Tokens like this one for A. Burleson in Morton, Wash., were used widely in the first half 1900s.
“They have been in use (in Idaho) from about 1865 to the present. They were used in lieu of coins—a general store might buy butter and eggs from farmers and pay them either in tokens or at a discount in cash. The farmer would then use the tokens at a later time to buy staple goods from the store.
Cigar stores often had a card game going where the tokens were used in gambling instead of poker chips or cash to avoid the laws.
Also, good cigars were priced at “two for a quarter” or 15 cents each, so a customer might pay a quarter and get one cigar for now, and a token good for a cigar (or 12 – 1/2 cents) that could be spent later.” (www.cleo2.tripod.com/weisernews.html)
I don’t know what Burleson sold in Morton back in the day. If you have any information, please share.
Images courtesy of Diane Mettler.
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