Token I.D ?
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  1. #1
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    Jan 2009
    South East Tennessee on Ga, Ala line
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    Token I.D ?

    Appreciate the help. Here is the front and back.
    TnMtns
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  2. #2

    Aug 2003
    2,073
    1032 times

    Re: Token I.D ?

    There is a bit of controversy over how to properly attribute this one. Koppers Stores, Inc. was headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, but there were stores at many of their coal mine locations in WV, PA, and KY. The Beardsfork, WV store is considered by many to be the proper attribution.

    The history of the Koppers Coal Company (the Kopper Stores, Inc. company was a subsidiary) can be found at http://www.koppers.com/htm/OurCo_Heri_OldBD.html and http://www.koppers.com/htm/OurCo_Heri_Main.html

    These tokens were used as part of the practices that led to the song first recorded by Merle Travis and later made a hit by Tennessee Ernie Ford, "Sixteen Tons". The workers were not paid enough to keep their families fed and they had to resort to borrowing against their future wages just to make ends meet. The company paid these advances in the form of tokens that could only be spent at the company store.

    John in ID

  3. #3
    Charter Member
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    Re: Token I.D ?

    John
    Thank you for the quick and thorough I.D. I imagine then that this is a fairly common token?
    How well I know the song.. Sixteen tons and what do you get. Another day older and deeper in Debt. I owe my soul to the company store.
    Wow !! So this is one of the company stores. Neat piece of America.
    Thank you sir.
    TnMtns
    Here is the song you spoke of..

    Please read our rules and enjoy the site. TreasureNet.com Rules

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  4. #4

    Aug 2003
    2,073
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    Re: Token I.D ?

    The Koppers Stores tokens are fairly common for tokens, but the total "mintage" of the series probably is far less than the rarest Lincoln Cent. Supply and demand keeps the price at under a few bux, but the value is in the history behind them.
    John in ID

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

    Oct 2004
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    Re: Token I.D ?

    The Childs Company of Chicago, Illinois was the 1st to apply for a patent of its (coal script) token design or system in 1899. The Ingle Company received a similar patent in 1909 and the Insurance Credit System followed in 1919. Other early coal scrip makers were Wright & Sons, Cincinnati, Ohio; Southern Rubber Stamp Works, Richmond, Virginia; S. H. Quints & Sons of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Murdock Stamp and Specialty Company. The Ingle Company later became Ingle Schierloh Company of Dayton, Ohio. In 1920 Wiley Osborne purchased Murdock Stamp and Specialty Co. and in 1924 the Insurance Credit System and changed their name to the Osborne Register Company with the trade mark “ORCO”. After Ingle Schierloh Co. ceased operations, ORCO eventually became the “King” of the scrip token business.

    More on the history of coal mine script (and the source of the above) can be found here:
    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ky...y_Freddie.html

  6. #6
    Charter Member
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    Jan 2009
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    Re: Token I.D ?

    Thank youy guys. The Orco even nails down the time frame a little better. The history of this token far out weighs the value.
    I appreciate your time and research
    HH
    TnMtns
    Please read our rules and enjoy the site. TreasureNet.com Rules

    All finds posted by me are from private property with landowner permission.

  7. #7
    us
    Jan 2009
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    Re: Token I.D ?

    Nice little piece of history there. Man you gotta love the knowledge and the helpfulness of many of the members here. Interesting read here considering I'm in and around the heart of coal country and in close proximity to the aforementioned cities and towns. Good stuff guys.
    " Stay frosty, gents "

    www.arrowheadtalk.com

  8. #8
    us
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    Re: Token I.D ?

    Just curious, but after reading all of the posts, and not seeing anything mentioning Ohio, I was wondering if this company had offices in Ohio. If you look at the front of it, it says Cincinnati, Ohio on it.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Jan 2009
    South East Tennessee on Ga, Ala line
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    Re: Token I.D ?

    I beleive MacKaydoN gave this info on the token."early coal scrip makers were Wright & Sons, Cincinnati, Ohio; ".
    Please read our rules and enjoy the site. TreasureNet.com Rules

    All finds posted by me are from private property with landowner permission.

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

    Oct 2004
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    Re: Token I.D ?

    In another reference, the company was noted to have a facility in Portsmouth, Ohio.

  11. #11

    Aug 2016
    WV
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    Found a Koppers Stores, Inc. Token this weekend. I almost put into my trash pouch. I'm glad I kept it.
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