Strawberry Pickers Tokens

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Strawberry growing began in the Tangipahoa Parish area during the Civil War era, but farming expanded greatly with the introduction of refrigerated rail cars. As many as fifteen thousand migrant workers would arrive in the area, where the harvest season runs from mid-March to mid-May.

This generally follows the Florida season, and the demand for berries was sometimes such that it is said trainloads of berries northbound to Chicago on the Illinois Central Railroad were given priority over passenger trains.

Vito Tallia Albany, LA Strawberry Picking Ticket
1 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch Strawberry Picking Ticket
Vito Tallia Albany, LA

Farmers used tickets in a similar manner to that of the seafood packing canneries: to indicate the quantity of berries picked by workers. Pickers used hand carriers that usually held six, eight, or nine pints. However carriers and tickets are also known for the amounts of four, five and ten pints. As each worker filled his carrier, he would take it to the packing shed. There he would receive the appropriate check, either indicating the amount of berries picked or a cash value.

Chas Spurgeon Holden, LA Strawberry Ticket - 1 Pint
Strawberry Ticket
1 Pint
Chas. Spurgeon Holden, LA

Jesse G. Kovach Albany, LA Strawberry Picking Ticket - 6 Pints
Strawberry Picking Ticket
6 Pints
Jesse G. Kovach Albany, LA

Louis Hils Wadesboro, LA Strawberry Picker's Ticket - 5 Cents
Strawberry Picker’s Ticket
5 Cents
Louis Hils Wadesboro, LA

E. Berthelot Wadesboro, LA Strawberry Picking Ticket - 6 Pints
Strawberry Picking Ticket
8 Cents
E. Berthelot Wadesboro, LA

Chas Spurgeon Holden, LA Strawberry Packing Ticket - 1 Crate
Strawberry Packing Ticket
1 Crate
Chas. Spurgeon Holden, LA

Paul Sziszak, Jr. Albany, LA Strawberry Packing Ticket
Strawberry Packing Ticket
Paul Sziszak Albany, LA

Packing was very important to the strawberry grower. So as the carriers were filled, they were taken to the packing shed, wagon or truck and experienced workers repacked the strawberries one pint at a time. Packing only the very best strawberries into 1 pint containers and placing them in 24 pint shipping crates with the grower’s label. The packing tickets were used to account for the amount of work done by the packers. In the late 1960s and early 1970s some growers issued tickets encased in plastic (to increase durability) and others began using plastic tokens, but most growers now use punch cards.


Strawberry Carrier
Strawberry Carrier

Strawberry Label
Strawberry Crate Label

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