India telephone tokens

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InBooth.jpg

In 1881, the British Indian government granted a licence to a British company, the Oriental Telephone Company Ltd to open telephone exchanges at Calcutta, Bombay, Madras and Ahmedabad. Automatic exchanges followed in 1913. In 1933, a radio-telephone connection was established between India and the UK.

After independence, the system was kept under tight government control, resulting in slow modernisation and popularisation. The responsible authority is the Ministry of Communications, which uses the Ashoka pillar in its logo. Lower authorities went through successive name changes to reflect the ascent of telephone communications, descent of telegraph and amalgamation into telecommunications. The test tokens were issued in this period. They served telephone booth repairmen who wanted to make sure their repairs had been effective. Photo: Quang-Tuan Luong, 2007.

Privatisation in the 1990s gave Indian telecommunications an important boost, allowing for a quick catch-up through mobile phones a decade later. This development meant the end of the role of telephone booths.

India telephone tokens
TIN1.jpg
Filename TIN1
Side 1 Ashoka column
Side 2 4-digit number and TEST TOKEN, I.P.& T.
Manufacture bronze
Size (mm) 18.6 x 18.6
Weight (grams) 4
Notes Specifications of the 5 (naye) paise 1957 - 1966, KM 16 and 17. Watchit.jpgTIN1 Varieties
Source Abhay
TIN2.jpg
Filename TIN2
Side 1 Ashoka column
Side 2 4-digit number and TEST TOKEN, I.P.& T.
Manufacture bronze
Size (mm) 22.5
Weight (grams) 4.85
Notes Specifications of the 10 (naye) paise 1957 - 1967, KM 24 and 25. Watchit.jpgTIN2 Varieties
Source Abhay