Home – Louisiana Trade Tokens

This Web Site has been designed around my passion for almost 40 years, collecting Louisiana Trade Tokens. Hopefully both new and experienced collectors will find this site both informative and interesting. This is the only site on the Internet devoted to the research and collecting of Louisiana Trade Tokens. If you have an interest in Louisiana Trade Tokens, found a token and need it identified, looking for a place to buy or sell your token or tokens? Then you have come to the right location. I know that lots of visitors are looking for tokens from other states, specialty tokens or a way to authenticate a token. Look around some the great information on this web site applies to all tokens. When it comes to tokens we have it all, tokens by state and token books. Please start by reading the introduction below.

A HISTORY OF TOKEN USE IN LOUISIANA

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines a token as “a piece of stamped metal used as a substitute for currency.” The Dictionary of Numismatic Terms published by the American Numismatic Association says a token is “usually a piece of durable material appropriately marked and unofficially issued for monetary, advertising, services, or other purposes.”


Saloon Token - Jesse Hagar, Prop Favorite Saloon Lake Charles, LA
Saloon Token
Jesse Hagar, Prop Favorite Saloon
Lake Charles, LA
1880s to 1906


General Store Token - Dennis Miller Nezpique, LA
General Store Token
Dennis Miller
Nezpique, LA
1880s to 1917


Sugar Plantation Token - G.W. Bennett Bennettville, LA
Sugar Plantation Token
G.W. Bennett
Bennettville, LA
1871 to 1905

Tokens were known by numerous nicknames. Coal miners called them “flickers.” In saloons and bars, particularly those in the Midwest, they were known as “chits.” “Klacker” was popular in Alabama, while “scrip,” “checks,” and “due bills” saw widespread use. The most prevalent name in Louisiana seemed to be “brozine.” The origin of this term is not known, but it is possibly an altered form of “bronze” which was the composition of many tokens. Another terms popular in Louisiana was “doo-ga-loo” with other names seeing localized use. One such term used in the New Orleans area for 2½¢ issues was “quarti” or “quartee,” which may have come from the fact that it represented one-tenth of a quarter.

Many different and diverse sources issued tokens, including Lumber Company’s, Sugar and Cotton Plantation Commissaries, Bakery’s, Dairy’s, Grocery and General Stores, Restaurants, Seafood packing Houses, Saloon’s, Bar’s, Billiard, and Pool Hall’s. Tokens were also used by transportation companies on their buses lines. Plus old Amusement Arcades as well as Modern Arcade, Military Bases, strawberry pickers. Tax tokens were even used to collect taxes and Masons issued Masonic pennies.


 

 

Cotton Plantation Token - P.C. Major River Lake Plantation Oscar, LA
Cotton Plantation Token
P.C. Major
River Lake Plantation
Oscar, LA
1880s to 1934


Brewery Token - Southern Brewing Co. New Orleans, LA
Brewery Token
Southern Brewing Co.
New Orleans, LA
Late 1800s


Sugar Plantation Token - Alma Plantation Lakeland, LA
Sugar Plantation Token
Alma Plantation
Lakeland, LA
1790s to 1949

Tokens were usually made of brass, bronze or aluminum. However cardboard and fiber were also used. Paper coupon books saw some use in Louisiana. The method of use was limited only by the imagination of the issuer, but most fell into one of the following categories: (1) to extend credit to employees, (2) to provide a discount, (3) to make change in unusual amounts (drink token), (4) to ensure purchases at a particular business, (5) to designate an amount of work done, (6) to show proof-of-purchase, (7) to attract new customers, (8) to serve as a medium of exchange after a pre-payment, and (9) to control access to certain areas.