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  1. #1

    Oct 2005
    NW AR
    Explorer 2
    23

    Canning factory tokens

    Over the past year I have found three canning factory tokens, two of which have numbers on the back. I believe the numbers indicate the tokens were a form of payment. The tokens are from the Cane Hill Canning Co. in Cane Hill, AR; Cain Canning Co. in Springdale, AR and Chamberlain Canning Co. which was located in Anderson, MO. Are these considered to be Merchant Trade Tokens? If not, what is the correct terminology to identify them? Also, if they are Merchant Trade Tokens, does anyone have a copy of Tom H. Robinson's "AR Merchant Trade Token Book and Rarity Guide" and are they listed in it? I was unable to locate a copy going through the public library system. Any help or advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Charter Member

    May 2005
    6,381
    81 times

    Re: Canning factory tokens

    Quote Originally Posted by johntate
    The tokens are from the Cane Hill Canning Co. in Cane Hill, AR; Cain Canning Co. in Springdale, AR
    The Cane Hill Canning Co. token is listed as R10 (very rare, only 1-2 known). The example in Robinson's book has only the number "6" on the reverse. Cane Hill is a small community in Washington County, in northwest Arkansas.

    The Cain Canning Co., Springdale, AR token is unlisted. However, there are Springdale Canning Co. tokens; some have "Daniel G. Trench & Co., Canning Factory Outfitter, Chicago" on the reverse; others, "Sprague Canning Machine Co., Chicago." Both of those varieties are rated R9. Springdale is today a city of 60,000+ and is also located in Washington County.



  3. #3
    us
    Random chance seems to have operated in our favor

    Oct 2004
    Oklahoma
    6,891
    4 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Canning factory tokens

    Whistling! John, sounds like some real goodies!! I always prefered tokens to coins. There a lot rarer as PBK told you and the history they can tell is underrated.

  4. #4

    Oct 2005
    NW AR
    Explorer 2
    23

    Re: Canning factory tokens

    Thank you for the info, PBK, and yes, my Cane Hill token has the number 6, too.


  5. #5

    Aug 2003
    1,297
    176 times

    Re: Canning factory tokens

    And regarding whether these are considered "merchant tokens", the answer is a qualified yes. Canning tokens are part of a sub-group often called piecework tokens. Rather than being a "good-for" type token that was used in place of money at a certain denomination, piecework tokens were used where money would be inconvenient. In the case of canning tokens, one scenario would be where the produce had to be peeled or cored before canning. A worker would get a crate of the produce, do the handwork to peel/core it, then turn a crate over to the next step in the canning process. The worker would receive a token at the time they finished the crate (or other unit). At the end of the day, the worker's accumulation of tokens would be exchanged at the paymaster for whatever the going rate for peeling was. That way, if they processed apples during one run and rutabagas during the next run, the same tokens could be used and the pay rate would vary.

    John in ID

  6. #6

    Oct 2005
    NW AR
    Explorer 2
    23

    Re: Canning factory tokens

    I appeciate the info, John in ID. Attempted to send you a PM but was unsuccessful. Would you send me one, please. Thanks.

  7. #7

    Feb 2013
    5
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hi, I'm new here. My mother recently passed on and I found a token with her things. It says "The Hennessey Canning Co. 3c" on one side and the other side says "Sprague Canning Machinery Co. Chicago". Does anyone know if it is rare and if so, what should I do with it? thanks!

  8. #8

    Aug 2003
    1,297
    176 times
    Hi, CL--Welcome to the forum! The Hennessey Canning Company token has been attributed to Hennessey, Oklahoma, but there were no references given for that attribution in the database of the Token and Medal Society - so I did a little looking and found an article in the local newspaper, the Hennessey Clipper, of 14 Mar 1907. It said that the factory had just been completed and testing of the machinery (supplied as we can see by the Sprague Co. of Chicago) was underway. The article complains a bit that the company had not been set up to can corn and peas as was originally understood. A later article (9 May 1907) indicates that the Hennessey Canning Co. has contracted for 200 acres of tomatoes, from which they expect 1000 tons, and could use more. Still later (16 May 1907) the company announced that they would like to contract with producers for peaches and apples. On 27 Jun 1907 the company announced that they had enough apples on contract but could use more peaches.

    Business fell off for the canning company and by the end of the 1908 campaign, the company's property had been sold for taxes. The property was located in the NW¼ of the SE¼ of Section 25, Township 19, Range 7.

    Since the token you have has a 3¢ denomination, it must have been in a slightly different fashion than I described above for canning tokens. Maybe that is part of what led to the failure of the company - not planning well enough to know that valuing their tokens in cents would remove the flexibility they would have gotten to vary the rate of pay by the crop being processed.

    The token is listed in Chadwick's OK Token Book along with a photo of the Hennessey Canning Factory. Chadwick puts a $65 estimated value on the piece. So... your task, should you choose to accept, is to figure out how to get that much or more out of it. That figure seems high to me, but I am not very well attuned to OK token values.

    If you want to know exactly how much it would be worth, the only real way would be to sell it at auction where a number of interested parties could have a chance to bid on it. Currently, there is only one such auction business that can sell it for you - eBay. Like it or not, eBay has more people looking for this token than any other venue. You just have to take good photos, write up the description well, and let the bidders sort out the final price.

    Good luck!
    John in the Great 208

  9. #9

    Aug 2003
    1,297
    176 times
    CL--if you can take good, in-focus closeup photos of both sides of the token, could you please post them on Richard's Token Database - TokenCatalog.com for the good of the token-collecting hobby? Or e-mail them to me with permission and I will do it. Also, post them here. Thanks!
    John in the Great 208

  10. #10

    Feb 2013
    5
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by idahotokens View Post
    CL--if you can take good, in-focus closeup photos of both sides of the token, could you please post them on Richard's Token Database - TokenCatalog.com for the good of the token-collecting hobby? Or e-mail them to me with permission and I will do it. Also, post them here. Thanks!
    John in the Great 208
    Hi John, Wow! Thanks for all the information and advice. I will clean it and then get some photos for you and I will probably put it up on eBay and see what happens! Thanks again!!

  11. #11

    Aug 2003
    1,297
    176 times
    Take care with cleaning! Harsh cleaning can destroy collector value.
    John in the Great 208

  12. #12

    Feb 2013
    5
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by idahotokens View Post
    Take care with cleaning! Harsh cleaning can destroy collector value.
    John in the Great 208
    I'm happy to accept any suggestions you may have.

  13. #13

    Aug 2003
    1,297
    176 times
    How about posting a pic of it "as is" so we can see what sort of problems there are. Several of the folks on here are pretty successful at cleaning.
    John in the Great 208

  14. #14

    Feb 2013
    5
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by idahotokens View Post
    How about posting a pic of it "as is" so we can see what sort of problems there are. Several of the folks on here are pretty successful at cleaning.
    John in the Great 208
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2013 Sprague Canning Machinery Co.jpg 
Views:	49 
Size:	34.5 KB 
ID:	744301Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2013 Hennessey Canning Co.jpg 
Views:	55 
Size:	38.9 KB 
ID:	744304

  15. #15

    Feb 2013
    5
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2013 Hennessey Canning Co 3 cent.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	34.8 KB 
ID:	744312

 

 
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