Key Chain and Coin/Token Holder (front) from Lyle Nelson’s Sinclair Service Station in Randall, Minnesota, circa 1975. Morrison County Historical Society collections, 2018.50.2.

Collections Carousel – Key Chain & Coin Holder from Sinclair Service Station in Randall, Minnesota

Ever wonder if key chains will become a thing of the past? Will we eventually move completely away from three-dimensional entry and locking mechanisms to keyless entry and ignition for our vehicles? That most likely wasn’t a thought in anyone’s head 40-50 years ago when this key chain was given away at the Sinclair Service Station in Randall, Minnesota. Small and made entirely out of plastic and metal, it was an inexpensive premium for a Morrison County business. It made for good advertising. The decal inscription on one side of the key chain reads:

Just To Make It Clear

We Appreciate Your Business

Sinclair Service Station

Randall, Minn.           Ph. 7-7

Lyle Nelson, Prop.

Key Chain and Coin/Token Holder (front) from Lyle Nelson’s Sinclair Service Station in Randall, Minnesota, circa 1975. Morrison County Historical Society collections, 2018.50.2.
Key Chain and Coin/Token Holder (front) from Lyle Nelson’s Sinclair Service Station in Randall, Minnesota, circa 1975.
Morrison County Historical Society collections, 2018.50.2.

The key chain also served as a coin or token holder as the opposite side from the inscription has two shallow ¾” diameter flat holes, just the right size for a penny or a dime. A moveable canoe-shaped piece serves as a cover keeping the coins or tokens in place. With today’s scarcity of hard currency during the COVID-19 crisis, this key chain could be a handy dandy way of keeping a few pieces of that currently precious form of money safe. More evidence of how the past can serve the present and help shape the future.

~ Ann Marie Johnson, MCHS Preservationist

Key Chain and Coin/Token Holder (back) from Lyle Nelson’s Sinclair Service Station in Randall, Minnesota, circa 1975. Morrison County Historical Society collections, 2018.50.2.
Key Chain and Coin/Token Holder (back) from Lyle Nelson’s Sinclair Service Station in Randall, Minnesota, circa 1975.
Morrison County Historical Society collections, 2018.50.2.

One Reply to “Collections Carousel – Key Chain & Coin Holder from Sinclair Service Station in Randall, Minnesota”

  1. This is a neat one and new to me. I have seen them with a slot along the length of the back that would hold 2 or 3 coins.
    I always wonder how many items, of any sort, had to be sold to cover the costs of room and board, not to mention the cost of getting to the next town. Were these sales people ever home and if so, how long at a time? Did people aspire to be traveling sales people or was it an occupation of last resort?

    Hi, Mary and Ann Marie! I hope that all is well. Cliff.

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