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The E-Sylum (11/17/2013)

Book Content

Relating to the topic of Labor Exchange currency in the U.S., Eric Schena writes:

I did some more digging and got a digital copy of DeBernardi's "Trials & Triumphs of Labor," as well as Ernst's "The Progressive Handbook of the Labor Exchange."

Trials and Triumph of Labor Progressive Hand Book of Labor Exchange

DeBernardi founded the Labor Exchange currency system; his book was published in 1894, as was the Ernst book. It refers to the DeBernardi book and touts the benefits of his system. Basically, it's sales literature directed at potential franchisees of DeBernardi's Labor Exchange system, perhaps not unlike the way Bernard von Nothaus promoted his Liberty Dollar system in more recent times. One passage basically tells readers they would be fools to go it alone:

It is a foolish idea some people get into their heads that they can study up some pln and start a co-operative institution to be a success without adopting the Labor Exchange system. No colony idea can fully succeed. This is the verdict of forty years of study and the world's history for centuries. Why oppose the inevitable when it is truth and light ye seek. Cast aside selfish projects and plant the only complete and effective method man can devise and operate.

Eric kindly forwarded .pdfs for my research files. So other interested readers can access the material as well here are the internet locations where the files can be found. He writes:

Of particular interest for those who collect Labor Exchange notes is that the first few pages have plates with engravings of a labor exchange certificate and an example of a 1/4 denominated note (referred to as a "balance check" by DeBernardi).

To read the Debernardi book online, see: Trials and triumph of labor. The text book of the labor exchange (;cc=cdl;view=toc;subview=short;idno=cdl409)

To read the Ernst book online, see: The Progressive Hand Book of the Labor Exchange: The Dawn of Equity (

Here are images of a Labor Exchange note that Eric purchased recently. -Editor

Labor Exchange Alliance OH 5 front

Labor Exchange Alliance OH 5 back

Eric adds:

I am getting on an 1890s kick - such a fantastically interesting era in American history and very numismatically rich.

On a related note, here's an article from yesterday's USA Today about a program in Michigan where poor and unemployed people can exchange work hours for dental care. There are no physical "Labor Hours" notes involved, but it's a similar concept. -Editor

Kelly Price knows too well the pain of infected teeth and how they become so sensitive it hurts to eat or drink. He has suffered with that in the past and still has several teeth that need to be extracted, but the 51-year-old unemployed machinist can't afford to see a dentist.

That's why on a morning last month he was helping out at the Food Bank of South Central Michigan filling bags for weekend meals for needy children with Special K cereal, cans of spaghetti and meatballs, green beans and a juice drink.

The hours Price volunteers inside the sprawling warehouse in "cereal city" will help him get to see a dentist for free. "I would rather pay with cash, but if this is the only way I can do it (that's) fine because I am helping someone else and it all works out," he said.

Price is one of the more than 4,000 adults who since 2007 have received care under the Calhoun County Dentists' Partnership — a privately financed program that requires patients to perform some volunteer work to qualify for the free dental services. The "pay it forward" model enables low-income, uninsured patients to earn their care by helping local non-profits, including the local homeless shelter, Red Cross and Salvation Army.

To read the complete article, see: Will work for dental: A new health care model? (

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