Trade Token Returns To North Carolina After Decades In England

The North Carolina Collection Gallery recently received this Champion Compress and Warehouse Company aluminum trade token from a donor in South Yorkshire, England. The Wilmington-based company, which was opened in 1879 by Alexander Sprunt and Sons, established numerous overseas warehouses, including one in Liverpool.

In the 1880s merchants all over the United States began issuing trade tokens as a form of advertising. Tokens usually had a monetary denomination or a “good for” value associated with them. In this case, the token appears to be worth “one bale” of cotton. This postcard from the Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina postcards shows an English steamer picking up cotton from the wharf in Wilmington:

Please contact the North Carolina Collection if you can provide additional information about this token.