Tonight we have a look at another "cousin" of the classic commemorative series, this time a relative of the 1936 half-dollar marking the sesquicentennial of Columbia, SC. This time, however, maybe we're looking at a second rather than ffirst' cousin!
In addition to sponsoring a half-dollar for Columbia's 150th anniversary, the Columbia Sesqui-Centennial Commission issued a set of three "woods" as fundraisers for the occasion. They issued wooden money in denominations of One, Two and Five Nickels. The pieces could be purchased at their face value and either kept as a souvenir of the celebration or redeemed at the Columbia, SC Chamber of Commerce. They may also have been accepted by supportive local merchants for small purchases.Read More: Commems Collection
As can be seen in the images below, the three woods share a common front and back design that shares images with the commemorative half-dollar. (Note: You don't typically call the two sides of a piece of wooden money "obverse" and "reverse.")
The denomination of each wood is noted on its front; each denomination is printed in a different color. These thin wooden "flats" are fairly fragile -- they definitely aren't "folding money" -- and many (if not most) have been cracked/damaged over the years and likely thrown away!
Though wooden money was used to meet actual local currency needs in parts of Washington state in the early 1930s due to bank failures, by the mid-30s they were being used as a local fundraiser by a growing number of cities, towns and local community organizations across the country. For a time, they were a popular collectible.
Enjoy!1936 Columbia, SC Sesquicentennial Half-Dollar -- Obverse1936 Columbia, SC Sesquicentennial Half-Dollar -- Reverse1936 Columbia, SC Sesquicentennial Wooden Nickels -- Front1936 Columbia, SC Sesquicentennial Wooden Nickels -- Back