Author Topic: Post your American saloon tokens  (Read 139 times)

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Offline brandm24

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Post your American saloon tokens
« on: September 14, 2019, 02:59:13 PM »
This is a saloon token I've had in my collection for many years. Only recently did I research it more seriously.

The wording on the bottle reads "Old Lynch Rye", but it's hard to see because of abrasion and wear. Although I never found much about John Koebbe, he was the proprietor of a saloon in St. Louis from 1890 until 1914. I have no address for him or his business or any photos or personal data.

Old Lynch Rye is a different story. This concoction was made by a St. Louis manufacturer called Lynch & Co. Patrick Lynch was the owner and was in business roughly from 1862 until 1916. He advertised extensively on billboards and signs painted on saloons that sold his liquor. I've attached a picture of one such establishment...unfortunately, it isn't of Koebbe's saloon. The token is aluminum. I've seen only one additional example online...also valued at 2 1/2.

I'd love to see others post saloon tokens that they have in their collection or are familiar with. I think I have a few more but will have to hunt for them.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline malj1

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Re: Post your American saloon tokens
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2019, 12:57:29 AM »
Aluminium was a very new product introduced in the mid 1890s suggesting this was issued late in John Koebbe's occupancy, most probably, in the 1900s. Before this time aluminium had been very expensive to produce.

See The British Aluminium Co Ltd

(BTW In the the UK and elsewhere these tokens are referred to as pub or tavern tokens rather than saloon.)
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline malj1

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Re: Post your American saloon tokens
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2019, 04:07:58 AM »
Only one I have is this GOOD FOR 1 DRINK W.A.WALLACE uniface brass 23.4mm

Just as likely to be Canadian!  ???
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline Prosit

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Re: Post your American saloon tokens
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2019, 04:10:18 AM »
I have always heard that there are US saloon tokens but I have also hear that like brothel tokens there are more fakes than originals. Anyone have any knowledge about that?

Dale

Offline brandm24

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Re: Post your American saloon tokens
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2019, 12:54:10 PM »
There are a lot of fake brothel tokens...they show up on auction sites all the time. Not so sure about saloon tokens. I'm far from an expert on them, but I haven't heard of that being a problem. I suppose people will fake anything if there's money in it though.

I have a small number of other saloon tokens that I'll post after I take a few pictures. I bought most of them in 2002 at the Wespenex coin show in White Plains, NY and a few more at a small show in Trevose, PA the same year. I've always been interested in them, but have never collected them seriously.

Bruce
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Offline brandm24

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Re: Post your American saloon tokens
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2019, 12:59:20 PM »
Aluminium was a very new product introduced in the mid 1890s suggesting this was issued late in John Koebbe's occupancy, most probably, in the 1900s. Before this time aluminium had been very expensive to produce.

See The British Aluminium Co Ltd

(BTW In the the UK and elsewhere these tokens are referred to as pub or tavern tokens rather than saloon.)
Thanks for the information, Mal. I had thought Koebee's token was issued after 1900 as you did. Makes you wonder if he issued earlier pieces in another material...brass perhaps.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline brandm24

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Re: Post your American saloon tokens
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2019, 03:50:41 PM »
Despite having an actual address, I've been unable to find anything out about this tavern except that it was in Chicago.

I Googled the address and found that a 50 story building was built on the property in 1990, but nothing else came up. It's a nice brass token with a scalloped planchet...a look I like very much.

If I had access to Chicago city directories of the period, I'm sure at least some information could be found. Maybe I'll spend a little time in my local library. The offer the Ancestry website to members, so they likely have some directories there.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Post your American saloon tokens
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2019, 05:35:48 PM »
I wonder how they were used. Something that popped up at once in my mind is a free drink token for gamers who won at a game on the premises, but couldn't be awarded with money because of legal restrictions.

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

Offline brandm24

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Re: Post your American saloon tokens
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2019, 11:26:05 AM »
Most were given in change to customers who paid in hard currency. Very reminiscent of the company store concept where workers were paid in company tokens or scrip good only in their stores or selected independent businesses who accepted them. Since the cost of having them made was less than the value of the service provided, there was an instant profit to be had. I'm sure some were also given to favored patrons or friends as a courtesy.

American Civil War tokens are another example. Most of them represented a value of one cent, but the cost of making them was less. Since hard currency was hoarded during the war, people were forced to accept them. When they were declared illegal after cessation of hostilities, the larger issuers who had claimed they were redeemable refused to do so. Apparently, there was no solid legal ground to force them to do so. I don't know of any who were successfully prosecuted.

Bruce
Bruce