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Monday, February 7, 2011

A Token Find

Estate sales are as random as walks on the beach; you never know what you might find. In the end it doesn't really matter, you can find nothing and still come away with a nice walk on the beach. If you want to find something unique, all you have to do is ask. I took a chance at a trailer park one Saturday (sounds like this story could go anywhere), truthfully, trailer park sales are no different than any other. While it may seem that trailer park residents lack the space to accumulate like the rest of us pack-rat suburbanites, it isn't the quantity that makes a sale, it's  the variety.  AVA (my 7-year-old partner) and I, were happy to take a look,  after all, a dig  is a dig.  

We had only four rooms to explore and the 2 largest collections were of music boxes and costume jewelry. Among the jewelry were boxes of small items, and when I glanced in an old watch box, I knew I found something for the blog.
I closed it and thought it would be fun to research the different items. The best approach to the negotiation, I felt, was to hand the box to the person in charge and let them name a price. I had in my mind that whatever was in here was worth $5 to me, and fortunately the seller and I were on the same wavelength.  The one Item I had glanced at was this coin:

I thought, "This might make a good story." As I hear from time to time, the talk of returning I-95 in CT  to a toll road. At their inception in 1983 these tokens could be purchased for 17.5 cents. The interesting part of the story is that these were made by the same company that made the New York City subway tokens. At exactly the same size and weight as the 75cent subway fare, the MTA lost a lot of revenue as 2 million of these showed up in the coin boxes of NYC subway turnstiles.  After a lot of yelling and screaming CT promised to redesign their tokens, but never did. At the end of 1985, the toll booths were dismantled anyway, solving the problem.  

That wasn't the only token find in the box:
As you can see from the box above, there were more than just tokens.  

These casino tokens (and one chip) were among a few other different arcade tokens.  This would be the depth of the treasure. Nothing a pirate would get excited over, but enough for me to call this another successful dig. 

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