Online Collection

Commemorative coin depicting the Southern Rock Island Plow Company building

Object Number: 1999.005.0001
Category: Artifacts
Type of Object: Coin
Dimensions: 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Medium: Metal
A metal coin with engraving of the Southern Rock Island Plow Company building on one side. One side of the coin shows a cube-shaped building, five stories tall. Two small smoke stacks or chimneys are visible on the roof. "Dallas" and "Texas" are printed above and below the building. The other side shows a plow under a cloud; a circle with three curls surrounds the plow and cloud.

The building on the coin is the Southern Rock Island Plow Company Building, originally built in 1898, destroyed by fire in 1901. The building was rebuilt - with an extra two stories - and was later known as the Texas School Book Depository.
Curator's Notes

Since we acquired it in 1999, this has been one of my favorite objects in the Museum’s collection.  While I had previously known the history of the buildings on the site, it wasn’t until I saw this coin and its depiction of the original five-story building on the site that I was struck by the “what ifs” it brings to mind.  What if the original five-story structure had not burned down and been rebuilt as a seven-story structure and there had thus been no sixth floor in 1963?  Would things have happened any differently?  Every time I see this object it puts me in a speculative frame of mind. – Megan Bryant, Director of Collections & Intellectual Property

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