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Repurposed Retro

New Hampshire Toll Token Earrings

New Hampshire Toll Token Earrings

Regular price $27.00
Regular price Sale price $27.00
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These earrings are a double dose of history.

Before the days of E-ZPass, we paid for tolls using cold, hard cash. Sometimes that meant handing a toll taker a ticket and payment, but for some roads, you tossed coins into a basket. Coins or tokens. (Sometimes people missed the basket, but that's a different story.)

New Hampshire started using tokens to pay for Turnpike tolls in 1955. Originally there were two different types: a small silver "A" token, which was worth ten cents, and a larger brass "B" token, which was valued at fifteen cents. While coins were also accepted, the use of tokens was incentivized by offering discounts for their purchase.

The tokens shown here, made with a brass and nickel alloy, are a newer version that was used on the state's toll roads starting in 1985. Roughly the size of a quarter, since they were sold at a discount there were stories about them being used in Boston's parking meters (when those accepted coins). It was also common knowledge that the tokens sold at the Funspot Family Fun Center in Laconia—once named the World's Largest Arcade by Guinness—could be used at tollbooths, and the toll tokens could be used in the game machines, but neither Funspot nor the state of New Hampshire seemed to care.

So, that's your first bit of history: We used tokens to pay for tolls. The second piece relates to what's on the tokens.

Both sides of the tokens say NEW HAMPSHIRE PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS around the edge and feature the Old Man of the Mountain in the center. The Old Man was a rock formation in Franconia Notch that became the official emblem of New Hampshire in 1945. It was even used on the New Hampshire state quarter in 2000. The Great Stone Face, as it was sometimes called, collapsed early in the morning of May 3, 2003.

On January 1, 2006, less than three years after the Old Man fell, New Hampshire stopped accepting these tokens for tolls.

These earrings are made with hypoallergenic, nickel-free, lead-free ear hooks.

Each of these items is different. The images shown are sample photos and do not show the exact item you are purchasing. Because each is handmade using upcycled materials, you should understand that the product you receive will vary in appearance.

About Repurposed Retro

Repurposed Retro features products we make in our Provincetown workspace from games, toys, and other items that remind us of our younger days. Memories, like the corners of my mind....

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