One of the many treasures harbored at the Chaska History Center is the cast iron tray pictured, which is the top part of a coin tray and dispenser made by Staats Company, Cohoes, NY and patented on February 25, 1890. This kind of tray was typically used by large stores and banks to store coins for easier counting and dispersal. Slots hold 5 coins each on their edges. Spaces for 5 cent, 10 cent, 25 cent, 50 cent and silver $1 coins are included.
The item was donated to the Chaska History Center in 2010. It was used at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Chaska in earlier days, as most giving to churches was in coins at the time. This tray was used to help quickly count the monetary gifts. The coin counting tray is old enough that there is probably no one alive today who actually used the item at the church.
We have included photos of coins that would have been used in the era of this coin tray.
By Jay Molnau