Posted by Norm Boughton on February 18, 2004
I stumbled onto this site and saw lots of stuff on this phrase-most of which is wrong. The first wooden nickel made in this country was produced in 1933 in Blaine Washington when the local bank failed. Pretty hard to coin a phrase when there wasn't any woodenn nickels to take.
From that beginning they became used in many places as depression script and to commemorate civic events such as centennials. They always had an expiration date so if you nmissed turning them back in before that date you were stuck.
In the 1930's when most of the employed people in the US were working for a dollar a day or less this created a great hardship-thus they were warned "Dont take any wooden nickels"