Author Topic: Manufacturers of UK transportation tokens  (Read 2514 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline malj1

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 985
  • "illegitimi non carborundum"
    • Mals Machine Tokens
Manufacturers of UK transportation tokens
« on: October 25, 2013, 07:10:55 AM »
Forty years ago Priscilla Langridge wrote a series of articles Aspects of Transport Tokens for the magazine Coin Monthly. Her concluding article [Sept.1972] gave details of the manufacturers.
I have scanned this part. [OCR] edited for schpelling...
Reference numbers and letters in this article are quoted from Catalogue of World Transportation Tokens and Passes by Kenneth Smith.

CRYSTALATE (MOULDINGS) LIMITED, TONBRIDGE
The above company has produced celluloid tokens from 1915. At first the brass dies of the various corporation tramway departments were used. In later years Crystalate had their own die sinkers cut dies from steel. Such dies, having a polished surface, produced good quality tokens. Hand-operated presses of standard design, matched with pre-punched blanks of cellulose acetate sheet, were used until 1938.
In 1915 tram tokens for Birmingham (80 AB, AC, AI var., AM var.) were made by this company, as were the tokens of Lancaster Corporation (England 440 AA to AG) in the 1920s. Tokens for Chesterfield (170 AA, AB, BC var.), Oldham (570 AA var., AD var.) and Aberdale (Wales 30, AE, AF) were also produced by the early hand-operated presses.
In 1938 experiments were made with an early type of hand-operated injection moulding machine. Cellulose acetate was again used but in a powdered form suitable for pre-heating and injecting into the specially cut cold dies. Such methods proved satisfactory and have been in use by Crystalate for over thirty years. Tokens have been made by the company using this method for: Birmingham (Eng. 80 CA to CF, ZA, ZB, ZC), Bradford (Eng 115 BA var., BD var., BF), Bury (150 CA to CF), Huddersfield (400 BF var., BG var., BI), Manchester (500 BA var., BB var., BF var., BG var.), Oldham (570 AB, AC var., AD var.), Rochdale (625 BA, BB, ZA, ZB), Salford (655 BA to BE), Stockport (725 BB) and Wakefield (800 AA var., AB, CA to CG).
In  1956 twenty patterns were produced for Rochdale Corporation (625 /A, ZB) known by the usual inscription ROCHDALE TRANSPORT being left off the reverse. Another pattern set was issued the same year for Bury Corporation and had a die error on the obverse, the title reading BURY TRANSPORT CORPORATION around the arms of the borough. Proof  d blue and 1d red tokens were struck and new dies cut to enable Bury Corporation's order to be run off on the injection moulding presses.
Patterns for Birmingham City Transport tokens (80 ZA, ZB, ZC) were made in 1960 (2d red, 3d pink and 4d blue) but were not adopted for use. The official order was for more 2d orange, 3d blue and 4d pink tokens, the 1d red being, retained (Eng. CD, CE, CF). The 2d token had first been issued in January 1953 and the 3d and 4d tokens in January and February 1956. It was hoped that they would meet the problems of rising transport costs which occurred after the war. The 1d and 1d City Transport tokens were first made in the 1940s (the 1d token red, the 1d token green as for the trams).

F E WILSON (PLASTICS) LIMITED, SUTTON COLDFIELD
This small company uses a semi-automatic machine which is basically of the same design as the standard hand-fed presses. Celluloid tokens were produced on this machine for Birmingham City Tramways in 1942. The .070 in. thick cellulose acetate sheet for the pre-punched blanks was supplied by Xylonite Ltd. Tokens, in a standard range of colours, were later struck in .070 in. thick cellulose nitrate acetate supplied by Bakelite Xylonite Limited.
The quality of tokens produced by F E Wilson Limited is of high standard and purchases have been made by the transport departments of: Accrington (Eng. 51), Blackburn, Darwen, Ipswich, Preston (Eng. 605 BA, BB, BC), Southampton (705 BA to CD), West Bromwich and Wolverhampton (875 AA to AK).

A WHEATLEY LIMITED, STOCKPORT
This is another small company, but one with up-to-date methods, the tokens being produced on a large injection moulding machine. The die plates hold up to sixteen sets of tokens at a time. Marks can be seen on the reverse from the ejector pins which push the tokens out after impression.
In 1956 Manchester Corporation Transport put in a tender for tokens with this company and received regular supplies of the values 1d red, 1d black, 2d green and 3d red (Eng. 50O BF var., BI, BJ.BK).
In recent years A Wheatley Limited  have supplied tokens to Buxton, Leigh, Manchester, Selnec and Chapel-en-Frith.

