• Code 200422-2

South Africa. Orange Free State. Jagersfontein. Water token.

Copper. Diameter 35.6mm.  JAGERSFONTEIN + MUNICIPALITY + around municipal arms and supporters.  R. WATER 3 GALLONS in three lines. The coin was known as a "water penny". Theron 05; Hern 294a.   Stained, worn and pitted, mediocre - fair.

The token was placed in a slot in the "lion's mouth", the pumps had a lion's head, and when the lever was pulled water was released. Water was not piped directly to houses until 1935.  In January 1913 Stewarts and Lloyds (of Bilston, Staffs, UK), and Bloemfontein won the tender to erect 41 water pumps in the streets. 10,000 of the tokens were struck by Heaton, Birmingham, in two batches, each of 5,000 and were issued by the Jagersfontein Municipality and used to purchase three gallons of water per unit at the pumps.  We believe that the other tokens described by Theron were made of brass and were in much higher relief. Apparently, some pumps can still be seen, because in 1985 the surviving 18 were declared National monuments.

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