USA 1930's - Ceylon MN

Top Hat Cafe

An USA Five Cents Trade token from Top Hat Cafe of Ceylon, Martin County, Minnesota which closed in 1946.

Value5 cents
AlloyNi Plated Brass
Diameter21.2 mm
Thickness1.8 mm
Weight4.3 gms
tophatcafe_ceylon_mn_5c_obverse tophatcafe_ceylon_mn_5c_reverse

Obverse : Image of a TopHat at center with name TOP HAT CAFE above and town CEYLON . MINN. below along the periphery.
Reverse : Large 5 ¢ at center with the legend GOOD FOR on top and IN TRADE below at bottom along the periphery.

The Nickel plating has peeled a bit just above GOOD on reverse showing the brass token below.

Top Hat in its early years was a tavern. Patrons commonly shake dice for drinks with the bar tender. Rather than gamble cash register money, the Bar tender would give any winner a token that was good for trade in for a beer.
Marlen E. Bents, President of the Bank however doubts that the TopHat was known for gambling which he remembers took place at the Ceylon Hotel and the Ditz's Pool Hall.

I am told by Rich Hartzog of Exonumia that most 5c MN tokens are fairly common. slot machine tokens, from ca. 1930's.
I am told by Forrest Stevens that Slot Machine tokens are almost always round, the same size as the coin they have the value of (21.2mm for 5c, 24.3mm for 25c, etc), and usually made of brass or nickel-plated brass. Slot machine tokens may be "generic" or have the name of the slot machine, but rarely have the name of a person or a store.

This Nickel plated Top Hat Cafe token is of the identical size of the 5 cent Buffalo Nickel which weighed 5 grams, and was slightly lighter.

When was the "Top Hat Cafe" opened ? Any interesting stories about it ? Please send me any information.

In 1946 Ernie Thompson purchased the Top Hat Cafe, and turned it into the Ceylon Variety Store. This store changed hands few times and closed in 1964 and was purchased in 1967 by Lemke Awning Company. The State Bank of Ceylon, which was adjoining now includes the area of the original building.

Ceylon Variety Store
Ceylon Variety Store

The token was scanned at 300 dpi and the images are displayed at 250 dpi. This token was obtained in the 2001 August on ebay from a seller from MN, USA

See also the Ceylon MN token site for more stories.