Ontario trade token book receives long-awaited update

By Jesse Robitaille

Long-time Ontario numismatist Lorne Barnes has released what he has billed as “the most up-to-date reference on Ontario trade tokens.”

Barnes’ 808-page reference book Trade Tokens of Ontario, released this February, uses the iconic numbering system created by late numismatist Fred Bowman, of Lachine, Qué. Bowman, the first recipient of the J. Douglas Ferguson Award – today considered the highest distinction in Canadian numismatics – developed the numbering system for the second edition of his book Trade Tokens of Ontario in 1972.

“A coloured version of the Bowman reference was needed, and after discussions with several interested parties, I decided to start work on the project,” Barnes told CCN this March. “This 2022 reference would not have been possible without the effort of the late Fred Bowman, who introduced a numbering system still used by collectors today. There was no need to introduce a new layout and numbering system when collectors are using a system that already works.”

Barnes added it’s “fitting that this compilation using Bowman’s style and numbering system has been published on the 50th anniversary of the Bowman’s second edition.”

“The undertaking of this reference has been a very time-consuming endeavour for all the individuals who helped to make this update a gratifying experience.”

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