I'll Bet You Guessed It!
Here are Some of the Earliest "Chips" We've Found.


This pin was worn by Hugh C. of Palm Springs, Ca. Hugh got sober in 1948 and went to the big meeting in the sky in 1979. These pins were given to AA members to mark "important" milestones. This one he received in the early 1960's has a diamond in it, probably for his 15th anniversary. Others have been known to have rubies in them.



Early drunks played a lot of poker in the sober clubs. Plain, colored "chips" are still given out today by many groups around the country to signify a "desire" to stop drinking. Other colored chips represent different lengths of sobriety.



This "chip" was presented to Larry S. of Portland, Oregon in 1948 on the event of his 90th day sober. Every Six Months a "Stone" would be rivited to the Red Felt "Bottle" and returned to Larry. This "chip" in this condition would represent 12 years of sobriety.

We understand that these are still made and used by sober drunks in the West Denver area today.



(Thanks to John G. and Martha B. for Photo & History, John D. for grammar.)



We've been told that Clarence S. "The Home Brewmeister - from our 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition Big Books" carried this chip up until just before his death. It has been dated back into the mid-1940's.



Here is the "Sacred Heart Badge" that Sister Mary Ignatia would give a newly sober sot upon his release from St. Thomas Hospital in the very early 1940's. Probably the source of our now common "tradition".

Click Here to read the January 1955 Grapevine Article on the "Chip System".

Send us your thoughts on this...



This Sacred Heart Badge was given to Jim M. as he left the Rosary Hall Solarium in Cleveland, Ohio. He was left on a stretcher for 3 days as they waited for him to die, but alas, he lived by the program and was sober until the day he died in Florida.

(Thanks to Julie T. for the photo & history.)






Special thanks to Bob W. from Tennessee for the idea.