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Louisiana Trade Token Articles
  • Lumber Mill and Sawmill Tokens
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  • Louisiana Church Tokens & St. Vincent dePaul Society Tokens

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    Many churches issued tokens in the 1930s when the practice of pew sales was abolished. Pew sales had been used as a means of raising funds for the church, with church members bidding on specific pews for themselves and their families.

    At this time many churches instituted a charge, usually between two and ten cents per person, at the door. Once worshipers were inside, they could sit in the pew of their choice.

    However, due to the Depression, it soon became apparent that many families, especially those with several children, could not afford the charge.

    Thus, the use of a token was proposed. These tokens were usually sold at a discount to some families and given to others according to their particular needs.

    Church of St. Anthony Eunice, LA
    Church of St. Anthony
    Eunice, LA
    Immaculate Conception Church Washington, LA
    Immaculate Conception Church
    Washington, LA
    Good For 5 Seat
    Church of St. Anthony Eunice, LA
    O.L.H. of Christians Church
    (Our Lady Help)
    Jennings, LA

    All members, rich and poor alike, simply dropped their token into the basket at the door. Since it is doubtful that anyone was ever turned away for failure to pay this "admission fee," it is also likely that the tokens were placed into the basket for these individuals. The envelope system replaced this short-lived practice. The use of these tokens appears to have been limited to Catholic congregations in the Diocese of Lafayette.

    St. Vincent DePaul Society New Orleans, LA
    St. Vincent DePaul Society
    Annunciation Conference
    New Orleans, LA
    Sts. Peter and Paul's Conference St. Vincent DePaul Society New Orleans, LA Good For 5 Loaf Bread
    St. Vincent DePaul Society
    Sts. Peter and Paul's Conference
    New Orleans, LA

    The St. Vincent de Paul Society, principally in the New Orleans area, also used tokens as a part of their benevolence program. Instead of money, tokens would be given to needy parishioners or other individuals and were redeemed by nearby grocery stores and bakeries. This practice began in the 1930s and in some cases continued to about 1980, having been replaced by gift certificates.

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