Obverse Design Photo of employee's head and shoulders in front of a height chart. Over the employee is the date (JULY 14 47 in the example above). At the bottom of the photo is one line with the employee's number (271068 in the example). The next and bottom line is the employee's name (M C LOWE in the example). Off to the left of the employee is the area where they work (BEAUTY SHOP in the example).
Reverse Design Back has a pin for attachment.
Metal A white-colored metal, perhaps nickel. Size and Shape Round 45 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued Starting date sometime after August, 1938 and before July, 1947. Ending date sometime after December, 1949. It is likely these were in use during World War II for security reasons.
Issurer Panama Canal Company. This was the U.S. government entity set up by Congress to maintain and operate the canal.
Numbers Issued Pieces in collector hands include #251, #886, #271068, #303131.
Rarity Rare. Manufacturer Unknown. Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's ID 20.
Varieties Departments listed include Accounting Department, Beauty Shop and Elect. Division. Known with no department listed. Also known with department but no date listed.
Function These were employee id checks, issued to all Panama Canal Company employees. They were used in controlling access to Panama Canal facilities (such as commissaries). They may also have used to identify each employee when they were cashing their pay check.
Note Employees also had a corresponding employee id card with the same employee number on it.
Population Count Four specimens of this variety of employee check in collector hands are known to me. Recent sales include:
  • Check #303131 - Auction sale on ebay on February 17, 2001 for $102.50.

Another Example of CK-3.5
Picture of another CK-3.5
Scale: 4 pixels equals one millimeter

Corresponding Identification Card #303131 and Another Similar Id Card
Identification Card Corresponding to the Employee Photo ID Check Identification Card Corresponding to the Employee Photo ID Check