I am ignorant of US Ephemera, this what I have, and from research years ago....
Hope this is suitable.
Commentary below: Unknown author.
As a short history on scrip, I could find no better description than the one provided in the Edkins Scrip Catalogue of United States Coal Company Store Scrip, Third Edition, Volume 1. , Bill Williams and Steve Ratliff
It states #8220; Scrip was in essence a credit token and fundamentally was used as follows: An employee of the coal
company who desired credit at the company store would request issuance of scrip against work performed or work
to be performed. The scrip so issued would be charged against the employee#8217;s payroll account and its face value
would be deducted from the amount due him for work performed on the following payday. The scrip would then
be spent at the company commissary.
Some companies paid their employees exclusively in scrip on every payday, thereby eliminating the need to
keep U.S. currency on hand. Later, some states passed laws requiring the company to pay in U.S. currency each
month. Companies avoided this by paying in currency at the end of the month and using scrip for weekly or
As coal mining in the Appalachian region of the United States began to develop in the late 1800#8217;s, mines were
established in remote, rugged areas, far away from banks and stores. Partially from a need to supply household
goods to miners and partially to capitalize on an opportunity to make a profit, mine owners established company
stores in their mining town. As actual U. S. currency was difficult for mines to keep on hand in sufficient
quantities, the companies began to issue their own scrip tokens as payment for the miners#8217; wages. Most scrip was
unique in appearance so that a mine#8217;s company store could immediately identify its own scrip, as most did not want
to accept tokens issued by another company.
Miners were given scrip in advance of their wages to buy necessities for the home, but also to pay rent on
the company-owned houses they lived in, to buy tools and supplies for work, to pay utilities and medical care, and
even to contribute to a mandatory funeral fund. All this was paid to the coal company. There was little retail
competition in the coalfields and the prices at some company stores were often so high that miners virtually had
nothing left to collect when payday arrived.
According to Stan Cohen, in his book, King Coal: #8220;Payment by scrip served a dual purpose. The miner
could get wages in advance of his regular paycheck, and he did not have borrow money or charge items at the store,
The company in turn did not need to keep extensive charge account records, nor were there difficult collection
Another good source of information is a book entitled 20,000 Coal Company Stores, Gordon Dodrill, Copyright
1971, Duquesne Lithographing Company. It is a listing of mining company names with codes, company store
names, location of store, number of employees, and years of operation.