Allô allô

Started by Figleaf, November 29, 2008, 12:46:25 AM

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Figleaf

I like telephone tokens. Once you get past the handful that are easy to get, you enter a field that's ultra-cheap, yet hard to collect. Here is a picture of a French 10 centimes token. The complicated logo is CTHE, with the C and E doubled. This stands for "Compagnie Thomson Houston Electrique". This company constructed the Paris telephone network. The company went through a series of permutations but still exists today.

I think this token was produced around 1916-1923, as official coins became scarce in France. At that time, public telephones already existed. Caleb Carr aficionados will know that his heroes use them. So is this a telephone token? I am not sure. It might just as well have been used in the company restaurants. However, it is certainly a mini-monument to the time when you could still dial a number, pick up the phone while leaving it where it was or be put through to a wrong number by an operator.

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

redwine

#1
Only just spotted this  ::)
There was also a 5c piece  8)
Elie C670 apparently.
PS could that be CTHF - Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston (CFTH)
Always willing to trade.  See my profile for areas of interest.

Figleaf

Good point, redwine. The C is not doubled. That's a fancy curl behind it. Deduct the same curl on the right and what you are left with is an F.

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

redwine

Thanks Peter  ;)
So what's it for?  Would that change the timeframe?
Telephone, Tramways......?
Elie - all I've got to do is find out the book the reference refers to  :-[
C670,1 is the 5ct
C670,2 is the 10ct.

Is it this one?  Jetons et médailles publicitaires français et coloniaux : Commerce et industrie, artisanat, professions libérales, maisons de tolérance
Always willing to trade.  See my profile for areas of interest.

Figleaf

According to Wikipedia, CFTH existed from 1893 to 1966. That period coincides with only one token wave: 1916-1923. I think it is safe to conclude that this is the date range for that token. The denomination of 10 centimes fits right in.

The objective of the token is not so clear. It is unlikely to be a tram token. CFTH made the equipment, but didn't exploit it. Distribution of electricity is possible, but the company had a number of specialised daughters, so why use the mother's name? A phone token it is not, because its format is so different from other known French phone tokens and the telephone network was national, not local.

My best guess is based on the fact that in much of the period 1916-1923 copper was scarce, as it is a war metal, but towards the end of the period, it became plentiful again. In 1922, the company moved its HQ to the boulevard Haussmann, a prestigious address. Taken these two facts together, I think the tokens may be for use in the new company restaurant on blvd Haussmann. That would neatly explain using the mother company's logo.

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

redwine

Thanks Peter  ;D
I was hoping telephone   :'(
The search continues................
Always willing to trade.  See my profile for areas of interest.

redwine

#6
I found this piece mentioned in CATALOGUE ILLUSTRE DES MONNAIES FRANCAISES DE LA GUERRE 1914-1919 by Louis Ciani under Paris, which I've just acquired.  8)  Sadly there is no date on the pamphlet  :'(
Narrows the date down nicelyish ;D
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