View of Lynchburg From Across the James River

The Tokens of Charles J. Raine of Lynchburg Va

Born in Appomattox Virginia in 1834, Charles John Raine arrived in Lynchburg Virginia sometime in the mid-1850s. Shortly after his arrival, he formed a partnership with Robert Henry Glass, and the two men opened a clothing store.

The Apothecary & Soda Tokens of A.B. Taylor

Born January 6th 1824 in the city of Philadelphia, Alfred Bower Taylor began his pharmaceutical career at a very early age. During the early 1860s Taylor was a prolific advertiser, placing ads in local newspapers, as well as issuing a large variety of storecards. During his long and prosperous pharmacy career …

The Kittanning Bridge Company & Its Tokens

The Kittanning Bridge Company was formed in 1838 by an act of the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Its purpose was to construct a bridge across the Allegheny River and connect the towns of Kittanning with West Kittanning PA. Until that time there was no fixed bridge that crossed the Allegheny River …

Panoramic of Columbia, South Carolina c.1859, Augustus Grinevald

The Curious R.E. Russell Token Decrypted

Speculation has long existed that the R.E. Russell storecard was struck for a New York City business. Featuring Lewis Feuchtwanger’s iconic eagle design, the merchant’s actual whereabouts has long been a numismatic mystery. Featuring a reverse design with a denomination of 12½ cents …

The Fenian Brotherhood Token of 1866

Shortly before the American Civil War, an Irish nationalist militia was formed in the U.S. Founded by Irish immigrants it was known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Functioning as an arm of the Irish Republican Brotherhood in Ireland, its goal was Irish independence from British rule …

Recent Features

Hot Dog Inventor Charles Feltman & His Tokens

In 1867 German Immigrant Charles Feltman invented the American Hot Dog. Before there was Nathan’s there was Feltman’s. History has a way of only remembering its victors, and in the case of Coney Island hot dogs, the annals of history certainly possesses a case of amnesia …

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Attributing the 1788 Barbadoes Coppers

There exists very little documentation about the 1788 Barbadoes copper penny emissions. What does exist is scant, and from a diagnostic perspective, it is quite difficult to casually and easily attribute a specific variety when an example is encountered …

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The Umbrella & Parasol Tokens of William Drown

William A. Drown Parasols and Umbrellas

During the 19th century Philadelphia was the umbrella and parasol capital of the United States. Unlike the inexpensive contraptions we take for granted today, during the 19th century the manufacture of these devices required skilled labor capable of crafting intricate components …

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Durfee & Peck’s Indian Trader Tokens

The year is 1867, the place is the civilian trading post named Fort Union, Dakota Territory. A matte of muted green native grasses stands knee high along river’s banks. On the terraces above the water can be seen Indian teepees and campfires, spaced along the river’s edge …

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The “Model Artist’s” Theatre and Its Token

Mata Hari Model Artists

In the 1850s entertainment ventures started opening in New York City that made tableaux vivants their primary bill. Tableaux vivants — the forerunner of burlesque — featured actors, mostly women, posing nude or semi-nude under the guise of replicating master artworks …

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Scotland’s Deanston Cotton Mill Tokens

Finished in 1785, the Deanston Cotton Mill in Pirthshire, Scotland was built alongside the River Teith to harness the river’s power. Before modern automation, child labor laws and safety regulations, in its early years very young children worked at the factory …

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The Machin’s Mills Counterfeit Halfpence

Operating in total secrecy, the mint was located in upstate New York, about 60 miles north of New York City. Most of its minting activities were done at night, under cover of darkness. Despite this, the number of counterfeits that the clandestine mint struck were prolific …

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Entrepreneur Frank Butler & His Palace Market Tokens

Born in 1885 in rural Du Pont Georgia, Frank Bertran Butler came from humble beginnings. Not to be deterred by his roots, however, he moved to St. Augustine, where he opened many successful businesses, including a grocery store, a hotel, a casino, and a beach front resort …

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Coney Island’s Elephantine Colossus Tokens

The Elephantine Bazaar

The Elephantine Colossus was built on Coney Island in 1885. Prior to the the Statue of Liberty, it was the first man-made landmark seen by immigrants as they steamed into New York harbor. The mammoth building served as a hotel, museum, observatory, and even a brothel …

The Ghost Town Tokens of Thurber, Texas

The remains of Thurber, Texas are located in the northwestern portion of Erath County, about 75 miles west of Fort […]

The Roxbury Coaches & Its Omnibus Tokens

In 1826 entrepreneur Brooks Bowman started the first hourly passenger service between Roxbury and Boston Massachusetts. Running coaches six days a week, he named his fleet ‘The Roxbury Coaches,’ and created a transportation empire that lasted over three decades …

The Bailey & Company Jewelry Store Tokens

The Bailey & Co began its existence as the Bailey & Kitchen Jewelry Company in 1830. Founded by Joseph Trowbridge […]

The Hernsheim Brothers’ Cigar Tokens

In the year 1857 Simon Hernsheim, a native of New Orleans, established a tobacco company in the city.  Born in […]

The Store at Alleghany Furnace & Its Scrip

The Alleghany Furnace was established by Andrew Henderson and Robert Allison in 1811. For 8 years the partnership was in […]