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Questions about a Coal Co. Token/Scrip


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Good morning. First time poster.

 

This past weekend, my mother was going through items in her house to get rid of. She had my brother and me go through boxes of things to be thrown away or kept. I found a token that I've been trying to find information on. I believe it was owned by my grandfather who was a coal miner in Harlen County Kentucky for all of his life.

 

On one side it reads: 10, INTER-MOUNTAIN COAL & LBR. CO. INC.

The other side reads: 10, IN TRADE, INSURANCE CREDIT SYSTEM, DAYTON, O., PAT'D JUNE '19

 

Some quick web research shows that this was the "Intermountain Coal & Lumber Company" which was located in Putney, Harlen County, Kentucky and was in operation from 1923-1941.

 

I found some good information on From these sites: http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~du...w/CoalScrip.htm

http://www.nationalscripcollectors.com/Hom...31/Default.aspx

 

Can anyone tell me anything more about this token or these sorts of coal co. tokens in general? I'm not interested in selling it, but can anyone tell me how rare it might be?

 

Thanks in advance.

token.jpg

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The write up you reference is a good introduction to the topic. I can add that federal court cases changed the nature of the use of scrip beyond the state laws the web page referenced. Some companies used scrip to control their costs, increase their profits, and manage their employees. Basically, the scrip was only good in the company store so the employee had no choice but to pay company prices. Some employees ended the month broke or in debt month after month. Eventually, the law forced companies to abandon these practices. I'm not familiar with the specific piece you picture, but one form of scrit (Ingle system tokens) was made to work in a custom register that only accepted the script and gave change in script.

 

I'm not familiar with the rarity of your particular piece. I'm guessing it is relatively common since it is part of a patented scrip system. Rare scrip generally comes from small mines in remote places, although many factors influence rarity. Some rare pieces have become common when a hoard is discovered and sold into the market place. A common piece might be worth anywhere from 50 cents to 5 dollars. Rare pieces could sell into the hundreds of dollars or more depending on age, rarity, whether a specific town and mine is indicated, the addition of pictoral elements, and collector interest.

 

Regardless of its value, you have a great memento from your grandfather's life.

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The write up you reference is a good introduction to the topic. I can add that federal court cases changed the nature of the use of scrip beyond the state laws the web page referenced. Some companies used scrip to control their costs, increase their profits, and manage their employees. Basically, the scrip was only good in the company store so the employee had no choice but to pay company prices. Some employees ended the month broke or in debt month after month. Eventually, the law forced companies to abandon these practices. I'm not familiar with the specific piece you picture, but one form of scrit (Ingle system tokens) was made to work in a custom register that only accepted the script and gave change in script.

 

I'm not familiar with the rarity of your particular piece. I'm guessing it is relatively common since it is part of a patented scrip system. Rare scrip generally comes from small mines in remote places, although many factors influence rarity. Some rare pieces have become common when a hoard is discovered and sold into the market place. A common piece might be worth anywhere from 50 cents to 5 dollars. Rare pieces could sell into the hundreds of dollars or more depending on age, rarity, whether a specific town and mine is indicated, the addition of pictoral elements, and collector interest.

 

Regardless of its value, you have a great memento from your grandfather's life.

 

Thanks for the additional info!

 

I was thinking of trying to find a similar scrip for my brother so we could both have one. Just found a $0.50 one went on eBay recently for about $7, plus $6 shipping. Might have to watch there.

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