Russ Sears writes:
In answer to your question about orphan asylum tokens, attached are obverse and reverse scans of my piece, one cent, from the Johns Hopkins
Colored Orphan Asylum. It is about 19mm, brass.
In 1867, Johns Hopkins incorporated the Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Colored Orphan Asylum. The
university opened in 1876 with the orphan asylum opening around the same time. It took until 1889 to open the hospital.
The orphan asylum continued in operation until the 1920's or 30's when it closed. We don't know why it closed. The tokens were used to
teach the children about money. Denominations of 5 and ten cents have been know and are even more rare than the one cent which is rare. I purchased a
five about 30 years ago in an auction, but it was too worn for me to keep.
Paul Cunningham writes:
In regard to orphan tokens, and thanks to some of my Pittsburgh and area friends, there are some tokens discussing or commemorating orphan camps
or training centers of some such which were (1) supported financially by the French after WWI and (2) located in the Pittsburgh area! Totally
Larry Dziubek purchased these from Paul, and sent these images. -Editor
Pittsburgh School Farm for WWI Orphans medal
Neat - I never heard of such a thing. Larry also sent these. -Editor
Odd Fellows Home for Widows and Orphans, Pittsburgh, PA
David Powell writes:
In response to your request last week for some more orphanage-related tokens, herewith a couple. There are plenty of online references to the
history of both issuers.
The older one is reminiscent of British school reward tokens c.1820-1850, with the "10" on the back indicating a number of merit points;
although often they are smaller, and of lighter-coloured brass, than this 22mm piece. The larger and more modern piece is from the 1920s or 1930s,
with the horseshoe/good luck design hinting strongly at 1933-35. Norwood is a South London suburb.
Thanks, everyone! This is an interesting group of tokens and medals. See the next article for an interesting follow-on from David
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
WAYNE'S NUMISMATIC DIARY: FEBRUARY 15, 2015
Wayne Homren, Editor
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