Arago: Postal Employee Tokens

Postal Employee Tokens

Charleston, West Virginia Owney tag


Owney was a dog who became the unofficial mascot of the Railway Mail Service in the late 19th century. At some point in his travels, Railway Post Office clerks and postmasters began to attach mementoes to the dog’s collar. The steadily growing collection of tags included claim tags, hotel key tags, tokens, badges, medals, coins, buttons and other trinkets.

This tag is unique in the Owney collection. It is the only one that represents what was carried in the hundreds of mailbags that Owney followed from train to train. It is shaped like an envelope, with an address, stamp, and even a canceling mark etched on one side. The envelope is addressed to Wm. Jones of Charleston, West Virginia, who is identified as a letter carrier. There is no available information to indicate when this tag was presented to Owney.

literal: Wm Jones / Charleston / W. Va / Carrier (on front) figurative: shape of envelope with stamp and cancel (on front) figurative: back of envelope (on back)
metal (brass)
Height x Width: 1 1/4 x 1 3/4 in. (3.18 x 4.45 cm)
Museum ID:
West Virginia

  • Owney Tag 2011
  • Owney Tag 2011
Additional Records

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