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Tenino and Blaine Wooden Nickels

During the Depression, a local bank in Tenino, Washington, issued emergency currency printed on thin shingles of wood. Blaine, Washington, soon did the same with both flat scrip and, in response to requests generated by news and word of mouth, coins that included a 5-cent piece. The Wooden Nickel historical Museum has original Tenino and Blaine Wooden Nickels on display

Music on Display

The Good Ol' Days

In the early days of wooden nickel production, all of the type was set by hand one letter at a time. This could be quite tricky because the letters were backward and had to be set in reverse! This is where the old adage "Mind your p's and q's", for being careful and paying attention, comes from. Since a lower case q looks like a backward p, and vice versa, it was easy to get them mixed up if you weren't paying attention.

Some of Our Collections

Our Founders

The Old Time Wooden Nickel Company started out as the Elbee Comapny in downtown San Antonio in 1948. The Elbee Company was founded by Louis "Berkie" Berkowitz. Berkie was a Magician and sold magic trick, novelty items and, yes, Wooden Nickels, out of his storefront.