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2023 Indiana Innovation Dollar

2023 Indiana Innovation Dollar

The CFA believes focusing on a single-vehicle is important in honoring Indiana’s automotive heritage.

Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler are generally the first companies that come to mind when American car buyers think of American cars. However, many automakers established themselves in the early part of the 20th century, including here in Indiana. The Hoosiers produced both high-end, luxury models and more affordable, equally appealing versions. They were also among the first electric vehicle manufacturers in Indianapolis.

Every manufacturer in Indiana was constantly pushing internal combustion engines to their limits: The Apperson Automobile Company of Kokomo produced the Anniversary Eight model, known for its comfort. The Inter-State Automobile Company of Muncie had cars that remain beautiful even today. And the Auburn Automobile Company produced the first rear-wheel-drive car in the country.

A steady expansion of the Indiana automotive industry occurred until the Great Depression hit, leading to the closure of numerous companies or the sale of their manufacturing infrastructure to larger companies. Even though this era of Indiana history has come to an end, its influence can still be felt to this day.

Indiana’s Automobile Industry

Ford’s industrial revolution benefited from steel’s cheap and easy production by creating factory assembly lines and interchangeable parts. Without the invention of the automobile, life would be very different, and Indiana dominated the industry during the automobile era.

Car designer Elwood Haynes created the first successful model and tested his first car in Kokomo on July 4, 1894. One and a half miles later, he was driving his vehicle at a speed of seven miles per hour on Pumkinvine Pike in Kokomo. As a result, the Apperson brothers teamed up with Haynes and built some of the first American cars. They sold more than 7,000 cars by 1916 until Detroit went bankrupt in 1924.

Over 40 automobile factories were located in Indiana, including the following:

  • Its largest manufacturer, Studebaker, was founded in 1901 before closing its doors 60 years later in 1963. 
  • In Indianapolis, the Cole Motor Car Company was founded in 1909. Their automobile became the first presidential vehicle in U.S. history when William Taft received it before closing in 1925. 
  • Marmon Motor Car Company started as a flour mill machinery company before focusing on automobiles and their luxury car, the Marmon. The last Marmon was made in 1933, during the company’s bankruptcy.
  • Another Indianapolis-based automaker, Stutz, was owned by Bethlehem Steel tycoon Charles M. Schwab. Developing an auto manufacturing enterprise was his dream. Sports cars such as Stutz Bearcats enjoyed considerable popularity in the 1920s. The company ceased operations in 1936.
  • Indianapolis automaker, Dusenberg, was most famous for producing its luxury car, the Dusenberg. This automobile was designed for the wealthy; many people believe that Dusenberg (and Auburn/Cord) vehicles were the best cars ever built (and still are). But by 1937, luxury cars became obsolete due to the Depression and a change in taste of automobiles.
  • George Milburn of Mishawaka, Indiana, was a true visionary and designed a vehicle unique for his time: A car powered entirely by electricity. His most famous automobiles were the electric coupes driven by Woodrow Wilson’s secret serviceman during World War I. The value of vehicles produced in his Mishawaka plant was reportedly $446,653,000 for the year ending July 1, 1873. However, that same year, the town of Mishawaka fought him over the production of automobiles. Milburn requested the installation of railroad tracks to connect his factory to the Lake Shore railway, but the mayor and other town council members could not grant this request. Due to growing tensions between Mr. Milburn and Mishawaka, the Milburn Wagon Works were closed and relocated to Toledo, Ohio. 

Characteristics of the American Innovation Dollar

Indiana’s increasing interest in racing is reflected in the design of the start line, which features an old-fashioned race car. The automobile required numerous improvements due to racing, such as a rearview mirror.

The dollar coins design reads, United States of AmericaAutomobile Industry, and Indiana at the bottom of the coin.

2023 Indiana Automobile Industry – American Innovation Dollars
Authorizing Legislation: H.R. 770, American Innovation $1 Coin Act
Click here to buy the 2023 Indiana Innovation Dollar on eBay

2023 Indiana Innovation Dollar
2023 Indiana Innovation Dollar Sketch

Dollar Obverse Inscriptions

In God We Trust

Dollar Reverse Inscriptions

United States of America
Automobile Industry

Incused Edge Inscriptions

Mint Mark
E Pluribus Unum

Mint & Dollar Mint Marks
Denver and Philadelphia in Business Strikes
San Francisco in Proof and Reverse Proof Strikes

Available Dollar Mint Strikes
Business, Proof & Reverse Proof

American Innovation Dollar Specifications

Composition:  88.5% Copper, 6% Zinc, 3.5% Manganese and 2% Nickel
Weight: 8.1 grams
Thickness: 2.0mm
Edge: Incused Letter
Diameter: 26.49mm           

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