RELIANCE NAMEPLATES LIMITED, TWICKENHAM
In the 1920s this company was the third largest producer of celluloid tokens. These were manufactured from pre-punched blanks of cellulose acetate strip on standard hand-fed presses.
In 1948 a fire completely destroyed the factory and the company had to find new premises. Some unusual tokens were produced prior to the fire but the production method is unknown as all reference to them was lost in the blaze. The company continued to use the original type of press until 1963 when the production of celluloid tokens was discontinued. The last two customers, Southport Corporation Transport and Belfast Corporation Transport had to look elsewhere for a manufacturer.
The unusual tokens mentioned above all had a cardboard centre piece on to which the obverse and reverse sides were held in position by a steel or celluloid ring. Such tokens were made (prior to 1948) for Hastings and District Tramways (Eng. 370 BA, BB, BC, BD) Lytham St AnnesBorough Tramways (490 AA to AF) and Southend-on-Sea Borough Tramways (710 AA to AE).
Tokens were also produced for the following transport corporations: Lytham St Annes, Darlington (230 AA var., AB var., AC, AF var.), Hull (405 CP to C2), Southend-on-Sea, Southport (715 AH to BK), Belfast (Northern Ireland 160 AA to AH), and Edinburgh (Scotland 360 AH, AI, AJ).

H B SALE LIMITED, BIRMINGHAM
This firm has manufactured metal tokens (Eng. 105A), nameplates, passes and medals from the beginning of the century. Injection moulded celluloid tokens were first made in the 1950s for Barrow-in-Furness Corporation Transport, Education Committee (Eng. 50 BA to BF). A second set of six values was later produced for general issue (5O AK to BP)

WOOLEN AND COMPANY LIMITED, SHEFFIELD
A great many transport departments have been supplied with celluloid tokens by this firm over the past fifty years. Unfortunately their premises were bombed during the 1939-45 war and all old records, early dies and samples were lost. The original presses were hand-operated and pre-punchcd blanks were made from either cellulose acetate or vulcanized fibre. The blanks were heated before being hand-fed into the press.
The company has produced a number of interesting die shapes. The first were the 23mm. and 28mm. hexagonal tokens produced for Hull Tramways (405 AJ, AK, AQ, BE, BF, BO, BQ, GA, CL, CT, CU, CZ) and (Eng. 405 KLM). Sheffield also selected this shape for their 2d and 3d tokens (685 CJ to CM). In the late 1950s twelve-sided tokens were produced for Sheffield and for Gateshead (685 DK, DL, DM and 315 AB, AC).
Oval shaped tokens are unique to Nottingham Corporation and their large set of values exhausts the range of colours available in celluloid sheet.
In 1961 a new type of automatic injection moulding press was purchased and new dies produced, the old ones not being suitable.
The company has produced tokens for a great number of towns, many of which have had other suppliers.


Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline Kushi

  • Cataloging Transport Fare Tokens of the World
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 345
Re: Manufacturers of UK transportation tokens
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 09:46:43 AM »
Many thanks Malj1. This is a really important work.

Offline malj1

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 985
  • "illegitimi non carborundum"
    • Mals Machine Tokens
Re: Manufacturers of UK transportation tokens
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 10:31:14 AM »
Thank you, I thought so too.

I see too that I had forgotten my intention of mentioning that the reference numbers and letters quoted in the article, refer to the first edition published in 1967.

[the Catalogue of World Transportation Tokens and Passes by Kenneth Smith]
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Online Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29 280
Re: Manufacturers of UK transportation tokens
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 11:39:05 AM »
Thank you for digging this up, Malcolm. With the clues provided, more tokens might be tied to their makers.

Another open question I have is on the design. The denominations were probably stock style numbers and letters if any and therefore another indication of the maker. What about the arms, though? I suspect the institution ordering the tokens was asked to provide them and they were converted to moulds by some mechanical process, but I have no confirmation for that suspicion.

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

Offline malj1

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 985
  • "illegitimi non carborundum"
    • Mals Machine Tokens
Re: Manufacturers of UK transportation tokens
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 12:12:47 PM »
One possibility is that most cities, boroughs, etc., had seals bearing their arms in those days; an impression from these would give the necessary design quite easily.

Or later on printing blocks too would have been pretty accurate copies. I.E. see any letterhead from those days, these are usually works of art.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline malj1

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 985
  • "illegitimi non carborundum"
    • Mals Machine Tokens
Re: Manufacturers of UK transportation tokens
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 03:56:38 AM »
Here is the late John Tolson's article:

Pieces of Plastic:- Some Manufacturers and Materials for Transport Tokens in the British Isles.   John Tolson
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Online Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29 280
Re: Manufacturers of UK transportation tokens
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2018, 08:58:42 AM »
Very interesting. Is this information integrated in the UK transport section of WoT?

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

Offline malj1

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 985
  • "illegitimi non carborundum"
    • Mals Machine Tokens
Re: Manufacturers of UK transportation tokens
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2018, 09:05:29 AM »
I don't think so...

but it is linked via the book page back to here.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.