Author Topic: Dutch bicycle tax tokens  (Read 6885 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« on: February 28, 2010, 05:09:50 PM »
All tokens were struck by the Dutch Mint in Utrecht. The original price was 3,-- (1924-1928), 2,50 (1929-1941) or 0,-- (tokens with a round or star-shaped hole). Tokens of 1941/42 were not put up for sale. The distance between the slots for mounting is 56 mm on all tokens.

Historic information wil follow.

periodhole (mm)metalmintagedesigner
1924brass
1 776 749
192415brass
53 753
1924star(1)brass
221
1925aluminium (2)
2 160 612
C. J. van der Hoef
192515aluminium (2)
61 802
C. J. van der Hoef
1925staraluminium (2)
211
C. J. van der Hoef
1926brass
2 198 485
C. J. van der Hoef
192615brass
66 973
C. J. van der Hoef
1926starbrass
204
C. J. van der Hoef
1927copper
2 252 041
C. J. van der Hoef
192715 copper
72 308
C. J. van der Hoef
1927star copper
211
C. J. van der Hoef
1928brass
2 525 462
C. J. van der Hoef
192815brass
79 705
C. J. van der Hoef
1928starbrass
217
C. J. van der Hoef
1929/30brass
2 627 220
C. J. van der Hoef
1929/3015brass
75 648
C. J. van der Hoef
1929/30starbrass
204
C. J. van der Hoef
1930/31brass
2 699 126
C. J. van der Hoef
1930/3111brass
81 597
C. J. van der Hoef
1930/31starbrass
231
C. J. van der Hoef
1931/32brass
2 761 702
C. J. van der Hoef
1931/327brass
96 625
C. J. van der Hoef
1931/32starbrass
243
C. J. van der Hoef
1932/33brass
2 811 370
C. J. van der Hoef
1932/337brass
138 955
C. J. van der Hoef
1932/33starbrass
300
C. J. van der Hoef
1933/34brass
2 895 742
C. J. van der Hoef
1933/347brass
243 240
C. J. van der Hoef
1933/34starbrass
400
C. J. van der Hoef
1934/35brass
2 995 488
W. J. Rozendaal
1934/355brass
312 334
W. J. Rozendaal
1934/35starbrass
341
W. J. Rozendaal
1935/36brass
3 061 402
W. J. Rozendaal
1935/367brass
378 708
W. J. Rozendaal
1935/36starbrass
394
W. J. Rozendaal
1936/37brass
3 108 466
J. C. Wienecke
1936/377brass
440 260
J. C. Wienecke
1936/37starbrass
388
J. C. Wienecke
1937/38brass
3 212 171
J. C. Wienecke
1937/387brass
454 156
J. C. Wienecke
1937/38starbrass
408
J. C. Wienecke
1938/39brass
3 261 983
J. C. Wienecke
1938/397brass
457 782
J. C. Wienecke
1938/39starbrass
416
J. C. Wienecke
1939/40new silver (2)
3 353 023
J. C. Wienecke
1939/404new silver (2)
442 550
J. C. Wienecke
1939/40starnew silver (2)
500
J. C. Wienecke
1940/41brass
3 590 477
J. C. Wienecke
1940/414brass
431 728
J. C. Wienecke
1940/41starbrass
500
J. C. Wienecke
1941/42brass
(3)
J. C. Wienecke

(1) for uniformed policemen
(2) all tokens have a thickness of 0.32 mm, except 1925 (0.4 mm) and 1939/40 (0.27 mm)
(3) patterns and restrikes only
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 04:57:46 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline RHM22

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 05:45:13 PM »
I probably will seem like an idiot, but what is the purpose of a bicycle token? I've never heard of such a thing.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 05:56:12 PM »
The idea of taxing bicycles is Belgian. Local governments introduced the tax one after another. The first was the province of Antwerp in 1892. The Dutch province of North Brabant tried to imitate the idea in 1896, but didn't have the required fiscal autonomy. However, the idea had come to the attention of the central government. There was much resistance against it, as the tax hit the poor twice, first because the tax was independent of income, second because they were much more likely to be needing the bicycle for their job. These considerations were of little concern to the christian-democrats, who were staunchly conservative as well as opposed to socialism. The tax became law in August 1924.

