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Miner's tally, 1800s
Early miners were paid according to the quality of coal rather than the quantity. Lead tokens such as this were hung on hutches to identify who produced the coal. The more familiar and modern system of checks and tokens (often made from brass) for identifying who was underground during a shift did not emerge until the 1860s-70s. The embossed 'EL' is probably the initials of the miner that this belonged to.
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