Croatia - Zagreb - home for poor canteen token

Started by natko, October 15, 2015, 01:30:04 PM

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natko

Since some interest was shown in Croatian tokens here on the forums, I'll show another well known and documented canteen token. I am not aware was it used outside of the facility, I guess not.

Obrok hrane translates simply as a meal.

"Uboški dom" (almshouse) was a humanitarian organization before the Second World War (1898 - 1932?) providing food and educating the poor. One of the goals was to help beggars and provide them basics so they don't have to hang in the streets.

In local catalogs organization is described as orphanage, which is incorrect. I guess the reason is an archaic name and also existence of the "Public canteen Zagreb", a government-run facility, which existed from 1880. to the break of the First World War. They issued several tokens for specific foods, like bread, soup, stew and beef, which users received according to their needs, It's interesting to see these, too, but I'm lazy to take photos now.

Figleaf

Excellent stuff! The heart with the arrows is a well-known symbol for the messias, suffering for the sake of humans and a symbol used in the holy heart movement (see the Holy Heart church in central Paris), so we may assume that Uboški dom was based on catholicism. Traditionally, such pieces were distributed among the "backbenchers" who had come to mass.

Around 1900, the catholic church was fighting for a vital part of its "market". Caring for the poor had traditionally been a church business, but competition had arisen from Marxism and, even worse, socialism. That competition did both sides a lot of good and the poor profited. Roughly speaking, the church won in Southern Europe minus France, socialism (not to be confused with communism) won in Northern Europe and France. Now you have me wondering if there is a socialist counterpart to this token. Typically, it would be issued by a co-operative.

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

natko

That's right, I had the same thoughts as you, it sounds like a church name and almshouses are indeed generally their organizations. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, glad you liked it!

Here are the photos of the tokens of other, "Public canteen - Zagreb" I found online. I'm not sure did you mean these by socialism, but it was a government-organized canteen when Croatia was in Austro-Hungarian kingdom.

Big one with some weird monogram (ČDŽ) was used as membership proof (one example without hole known), while small were for meals. Here are kruh/bread (copper but weirdly light in this pic, or really iron as reported in one book) and varivo/stew (brass). Soup is found in two metals, zinc and aluminum. :) I still miss govedina/beef (brass), which is funny because when I talk about these unusually and slightly funny "denominated" tokens and mention which is missing, everybody laughs. We use the same word locally for utterly unintelligent thugs or simply extremely stereotyped, stupid hillbilly.

Figleaf

No doubt, that's the public counterpart. I would guess they were issued by the city of Zagreb, not by socialist organisations, as is often the case elsewhere.

BTW, in French, the muscles-in-the-skull type you describe is know as gros bœf (big bull).

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

FosseWay

The same individual is called kötthuvud in Göteborg dialect. Literally "meat head".