Bakery Tokens and Dairy Tokens
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The method of use promoted by most
Bakery's followed the well-known "baker's dozen" scenario.
A customer would pay for twelve loaves (at five or ten cents each), and receive thirteen tokens. J. B. Robbins' South Crowley Bakery went a step farther, selling their tokens at twenty-four for a dollar. This practice would benefit both parties, since the customer would receive a discount while the baker had his payment in advance.
The increased popularity and availability of store-bought bread combined with price instability for fresh-baked bread led to the demise of this use of tokens.
Dairy's generally used tokens in one of two ways. The most common use was as a bottle deposit check. When a customer purchased a bottle of milk, he paid a deposit (usually five cents). When the bottle and token were returned, the customer would get back his or her nickel. This method of use declined with the increase in the popularity of plastic and paper cartons.
Another method was for a customer to make advance payment (much like at the bakery) and use the tokens for future purchases. In some cases, the tokens would be left at the front door or porch as a "note" to the deliveryman. Some dairies (none known so far from Louisiana) issued their tokens in different shapes to allow illiterate delivery men to "read" the order.
Below is a descriptions of a very good book about Dairy Tokens. The collector of this specialty will find this book to be an indispensable source of information. However, it is out of print. Search for this book by clicking
Catalog of Dairy or Milk Tokens and Related Exonumia
by Melvin Reiter
Unknown Binding: 1204 pages
Publisher: Michigan Exonumia Publishers]; Rev edition (2002)