Researchers relocate origin of Civil War token

Connecticut store card once attributed to New York
Published : 09/25/11
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A Civil War store card originally attributed as having been issued in New York is actually from Norwich, Conn.

In the latest issue of The Civil War Token Journal, the official publication of the Civil War Token Society, collectors Donald Erlenkotter and William Luitje note that while the 1863 City of New York token with an Indian Head cent obverse design on the reverse was believed to have been issued by the municipal government in New York City, the inscription city of new york actually references the City of New York, a steamship built for the Norwich & New York Transportation Co.

The firm had its principal office in Norwich, Conn. The City of New York plied the waters of Long Island Sound between New York and New London, Conn. The steamship made its first voyage from New York on July 22, 1861.

The token was signed by L. Roloff, a prolific New York city diesinker and engraver. Originally listed as NY 630Q in U.S. Civil War Store Cards by George and Melvin Fuld, the token will now be listed under Connecticut as CT 345aA, after the change was approved by the Civil War Store Cards Book Revision Committee.

In a separate article, Erlenkotter examines the 19-millimeter, 1861 Civil War tokens produced by Shubael D. Childs Jr., a diesinker and engraver in Chicago. In another article, Erlenkotter discusses his extensive research on the topic devoted to how many Civil War tokens were actually produced.

John Walthall offers evidence that Civil War store cards listed for Chicago for William Harlev, and Harlev & Johnson, are not Civil War store cards, but instead were manufactured in the 1870s.

Annual CWTS membership dues, which also cover a journal subscription, are $15 for adults, $7.50 for those under age 18.

For more information, visit the CWTS website at ■

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