• Code 090523-16

DENMARK, token. STATE PRISON TOKEN


Brass, 26.2mm diameter.  STATSFÆNGSLET I VRIDSLØSELILLE • around inner circle, MEKA below.  R.  As obverse, without the signature.  Extremely Fine with much original lustre and colour.

Vridsløselille Prison was a state prison in Albertslund in the western suburb of Copenhagen. It was opened in 1859.  It housed all manner of criminals including murderers until January 2016 when it became a departure centre for rejected asylum seekers with prison sentences until February 2018, when it closed.  One of its present uses is as a museum.

Prison inmates were not allowed to be in possession of cash. In 1969, the state prison in Vridsløselille, like a large number of other institutions and companies, had a coffee, tea and hot chocolate machine installed, a fairly new phenomenon at the time. The machine was for the use of staff, inmates and visitors. Tokens were used for such vending machines as they did not need to be adjusted in case of price increases. As a staff benefit, tokens could be given out for free or sold to employees at a reduced price. Using tokens also reduced the risk of vending machine theft.


The machine and thus the special tokens were in use from 29 August 1969 to 23 February 1973, when a new machine accepting ordinary money was set up.


The tokens were manufactured by Meka of Brønshøj and designed by medalist Bent Jensen.


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