The 1884 World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition was held in New Orleans at least in part to advertise the city's commercial revitalization following the end of the Reconstruction era. Also to commemorate the centennial of the first shipment of cotton from the United States to England and to advertise the cotton industry.
The obverse features two allegorical figures: Lady Liberty stands holding Phrygian Cap and laurel crown; and Columbia sits behind US shield, holding a sword. Around them are various symbols of agriculture and industry (sheaf of grain, cotton plant, locomotive, stem boat, smoking factory and gears); ribbon legend reads "New Orleans" and inscribed along bottom reads "1884-5"
The reverse depicts corn, tobacco, wheat and other plants, a beehive and two medallions. Inscribed at center is "AWARDED BY THE WORLDS INDUSTRIAL AND COTTON CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION"