Coal Scrip Booklet

Scrip is a substitute for legal tender often used in coal towns, issued as wage or credit against the miner’s next paycheck. Scrip could only be spent in company stores for goods (sold at a markup in isolated towns with weak labor unions) and were often a source of contention between workers and management. This scrip was issued by Black Diamond Collieries in Coal Creek, Tennessee, during the 1920s. These coupons, in five- and ten-cent denominations, were good for $2 worth of goods at any store run by Black Diamond. The Southern Coupon Company of Birmingham, Alabama, produced the coupon book around the same time. The company held a patent on coupon books that could not be opened before they were issued to the owner. In the case of this scrip booklet, the owner had to crack open the book and sign a page acknowledging its receipt.
Object Name
coal mine scrip money
associated institution
Black Diamond Collieries
overall: 2 in x 5 in; 5.08 cm x 12.7 cm
associated place
United States: Tennessee, Coal Creek
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
American Enterprise
See more items in
Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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