Media: Slideshow

Mining Scrip and the Company Store

Mining Tokens from Virginia

These twentieth-century mining tokens—worth five cents, ten cents, and twenty-five cents—are from coal towns in southwest Virginia. Tokens such as these were given to coal miners as a cash advance or for credit and were only redeemable at the company store. Introduced in southwest Virginia the late 1870s, this type of exchange continued into the early 1950s.

Original Author: Lyttle & Pennington Coal Co., no identification, and Norton Coal Company (left to right)

Created: Twentieth century

Medium: Mining tokens

Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society

Company Store Owned by the Stonega Coke and Coal Company

A  window display in Wise County advertises items available for purchase in the store for $35.20. Pictured here in June 1921, the store was owned by the Stonega Coke and Coal Company. In addition to coffee, beans, sugar, cornmeal, lard, eggs, and other foodstuffs, one pair of overalls was included in the deal. Miners were often paid in some combination of cash and scrip. Company scrip could only be used in company-owned stores such as this one.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: June 1921

Medium: Photograph

Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society

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  • Mining Tokens from Virginia

    These twentieth-century mining tokens—worth five cents, ten cents, and twenty-five cents—are from coal towns in southwest Virginia. Tokens such as these were given to coal miners as a cash advance or for credit and were only redeemable at the company store. Introduced in southwest Virginia the late 1870s, this type of exchange continued into the early 1950s.

    Original Author: Lyttle & Pennington Coal Co., no identification, and Norton Coal Company (left to right)

    Created: Twentieth century

    Medium: Mining tokens

    Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society

  • Company Store Owned by the Stonega Coke and Coal Company

    A  window display in Wise County advertises items available for purchase in the store for $35.20. Pictured here in June 1921, the store was owned by the Stonega Coke and Coal Company. In addition to coffee, beans, sugar, cornmeal, lard, eggs, and other foodstuffs, one pair of overalls was included in the deal. Miners were often paid in some combination of cash and scrip. Company scrip could only be used in company-owned stores such as this one.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: June 1921

    Medium: Photograph

    Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society