October 2, 2013

Nelson Pioneer Farm artifact

Do you know what this is?

The Oskaloosa Herald


This past week's artifact from the Nelson Pioneer Farm was a money change box.

No one took a guess at the identity of the artifact.

Nelson Pioneer Farm curator Kelly Halbert did some research on the artifact: “Penny’s Money Change Box

Toward the end of the 19th century department stores and general stores used a money change box system to process payments from the sales floor. This is the No. 1 Cup from the Oskaloosa Penny’s store.

The sales clerk would make the sale and write up the items purchased on a sales ticket. The ticket and the customer’s payment would be placed inside the money change box or cup and sent to the cashier at the back of the store by means of a cable system. The cashier, who usually sat at a desk on a mezzanine at the back of the store where he or she could observe all the sales transactions, would take the payment, make change and write a receipt. The little box would then be sent back to the sales clerk and its contents given to the customer.

This system worked well for small stores, but as department stores gradually became larger and with more departments, the small money change boxes were replaced with vacuum tube systems and then cash registers.”

The Oskaloosa Herald and the Nelson Pioneer Farm are teaming up to test your knowledge of historical artifacts.

The Nelson Pioneer Farm has about 15,000 artifacts in its collection spanning in age from the 1840s to the present.

The Herald will take a picture of an artifact and publish it in the Herald section of the Oskaloosa Shopper, The Oskaloosa Herald an the Herald's Web site, www.oskaloosa.com. People can make a guess on what they think the object could be.

People can either email their guess to oskynews@oskyherald.com or mail their guess to The Oskaloosa Herald, P.O. Box 530, Oskaloosa, IA 52577. You can vote from Wednesday through Saturday.

The identity of the artifact and the vote breakdown will be announced in each Wednesday's Herald Shopper along with the week's new artifact.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com