The Kaiser Nickel 

In the early 1900's after the Indian Head or Buffalo Nickel was introduced in 1913 some modified nickels began to show up with the likeness of Kaiser Wilhelm II between the years of 1915 and 1918.  There are numerous news articles about the distribution of these nickels and the attempt to find the creator or distributors of these nickels.  Below are some articles featuring these nickels from 1915 through 1918.

Kaiser Wilhelm II on his horse
An article asking "Have you a Kaiser nickel?" from August 25th 1915 as it appeared in the Evening Public Ledger

An article about the Kaiser Nickel being the fad now from The Washington Herald, August 26, 1915.

This article featuring the half and half head shots of Kaiser ran in several papers across the country.

This article was from The Day Book dated September 23, 1915.

This article was from a Washington State publication of The Tacoma Times dated September 25, 1915.

Another of the half and half head articles from the Medford Mail Tribune in Oregon State dated October 5th, 1915

In this article from The Sun dated May 2, 1918 it states that the "Indian's Head Altered by Expert Engraver."

It would be interesting to see an example of what they considered an "expert engraver" of these Kaiser nickels.

An article published May 2, 1918 in the Evening Journal "Kaiser's Face on Buffalo Nickels"

This article was reprinted in Bo Tales a publication of The Original Hobo Nickel Society Winter 2020 edition.

This article was from The New York Times dated May 2, 1918.

This article starts off by asking if you can do the stunt that some are making popular. A good indication that perhaps new carvers were trying their hand at creating their own version of the Kaiser Nickel.  

Article from the Evening Capital and Maryland Gazette dated May 20, 1918.

An Internet example of a Kaiser Nickel

SSOIH Collection.

A Kaiser nickel in our collection on a 1916 Indian Head Nickel.  The date places it within the timeframe of the Kaiser craze that was going around approximately from 1915 through 1918 in the United States.

See Also: Project Kaiser - The Original Hobo Nickel Society

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