Brass was chosen because it does not oxidize quickly. The army offered to deliver the brass at a bargain price, 0.60 a kilo - using spent shells, but the mintmaster insisted on much more expensive imported brass (1.64 a kilo). The tokens were a constant source of complaints. They were imitated, stolen, forgotten or not mounted in the proper place. Creative businessmen came up with leather and cellophane frames, so the tokens could be easily removed when the bike was left in the street. The government relented and allowed the token to be worn visibly on clothes.

The holed token was originally meant for poor people living at least half an hour walking from their job. The crisis of 1929 brought mass unemployment. In 1932, the definition of "poor" was expanded to include the unemployed. In those days, unemployment was considered a social disgrace. However, the free tax token for the unemployed was clearly marked with a hole, so that the unemployed had to advertise their misfortune. As if that wasn't insensitive enough, the government also insisted to put a fat red stamp in the family booklet (an official booklet listing marriage, birth of children and death details) of the poor and unemployed.

In spite of the extreme unpopularity, the administrative burden and the socially adverse effects of the tax, it was only repealed in May 1941. It had been a standard item in the political programme of NSB, the Dutch nazi sympathizers. When they "came to power", they carried out their programme. Whatever sympathy they gained by their action was soon lost by their behaviour.

I will post some examples of bicycle tokens. They are generally considered numismatic items in the Netherlands.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 05:01:10 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline RHM22

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2010, 06:10:48 PM »
That's very interesting! So they weren't actually used for payment. Rather, they were used to show that you had paid the tax on the bicycle. I suppose it would be comparable to a license plate today, if I understand correctly. Thank you for the explanation.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 06:22:41 PM »
The 1941/42 restrikes were included in a booklet. The metal straps for mounting are at the back of the paper. The shape of the token was changed every year, so that policemen could recognize them quickly and from far.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

andyg

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 06:41:13 PM »
That's very interesting! So they weren't actually used for payment. Rather, they were used to show that you had paid the tax on the bicycle. I suppose it would be comparable to a license plate today, if I understand correctly. Thank you for the explanation.

Much like the Russian beard tokens...

Offline RHM22

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2010, 06:52:55 PM »
Much like the Russian beard tokens...

I've heard of those! They're quite novel, but I've heard that they're pretty rare.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2010, 11:27:01 PM »
Switzerland still has such bicycle tokens. Well, sort of: Such a token in CH is rather proof that you have a liability insurance. Used to be metallic until 1990 or so, and have since then been little stickers. But currently there are plans to do away with it, so the 2011 sticker could be the last one ...

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2010, 11:49:13 PM »
On the later tokens, there was a blank area that could be used to engrave the name of the owner as a protection against theft. A good thing Mr. C. Vilain was Dutch, not French...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2010, 02:03:09 AM »
Here's a very unusual detector find from Bubba. The tax token is still in a metal case, so that it could be removed easily and it has a name and address embossed on it. The best explanation is that the thieves stole the bicycle and threw the token out, as it was useless to them. Bubba is afraid to lose his fun trophy, so he added two Dutch soldiers on bike of the period. ;)

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline RHM22

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2010, 02:23:27 PM »
It would be interesting to take that piece to address listed and see if his relatives still live there.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2010, 02:33:45 PM »
The telephone directory does not list any Jansen in Parkstraat. Unfortunately, the name Jansen is about as uncommon as Johnson or Jones. ;D

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline RHM22

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2010, 03:24:32 PM »
Too bad! That would have been really interesting. A lot of people in the U.S. do that with class rings.

Offline malj1

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2013, 07:14:55 AM »
I now have a piece that looks to be a tax token. RUWIEL BELASTING 1937 - 1938 Brass, 56.4 X 31.4mm. [50mm between slots]

Perhaps 'something' Wheel tax. Google translates Belasting as tax, but it cannot handle RUWIEL.


Edited size, I am left-handed and have to read caliper upside-down - sometimes transposing 9 for 6.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 12:07:38 PM by malj1 »
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline malj1

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Re: Dutch bicycle tax tokens
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2013, 07:25:45 AM »
I just found a similar piece from Transvaal here.

Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.