Author Topic: Kugler's Restaurant of Philadelphia  (Read 1273 times)

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Offline brandm24

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Kugler's Restaurant of Philadelphia
« on: November 01, 2019, 09:15:40 AM »
I've had this 31.8 mm brass token for a long time, but just recently came across it during a random search of my many token boxes. It was an "Oh, I forgot I had this" moment, and decided to research it a bit.

When I discovered that Kugler's was still in business today...the token was apparently issued in about 1935...I was surprised that I'd never heard of it before. I worked very close to this address in downtown Philadelphia on and off for a number of years and don't recall seeing it. It made more sense to me when I discovered it was located inside the Widener Building, a place that I'd  never been to.

Apparently, it was, and still is, an elegant restaurant dating back to the late 19th century. Surprisingly, little is available in regard to it's history. In addition to the restaurant itself, they had a banquet room at 1412 - 1414 Chestnut St. known as the Red Banquet Room, and a ballroom at 34 S. 15th St.  All three addresses are very near each other, so it wasn't a far flung operation.

I was also mostly unsuccessful in my research on S.E. Eby Co., the makers of the token. They seemed to specialize in military items; badges, medals, uniform trim, etc., but also civilian issues like this.

I found several of these tokens listed on the internet and also the encased Lincoln Cent I've attached an image of. The coin is dated 1937, so it's issue date fits nicely with that of the Christmas token. It appears that they were doing an advertising blitz in the 1930's.

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Kugler's Restaurant of Philadelphia
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 11:10:12 AM »
While they look like advertising tokens, I wonder if they didn't have another purpose. Around 1935, "automatic restaurants" were fashionable and could be up-market. I could imagine a mixed system, where clients would have table service for meals and choose their drinks from machines. The tokens could have been good for a drink. A cheap way to attract gratuities.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Kugler's Restaurant of Philadelphia
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 11:50:10 AM »
That's the fun thing about this type of token, Peter. Speculating about its purpose is interesting.

It seems that this particular token would be more than an advertising piece. Being Christmas themed, it might have been good for a free drink as you say or something similar.  Maybe it was given to attendees at a party or ball as a keepsake.

Bruce 
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Offline brandm24

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Re: Kugler's Restaurant of Philadelphia
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2019, 05:56:52 PM »
I just found this picture online. It's the original building at 34 & 35 S. 15th St., the same address as their later day ballroom. The picture is dated 1899.

Bruce
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