The author utilizes a very broad definition of tokens to list, describe and price, monetary, advertising, political and souvenir tokens of California. Catalogued are trade tokens, store cards, game counters, pay phone and vending machine tokens, embossed or shell and mirror cards, encased coins and stamps, tool and ID checks, and wooden tokens exclusive of those issued for such occasions as weddings, wedding anniversaries, engagement announcements, and Christmas and seasonal greetings. Not catalogued are transportation tokens unless they were also used as store cards; communion, sales tax and ration tokens; elongated coins; Masonic pennies; gold pieces; military chits and other coupons; and such advertising pieces as watch fobs, key tags, bottle openers and shoe horns.
Trade tokens, which may be of governmental or private issue, cover a very broad field. They have been used by bakeries, billiard parlors and pool halls, canneries and packing houses, card parlors, cigar and tobacco shops, cleaning and pressing establishments, clothing stores, coal and lumber companies, company stores, dairies, department stores, drug stores, furniture stores, groceries and meat markets, hardware stores, laundries, military and naval organizations, messes and stores, post traders, prisons, saloons, and many other governmental and private organizations and businesses.
Trade tokens were typically issued for a combination of (1) a means of credit, (2) to assure sufficient small change, (3) to provide a discount, (4) for gift purposes, (5) as a means of dispensing aid or assistance by government or private charities, (6) to regulate trade and commerce, (7) to limit customers to certain groups, (8) to sell or buy at fractional prices, (9) tor force customers to deal at one place; (10) for advertising purposes, and/or (11) to aid a barter economy.
Advertising tokens are used to advertise or to promote products or services rather than as money substitutes, although many of them have been redeemable for goods or services.
Political tokens are those relating to any political figure, issue or campaign.
Souvenir tokens commemorate or celebrate such events as centennials, bicentennials, jubilees and festivals, although some are used to advertise businesses.
California Tokens is illustrated, and has a price guide for the nearly twenty thousand listings.
Publication Date: 1975