAL” surrounds the map. 


50,000 dollars were struck for the public in total. 25,000 were struck in 1936 and the remaining were struck the following year. All of the coins were made at the Philadelphia Mint and all have the same date. No coins were returned.

Great Lakes Exposition Online Resource: http://www.clevelandmemory.org/glihc/glexpo/index.html 


  • Celebrating their 20th anniversary in 1941, the Western Reserve Numismatic Club of Cleveland counter-stamped 100 Cleveland half dollars with the club's name. The Secret Service requested that they be turned in and it is estimated that 75 owners complied. Coins were counter-stamped by the club to celebrate their 50th and 75th anniversary as well.

  • The city of Cleveland was established in 1796. Moses Cleaveland, who owned a share in the Connecticut Land Company, led the effort. He helped design the settlement, then returned to his home in Connecticut, never to visit the Ohio area again. 

  • The spelling of the city “C'leaveland” was changed to “Cleveland” in 1831 to fit the masthead of the city newspaper, The Cleveland Advertiser. 

For more information:

Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek 

KWS Publishers (2012)

Commemorative Coins of the United States Identification and Price Guide by Anthony J. Swiatek

Amos Press Publishers (2001)

 The 1936-1937 Great Lakes Exposition by Brad Schwartz

 Arcadia Publishing (2016)


Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek

KWS Publishers (2012)

The Encyclopedia of United States Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins 1892 to 1954 by Anthony Swiatek and Walter Breen

Arco Publishing, Inc. (1981)

 1936 Cleveland Centennial Obverse       1936 Cleveland Centennial Reverse

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