Whitesburg KY

Scrip collectors to meet

The fall meeting of the National Scrip Collectors Association (NSCA) will take place Friday, Sept. 21, in the Cumberland Gap Convention Center in Cumberland Gap, Tenn.

Members of the NSCA collect coal mine scrip, limber scrip, merchant and mill tokens and mining paraphernalia of all kinds. Scrip was a form of credit that allowed employees to borrow an advance on their future earnings in the form of tokens made of paper, various metals, fiber or plastic which they could then use to purchase food, clothing, tools (or most anything for sale in a country store) at a commissary, or company store, located in the mining camp or company town. Scrip was issued in denominations from 1 cent to $20, and occasionally in odd denominations such as 2 1/2 cents or 12 1/2 cents.

Although the most common form of scrip is that issued by coal companies, the tokens were also used in lumber camps, textile mills, railroads, packing plants, and other industries. Country stores also issued “merchant tokens” as a form of credit, tokens which could be redeemed only at the business issuing them. More than 150 different mines issued scrip in Bell County; more than 100 in Lee County, Va.; more than 200 in Harlan County; and more than 50 in Claiborne County, Tenn. In addition, coal companies in more than 25 states from California and Washington to Pennsylvania issued scrip. Lumber companies all over North America issued scrip.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, the NSCA meeting will be open to the public at no charge. Membership in the NSCA is also open, with annual dues of $5. Scrip will be available for sale or trade, books on scrip will sold, and collections will be appraised at no charge.

For more information, contact Crawford Blakeman Sr., P.O. Box 536, Middlesboro, Ky. 40965, (606) 248-3801, or Steve Cawood, 344 Tennessee Ave., Pineville, Ky. 40977, (606) 337- 6622 (home) or (606) 337-6500 (office).

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