Eric Schena forwarded this announcement of his new book on Ingle System tokens. Congratulations!
As several E-Sylum regulars know, I have been working on a book on Ingle tokens, The Ingle System Scrip of the Mid-Atlantic Region. The book is back from the printers and will soon be available through the Virginia Numismatic Association. The 8 1/2 x 11 paperback is heavily illustrated in full color throughout and is 165 pages in length. It includes county distribution maps of where the tokens were used in the region.
This book was born out of frustration trying to get tangible attributions on Ingle tokens. Until recently, identifying where a given Ingle System token was used was problematic at best. Unfortunately for collectors, a large number of Ingle System scrip does not indicate place of use and some tokens have generic names, further frustrating would-be identification. The Ingle System tokens were the first of the “system” style tokens – tokens that used a standard format and sometimes used a special register. System scrip became especially popular with coal mines, where keeping track of advances on pay envelopes was especially crucial.
With the generous help of John Byars (whom I met through The E-Sylum) and Dave Schenkman, I was able to go through much of the remaining Ingle records and help piece together information on Ingle System tokens used in the central Mid-Atlantic States of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia (at this time, no Ingle tokens are known from Delaware).
The Ingle System Scrip of the Mid-Atlantic Region correlates data from the Ingle ledgers, published and unpublished information regarding denominations, and design types gathered from various sources. It covers the 419 confirmed attributions to the region: 290 merchants from WV, 116 from VA, 12 from MD, and 1 from DC. It also includes a section on Ingle tokens that were attributed to the region through Lloyd Wagaman's groundbreaking effort in the 1980s but have since been reattributed through the ledgers. To help pinpoint a particular issuer, there are two indexes, one by merchant name and one by location.
I know copies will be available at the Salem, VA and Winchester, VA coin shows and I believe the final selling price should be in the $25 range, though I am not positive of that price.
I'm glad The E-Sylum could play a small part in making the book possible.
We'll look forward to further information on the book's pricing and how to order.
I got a copy from Eric on Tuesday. The book is perfect bound with white covers, and has color illustrations throughout. I was pleased to see the full-page illustration of a three-drawer Ingle System Register on p5 - I'd never seen one of these and wasn't aware they existed. The color-coded maps of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia counties are a helpful addition (the colors signify the number of known Ingle scrip merchants in each area, and help readers locate issuers geographically.
Eric has clearly done the token hobby a great service with this publication. Through his research and by consulting the original ledgers he has sorted out prior incorrect attributions, which are included in a separate section of the book for completeness. The hobby is also indebted to those who have helped preserve this valuable data over the years.
I'm no expert in Ingle tokens, but I know a good book when I see one. It's well organized, and easy to read and understand. The only improvement I would recommend would be to print the title on the spine. Some fourteen sources are cited in the bibliography, and in addition Eric consulted numerous business and city directories. His legwork will save readers countless hours, making the book well worth the price for any collector of these interesting tokens.
I understand a couple copies are already on the way to the library of the Token and Medal Society (TAMS). I always encourage publishers to donate copies to the major numismatic libraries, such as ANA, ANS, and in this case, TAMS. Librarians already have more than enough to do without having to chase down and purchase all the new books that come out each year (let alone having the budget dollars available to do so).
For more information on the Virginia Numismatic Association, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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