Last week David Pickup asked about a token picturing Niagara Falls. Several readers chimed in with responses. -Editor
David Schenkman writes:
Regarding this piece, it is simply one of those do-it-yourself tokens that could be purchased from machines at various tourist spots. You put coins in a slot (I’d guess 50¢)
and you could emboss whatever you wanted on an aluminum blank that often had a scene relating to the place. In this instance someone visited Niagara Falls and made themselves a
Tom DeLorey writes:
The Niagara Falls token was a souvenir piece hand made by a clunky machine that embosses letters one at a time on an aluminum disc. Such machines were commonly found at
touristy areas, which Niagara Falls certainly is. The last time I was at the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs, CO there was one of them in use.
You can put anything you want on the piece. Most people put their names on them; this might have been done by somebody named Ridgway from Staffordshire. The year 1905 may or
may not be when it was made.
When I worked at Harlan Berk's I used to throw common ones purchased in collections in the 50 cent junk box. This one with the pictorial center is rather unusual and no
doubt worth more. I probably would have placed it in the $3 token box, but what do I know?
Henk Groenendijk writes:
This token is a souvenir punch medal. These could be punched with a machine with 'ones name and address or indeed with any text one wished. So this is a US or Canadian
medal stamped with such a machine probably by an Englishman! One type of machine used for this is the "Harvard Metal Typer Stamper". Googling this will bring up examples
of both this machine and tokens stamped with it.
Metal-Typer Machine (image found by Oded Paz)
Exonumia Aficionado Oded Paz writes:
Thanks, everyone! Yes - looking at the obverse of David's token there are outlines around each of the letters. These are less obvious than on some of the other tokens Oded
found, but definitely there. Interesting concept. Are any of these machines still in operation somewhere other than antique shops? Are there modern equivalents with 3-D printers?
I could envision a machine that would produce a plastic souvenir with a custom slogan on it. -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: AUGUST 19, 2018 : Query: Niagara Falls on British Token
Wayne Homren, Editor
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