Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, July 9, 1995
Previously here in our Historical Notebook, I have written about Albion’s major league ball player, “Deacon Jim” McGuire, and the saloon he operated with his brother George here in Albion during the period 1906-15. I have previously written about “GOOD FOR 5˘ IN TRADE” aluminum tokens issued by the McGuire Brothers in my Albion numismatic collection.
This past year I was fortunate to acquire a discovery token issued by this firm which has statewide significance. The only second-known “horse head” token in the State of Michigan has been discovered, and was issued by the McGuire Brothers. The newly-discovered McGuire piece is struck in aluminum in the shape of a horse’s head facing right.
The token measures approximately 3 mm. in length and 22 mm. in width. The obverse features the horse, with textured areas for the mane, nose, ears, eye and other features. On the horse’s neck is stamped a circular token 14 mm. in diameter, the text of which states, “I-O-U 5˘ IN TRADE.” A small hole has been punched in the area of the horse’s ear. The reverse side has a flatter surface, except for the identifying text, “McGUIRE BROS,” and lines for the nostril, eye and underlining below the text.
According to Paul Manderscheid, president of the Michigan Token & Medal Society, this McGuire piece is “only the second known token from Michigan with a horse head design, the other being the token issued by Price & Williams of Battle Creek.” The McGuire piece however, differs from the Price & Williams token, in that it utilizes an “I-O-U” die, while the P & W token states, “We-O-U.”
Manderscheid also states “I’ve seen a few horse shaped tokens by Wright & Son of Cincinnati, Ohio, since they have made a number of very fancy dies, but this is only a guess.
From our Historical Notebook we present a photograph of this most unusual shaped token, which this author obtained from an antique dealer in Quincy. My collection of McGuire Brothers tokens, including this horse head one, took a first place award this past April at the Michigan State Numismatic Society show held at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn. I will have this exhibit on display during the Festival of the Forks this year, for our citizens to view. I am always looking for tokens issued by Albion businesses for my Albion numismatic collection. If you think you might have any, please let me know.
McGuire Brothers Horse Head Token
More about the McGuire Brothers
All text copyright, 2021 © all rights reserved Frank Passic