Author Topic: Hästholmarna ferry tokens, Sweden  (Read 939 times)

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Offline FosseWay

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Hästholmarna ferry tokens, Sweden
« on: May 18, 2013, 04:13:17 PM »
Hästholmarna (in English, the Horse Islands) are a group of islands in Mälaren, the large lake to the west of Stockholm, near the town of Västerås. They have long been a popular tourist destination for day trippers from Västerås, and over the years various tokens were issued for use on the ferries between the town and the islands.

I am aware of four different tokens for this route, issued in two pairs (in each case, one for adults and one for children). I have the two adult tokens, illustrated below. The earlier version, the pentagonal one below, has an earlier spelling of the name, HÄSTHOLMARNE (the ne/na isn't really part of the name and just means 'the'). The official spelling reform that led to this change occurred in 1905 but I suspect that place names took a little longer to catch up, and I doubt the earlier pair of tokens dates from before 1905, but I could be wrong.

The pentagonal token is brass, 21.2 mm, 1.94 g, Smith Sweden 875 FH. It has a companion child token which has the same design but a round, scolloped edge.

The round token is brass, 22.0 mm, 3.72 g, Smith Sweden 875 FI. The equivalent child token is the same but a bit smaller (19 mm).

These appear to have been used in a slightly different way from most transport tokens. According to Smith, rather than buying tokens in advance and then tendering them as payment when they boarded the ferry, passengers paid the ferry conductor with ordinary cash and received a token, which they then had to give back when they disembarked. I'm not entirely sure why this system was used or why it held advantages over more conventional systems. Even if the purpose was to check the number of people on board, there are simpler and more foolproof ways - on my local ferry the crew member standing by the gangplank just has a clicker which s/he clicks once for each person boarding.