Graphic Art - Not an Actual Scanned Image

Obverse Design All lettering incused. Manufacturer's name is in very tiny letters at the top "AM.RY.S. CO. N. Y.". First line across the top "P.R.R.CO.". Line across the middle in larger font "63994" (employee number). Third line "COMMISSARY".
Reverse Design Blank.
Metal Brass Size and Shape Rectangle 43 mm wide and 37 mm high with a slot or oval hole at the top.
Dates Issued Unknown. Separate Panama Railroad checks were used probably starting in August, 1905 through January, 1915 when the separate checks were retired and the railroad employees used the Panama Canal checks. The different "P.R.R.CO." types may be the later ones issued.
Issurer Panama Railroad. During the construction era, the Panama Railroad was a separate entity from the Canal operations for accounting purposes.
Numbers Issued Pieces in collector hands include #60566, #62766 and #63994.
Rarity Rare. Manufacturer AM.RY.S.CO., NEW YORK which was the American Railway Supply Company. Other Catalog Numbers Hamlin's PRR-15, Asociación Numismático's ID 16.
Varieties None known.
Function These were employee id checks, and metal checks were issued to all Panama Railroad employees. The Panama Railroad employees were also United States government employees and were given access to all the same Isthmian Canal Commission (ICC) facilities as regular ICC employees. These metal checks were also used to identify each employee when they were cashing their pay certificate (similar to a paycheck).
Population Count Three specimens of this variety of brass check in collector hands are known to me. Recent sales include:
  • Check #60566 - Auction sale on ebay on April 7, 2007 for $33.99.
  • Check #62766 - Auction sale on ebay on February 21, 2007 for $108.37.