Metuchen Edison History Features
In Old Metuchen
David Trumbull Marshall
Published by The Case Publishing Co., Flushing NY 1930
(Second Edition)- (c) 1930
In 1876, when I was about ten years old, my mother sent me to the store to buy some butter.
She gave me a white china bowl and in it a paper twenty-five cent bill. I left the bill in the bowl and as I walked under the Pennsylvania Railroad bridge over Amboy Avenue, the wind whisked the quarter away and I was not able to find it.
I think I never passed under that bridge for the next two years that I didn't look for that quarter.
When my son Trumbull was three years old I occasionally took him from New York City to visit his Aunt at Metuchen.
On the way to the Pennsylvania Railroad ferry we took an old-fashioned horse car. The child dropped a caramel down the slot through which the window slides. For two years after that, as soon as he entered that car he made right for that window and looked down the slot for the lost candy.
When I was a very small child my mother had a box on her bureau in which candies had come.
This pasteboard box had some red dots on it resembling candies.
Over and over again for years I couldn't resist the temptation to lift the lid of that box to see if there were still some remaining candies.
Speaking of paper money: After the Civil War paper money was used for denominations from five cents up to one dollar. The 5-cent notes were printed only on one side and were called "shin-plasters."
There were notes of five, ten, twenty-five, fifty cents and one dollar.
Until about 1877 we children never saw any but paper money and not much of that, to tell the truth.
We had two-cent copper pieces, three-cent nickel pieces, and five-cent silver pieces. The latter were a nuisance for they were often confused with the three-cent nickel pieces which were about the same size. I myself was never bothered by them very much.
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Lasted updated 5/13/99 by Jim Halpin.