WWI Museum Exhibit

Called “The Great War” and more optimistically “The War to End All Wars,” World War I was an event that changed the world’s political map and the fabric of civilization. 

To honor the 100th anniversary of United States involvement in World War I, the Money Museum, operated by the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and located adjacent to Colorado College, is unveiling its newest exhibit: Trenches to Treaties: World War I in Remembrance.

The exhibit showcases coins and paper money from combatant nations, art medals and military decorations, as well as weapons and uniforms to illustrate the events and effects of World War I politically, economically and socially. 

Trenches to Treaties: World War I in Remembrance runs through November 2018.

Click here to explore the WWI Virtual Exhibit.

Explore WWI Through Fascinating Artifacts

Notable artifacts on display include rare military decorations (awarded for heroism) such as the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor and the French Croix de guerre; personal items soldiers carried in the field; dog tags, military badges and insignia; propaganda and satirical medals; plus a trench that replicates the front lines of battle.

"Trenches to Treaties explores World War I with money and beautiful, thought-provoking medals. Themes range from finance, propaganda, art and commemoration,” said Money Museum Director and Curator Doug Mudd. “Exciting interactives include a life-size trench and operating morse code keys as used in trench communications. Come learn about the crash of the gold standard, merchant submarines and the role of pigeons!"

History of World War I

More than 17 million people perished during WWI, and the unprecedented bloodshed was accompanied by social upheaval and revolution as ancient empires crumbled and new nations were established. 

The war grew to encompass nations from across the globe, with battlefields in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific and most of the world’s seaways. Warfare was industrialized with horrific new weapons while propaganda campaigns ensured that civilians supported the war no matter what the cost.

The entry of the United States into World War I in April of 1917 on the side of the Allies was decisive.  American industry and agriculture ensured that Great Britain and France could continue to fight in spite of German successes, and American manpower eventually overpowered the German armies on the Western Front.  Meanwhile, the U.S. replaced Britain as the world’s banker, becoming the greatest financial power on earth.

Denver Post Headline: November 10, 1918

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Denver Post Headline: November 11, 1918

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Red Cross Medals of World War I

World War I inspired a fascinating array of medallic art and popular subject was the Red Cross – a worldwide organization that played a critical humanitarian role in the war and is still relevant today. These medals were created to commemorate and raise funds for the Red Cross during and after the war. “Trenches to Treaties: World War I on Remembrance” showcases many of these beautiful pieces of art.


The International Committee of the Red Cross


The concept for the Red Cross was created in 1859 at the Battle of Solferino during the War of Italian Unification. Swiss businessman Henry Dunant witnessed 40,000 dead and wounded men on the battlefield without medical attention. He proposed an agency to provide humanitarian aid during wartime and an international treaty recognizing the neutrality of the agency.

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(American Red Cross medal 1919)
United States, American Red Cross medal, 1919, bronze, by Daniel Chester French.

Obv: American doughboy facing left.


Courtesy of Richard Jewell

To The Homeward Bound Americans

By B. Van Vorst

Paris: Lang, Blanchong & Co, 1919


This pamphlet was produced as a souvenir of appreciation given by the French people to American soldiers returning home after WWI. The introduction is written by Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Ferdinand Foch and conveys how much the presence of American soldiers meant to France. 

The pamphlet outlines the history of America’s entry into the war, its contributions and the battles in which U.S. forces participated, and includes sections describing the contributions of French women the other allies, and the material cost of the war.

Click the right arrow on the slide player to advance through the pamphlet. You may also view the slides in full-screen mode by selecting the box to the left of the gear icon.

WWI Articles From The Numismatist