Graphic Art Based on a Black and White Photocopy

Obverse Design Line curving along the top "PANAMA R.R.CO.". Line across the middle in larger font "393" (employee number). Line curving along the bottom "LABORER".
Reverse Design Blank.
Metal Brass Size and Shape Round 38.5 mm in diameter.
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 R.R.CO." is probably one of the earliest types.
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 #393.
Rarity Very rare. Manufacturer Unknown. May have been locally manufacturered. Source Plumer Collection.
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 #393 - Warren Lloyd Plumer Collection (pictured above).

Panama Railroad Train
Panama Railroad Train
From the Canal Zone Review, Winter 1977 Edition