Lindenmueller Civil War Tokens — A Deeper Look A tiny piece of New York History
Many years ago I spotted the token shown above at a coin show. It’s a fairly common token, but I had not seen it previously. I thought it looked interesting, so I bought it.
Curious to know more about it after bringing it home, I consulted “A Guide Book of United States Tokens and Medals” by Katherine Jaeger. It is listed there as NY-630AQ-1a but there was not much else to tell. Googling “NY-630AQ-1a” gave me more information, but I wasn’t truly convinced that it was accurate.
The most common tale is what Wikipedia repeats: Lindenmueller owned a bar in New York and, because of hard money hoarding during the American Civil War, issued these one cent tokens as substitutes.
There was nothing new about merchants issuing their own tokens for advertising purposes. Not was there anything new about replacing money with tokens. In the years that preceded and overlapped the depression that came with the Panic of 1837, hard money had been hoarded. Merchants had produced tokens that could be used as one cent coins, with an implied promise of redemption in the future.