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 "PANAMA". Line across the middle in larger font "11111" (employee number). Third line "RAILROAD".
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. This "Panama Railroad" type may be the earliest.
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 #191 and #11111.
Rarity Very rare. Manufacturer AM.RY.S.CO., NEW YORK which was the American Railway Supply Company. Source Hamlin's PRR-5, Asociación Numismático's ID 14.
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 Known specimens are as follows:
  1. Check #191 - Sold on ebay by 'concordcoinant' to 'pujahpta' (Mizrachi) on November 10, 2002 for $104.37.
  2. Check #11111 - Eugene Hamlin Collection; shown in the Catálogo Numismático De Panamá (simulated above).

Construction Era Panama Railroad Scenes
Construction Era Panama Railroad Scenes
From The Greatest Engineering Feat in the World at Panama by Ralph Emmett Avery