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(1874-1932) South Africa Strachan & Co. 3d With Hole NGC AU50
The Strachan family came from Europe to Natal in the early 19th Century, and settled in Durban. The father died not long after their arrival, falling from the rafters of a house he was building in Pinetown. The brothers, Donald and Thomas first had a very profitable spell of transport riding to the Diamond fields and then decided to set up a business. They trekked South and crossed the Umzimkulu River into what was previously known as "Nomansland", but at that time was inhabited by the Griquas under Adam Kok. A close friendship was formed between Donald Strachan and Adam Kok, and the latter granted a large tract of land along the Umzimkulu River to the Strachan brothers. The brother opened a store at Umzimkulu Drift on what is now the Transkeian side of the river, a venture which proved very profitable and was soon followed by several other stores in the vicinity. The town of Umzimkulu eventually developed around the first store opened by them. Thomas died a bachelor, but Donald married and had several children, including 5 sons, Wallace, Douglas, Charles, Frederick and Robert. The son Douglas took over the business from his father and trade still went on to increase rapidly. He was however hampered by poor transport conditions and the lack of coinage for circulation.
This made him to introduce tokens approximately around the end of the 19th century or the early 1900's.
As far as can be remembered they were minted in Germany.
The S & Co. uniface tokens and the S & Co. "in goods" tokens were used by all the stores and were accepted far and wide.
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