Reynolds Bros Mill Company Store

The Reynolds Bros. company store sold groceries, clothes, trinkets, and provided telephone and mail service to the outside world. The Mill issued scrip money only redeemable in the Company Store to workers in the late 19th Cent.

Reynolds Bros Mill Company Store

Reynolds Bros Sawmill Store and Blacksmith Shop Reynolston, NY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reynolds Bros Company Store

[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/reynolds-bros-company-store/thumbs/thumbs_original-sign-from-reynolds-store-from-glass-negative-ca-1880.jpg]150Original sign from Reynolds Bros. Co. Store ca. 1880
from glassReynoldston New York negative
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/reynolds-bros-company-store/thumbs/thumbs_bernard-m-in-mill-office-deer-river-1.jpg]190Bernard M in the Mill office Reynolds Bros Mill
Reynoldston New York
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/reynolds-bros-company-store/thumbs/thumbs_postcard-of-co-store-ca-1900.jpg]150Postcard of Reynolds Bros Store Reynoldston New York
Reynoldston New York
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/reynolds-bros-company-store/thumbs/thumbs_reynolds-bros-company-store-and-blacksmith-shop-in-background.jpg]140Reynolds Bros Sawmill Store and Blacksmith Shop Reynolston New York
Reynoldston New York
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/reynolds-bros-company-store/thumbs/thumbs_reynolds-bros-company-store.jpg]160Reynolds Bros Store Reynolston New York
Reynolds Bros Store Reynolston New York
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/reynolds-bros-company-store/thumbs/thumbs_scrip-money-shinplaster-in-cicrculation-1880-1890s.jpg]170Reynolds Bros script money in $2.00 $5.00 and $10.00 denominations
Reynolds Bros script money in $2.00 $5.00 and $10.00 denominationd also referrred to as “shinplasters” used to pay employees for use buying food clothing etc in the Reynolds Company Store
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/reynolds-bros-company-store/thumbs/thumbs_scrip-money-shinplaster-in-circulation-1880-1890.jpg]170Reynolds Bros script money “shinplasters”
Reynolds Bros script money “shinplasters” used to pay employees and could mostly be used in the “Reynolds Company Store” prior to 1890, Reynoldston New York
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/reynolds-bros-company-store/thumbs/thumbs_script-money-shinplaster-in-circulation-1880-1890s.jpg]120Reynolds Bros script money “shinplasters” $2.00 bill
Reynolds Bros script money “shinplasters” used to pay employees and could mostly be used in the “Reynolds Company Store” prior to 1890, Reynoldston New York

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Shinplaster

            Scrip Money or Shinplasters

 

 

 

 

   Shinplaster

  Shinplasters that the Reynolds Bros. used shortly  after 1887  to pay mill workers and loggers – instead of US currency in Reynoldston, N. Y.

 

 

 

During the late 1870’s and early 1880’s the Reynolds issued their own currency to pay workers called “shinplasters” pictured above  This currency could only be redeemed at the company store for goods and
supplies.  While the workers initially accepted this symbiotic realtionship over time it led to anger and frustration.  It is clear that the “shinplasters” were a mechanism to control the workers and their families and to limit the capital costs of the early operations. see Company Store

But, some evidence points to the Reynolds’s looking on their employees as undependable people who had to be prodded into line. It was thought that the reason why Reynolds Brothers paid
their men in scrip money rather than U.S. currency was so the workers would buy food for their families rather than alcohol for themselves (letter from Mrs. George T. Reynolds, July 28, 1969).

Although this story may have some basis, the more probable explanation for the use of scrip money is that in the early years of the Reynolds operation there was a shortage of’ currency to pay the men and it was a profitable way for the Reynolds to recover most of the money that they were paying their employees.


Eleon Bordeaux

Mr.  Bordeaux:   Scrip money they called it. They ( Reynolds) issued it themselves….it could be used no place else only their own store..   And if they paid you back in change it was script money.

Mr.Langlois:   You couldn’t use the script money in Malone could you? 

Mr.  Bordeaux: Oh no, only use it up there.  You could go there and buy stuff.  It was scrip money see.   They done away with that after a while.

Eleon Bordeaux oral history interview Jan 1969 tape 2 p.24-25

Reynoldston  Song

The focus of the song is the injustice of the use of shinplasters to pay the employees of the Reynolds Bros Mill.   ‘Red cards’ were holds placed on company store accounts preventing customers from incurring further charges


The text of this song is exactly as spoken to us by those who originally sang it  Many of the area’s residents resented the Reynolds family for their seemingly lack of concern for the lot of their workers.   Jim McGovern, a woodsman, from Reynoldston composed the following song that the men sang at the Bordeaux Dance Hall and in the logging camps.  The focus of the song is the injustice of the use of shinplasters to pay the employees of the Reynolds Bros. Mill.   ‘Red cards’ were holds placed on company store accounts preventing customers from incurring further charges. 

“I’ll try my luck in Reynoldston,  

I hear a poor man say. 

I told him to give up that town 

Or he’d surely rue the day. 

For no money in that town you’ll find,

Cannot come your way. 

For the Reynolds’s has got a store 

That takes it day by day. 

You can’t go fishing along their mill pond 

I swear you can’t catch suckers that never spawn.  

They must be friends of Baldy’s, 

I solemnly declare. 

Shinplasters are all worn out 

They can’t get them in line. 

For someone would squeal on them 

And Uncle Sam would join. 

And if he joined their game 

He’d hold the winning hand. 

And then the Reynolds’s would 

Float against the strand. 

When they go up on high 

Their passage for to buy. 

When they meet St.Peter 

Down they will go tumbling 

To a place that’s awful hot. 

Old Frank’ll holler “Blazes” 

Come tumblin’ through the smoke. 

“We’ve gotta save those red cards 

Even if we’re forced to choke.” 

Written by Jim McGovern

Reynolds Mill Worker

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The Company Store/ Mill Office

August 15, 2011

                                                                Company Store/Mill Office       Throughout most of the history of Reynoldston, the Reynolds Company Store was a focus of the community.  Essential in such an isolated place, the company store was a general store that sold nearly everthing that residents needed including groceries, dry goods,  clothing, hardware and all kinds of […]

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