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Author Topic: China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai  (Read 4751 times)

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Offline africancoins

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China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai
« on: July 12, 2012, 08:42:26 PM »
A piece I got recently... Reference - Smith-720BC.

Legends...

C.G.O. CO. LTD. SHANGHAI

GOOD FOR THREE CENTS

and central cut-out "3" (Chinese numeral).

Obvious similarities to the old U.S. transit tokens. Diameter about 16.5mm.

Not the only piece I have for this issuer.

Thanks Mr Paul Baker

Offline Afrasi

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Re: China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 11:08:33 PM »
Really nice piece!

I can add a telephone token from Shanghai. The company did work at the International Settlement and the French concession area.

I add a share of this company. (picture 2)

There are still traces of this compnay today. (picture 3 and 4)

Online malj1

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Re: China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 06:59:42 AM »
One of the pleasures of coin collecting....speculating on the past lives of our coins. The circumstances in which I found these four pieces (a month ago) suggest that they were part of a handful of pocket change brought back from China during the early- to mid-1920s.

 :) v.

Interesting selection. Speculating on the past lives of our coins...... he missed the bus? One adult and one half fare?
Malcolm
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Online malj1

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Re: China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 07:15:37 AM »
Another C.G.O. Co. Ltd., this time good for five cents. Cu-Ni, 19.9mm
Malcolm
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Offline Chinasmith

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Re: China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 07:00:56 AM »
The Shanghai C. G. O. tokens shown here were both issued in the 1920's. The one with the numeral 5 hanging in the center is probably the most common pre-WWII Chinese token. Did you notice the tiny letter M hidden inside the D of GOOD?  I've collected Chinese tokens for 40 years, and have had this token for most of that time, but never noticed the hidden letter. Several years ago someone wrote me asking about the hidden letter, much to my surprise. There is also a 2-1/2 cent token in this series, with the number cut-out (which also has a hidden letter). The token with the Chinese number 3 cut out is rare. There is also a 1 and 2 cent in this series, the 1 cent being the rarest of all. It is believed that both series were made in the USA. These tokens are recorded in the Kenneth Smith catalog of world transportation tokens. The major source of information on these tokens is an article "The Coins of Shanghai" by A. M. T. Woodward published in 1937.
Researcher on coins, paper money and tokens of China.

Online malj1

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Re: China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 07:35:56 AM »
You have not seen the other letters then! With the letters in the "OO" it actually reads T A M
Malcolm
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Online malj1

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Re: China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 07:45:43 AM »
Here is a aluminium one with the initials JDS 21mm

These initials stand for J.D. Shatler who was the General Manager of the company.

The aluminum tokens were not issued primarily for use by the bus system. They were issued for general circulation as small change during a shortage of small change in Shanghai after the Japanese occupation.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 01:58:25 AM by malj1 »
Malcolm
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Offline Chinasmith

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Re: China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 02:56:02 AM »
Malcolm --  I thought my magnifying glass must not be working when I saw your image of the China General Omnibus token with hidden letters T - A - M. So I went through my collection again very carefully. This 5 cent token, and the 2-1/2 cent token in the same set, were issued in 1926. Previously, a similar set was issued in 1924 in values of 1, 2 and 3 cents (with Chinese characters for the values cut-out). All three value of the 1924 set have the letter M in the D of GOOD and in the D of LTD.  The 2-1/2 cent of 1926 has an M hidden in the first O of GOOD.  The 5 cent, however, comes in at least 5 variations:
1) AM hidden in 2nd O and D of GOOD  no hidden letters on the other side.
2) AM hidden in 1st  O and D of GOOD  and M in D of LTD.
3) AM hidden in 2nd O and D of GOOD  and M in D of LTD.
4) AM hidden in 2nd O and D of GOOD  and M in C of CHO.
5) TAM hidden in 1st and 2nd O and D of GOOD  --  this is your piece -- a new discovery -- and I would like to know what is hidden on the other side.

When I only knew of the letter M, I suspected it might stand for the name of the company which made the tokens. But now that there are three letters, and we know the order is TAM, I suspect those are the initials of the engraver. According to Woodward's Coins of Shanghai, these tokens were made in the USA. There are many similar transportation tokens used all over the USA around that time. I wonder if any of those have hidden letters? Some of the USA pieces with this scrollwork background were made by S. G. Adams Co. of St. Louis. They made the St. Louis bus tokens of this style. Perhaps TAM worked for Adams? The first person to report these hidden letters was Elmer Randall, who contacted me about them in 1998.
Researcher on coins, paper money and tokens of China.

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Re: China General Omnibus Company Limited - Shanghai
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 03:47:47 AM »

5) TAM hidden in 1st and 2nd O and D of GOOD  --  this is your piece -- a new discovery -- and I would like to know what is hidden on the other side.

There is nothing hidden on the other side. [although the centre of the scroll is difficult to see] Here is another scan at 720dpi.



I only have a couple of US transport types, nothing on those or a Toronto which is of a similar style. I have previously spent time searching for designers initials; possibly they were not allowed on US tokens so he took the opportunity when an offshore job came to hand.

« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 11:57:42 AM by Niels »
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.