1889 Milton Bradley, U.S. Educational Toy Money in Original Box

1889 Milton Bradley, U.S. Educational Toy Money in Original Box

The United States mint currently circulates six different coin denominations 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1. But back in 1877, when this set of United States Educational Toy Money was patented, no less than 14 different coin types were available. This included 1¢, 3¢, 5¢, 10¢, 20¢ ,25¢, 50¢, and $1. In addition gold coins were minted as $1, $2½, $3, $5, $10, and $20. 

Historically important for its both its toy and numismatic appeal this boxed set of "educational" toy money comes complete with 70 accurately rendered U.S. coins. These are contained in eight, square cardboard trays which fit neatly into the box bottom. A sepia tone lithograph of a single coin type lines the bottom of each tray. The reverse side of the same coin appears on the underside of the tray. 

The coins are made from of highly compressed, die cut cardboard. They're lithographed on both sides with an exact replication of that coin denomination. Both the front (obverse) and reverse are identical to the actual coin. Relative sizes between each denomination are also correct. A single print color for each coin was used which accurately reflected the represented metal. They were pressed so hard that they feel almost wooden. For this reason not one has a single crease in it. Of the 14 possible coin types only the 3¢ and 20¢ pieces were omitted. The odd looking 2¢ piece, which was discontinued in 1873, was added. The date for each coin type is identical. 

When I lifted the trays out of the box bottom I discovered some penciled notes by (most likely) the original owner. The total dollar "play" amount  was written in pencil. Underneath this was neatly written "Christmas 1889". The underside of the box bottom has the name "Adelia Russell" written on it in pencil. Adelia was probably the recipient of this most excellent Christmas gift given to her 123 years ago.

The box cover features a lithograph showing a woman cashier handing out bags of money to two children. The proverbial "$" can be seen on each bag. Opposite the cashier's booth is the name of the toy and its 1877 Milton Bradley patent dates. The instructions were printed on the inside cover.

Size: Box 3½" x 7" x ¾". 

Sold: Apr. 2006

Price Sold: $ 104


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Subject: 1889 Milton Bradley, U.S. Educational Toy Money in Original Box

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