Hungary Telephone tokens

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Hutel.jpg

Hungary has a special place in the history of the telephone, because it was the birthplace of Tivadar Puskás, who first had the idea of a telephone exchange. Upon emigrating to the US, he contacted Thomas Edison and convinced him to build a telephone exchange. In 1877, the Bell Telephone Company created the first experimental telephone exchange in Boston, based on the plans of Puskás. The first Hungarian telephone exchange was built in 1881 on 10 Fürdő Street (now József Attila Street). Photo: Metropolitan Szabó Ervin Library, Budapest Collection. Building on this invention, Puskás introduced “Hírmondó” (telephone Herald) in Hungary in 1893. The service operated as a radio station before radio had been invented. By that time, all telephone exchanges in Hungary were networked.

As the Hungarian government and military did not show interest in the telephone, the network developed along commercial imperatives. The system worked fine in Budapest and was largely absent in agricultural centres. Domestic long distance calls started to take off only in 1903.

The situation changed radically under communism, as the government took a monopolist position through Magyar Posta, but developed government and military connections as a priority. The result was that the Hungarian telephone network outside Budapest was and remained one of the worst in Europe until Magyar Posta became an independent government agency in 1983. In 1990, while there were still manual exchanges, digitalisation of the network started as the telephone service was spun off into the Hungarian Telecommunications Company (Magyar Távközlési - Matáv), now majority owned by Deutsche Telekom.

National telephone tokens
THU1.jpg
Filename THU1
Side 1 MAGYAR POSTA (Hungarian Post) and post horn with olive branch
Side 2 TELEFON ÉRME (telephone coin)
Manufacture copper-nickel
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
THU2.jpg
Filename THU2
Side 1 MAGYAR POSTA (Hungarian Post) and post horn with olive branch
Side 2 TELEFON ÉRME (telephone coin)
Manufacture copper
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
THU3.jpg
Filename THU3
Side 1 MAGYAR POSTA (Hungarian Post) and post horn with olive branch
Side 2 TELEFON ÉRME (telephone coin)
Manufacture brass
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
THU4.jpg
Filename THU4
Side 1 Dial / TELEFON AUTOMATA
Side 2 XV M or number
Manufacture copper-nickel
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
File:THU5.jpg
Filename THU5
Side 1 Dial / TELEFON AUTOMATA
Side 2 number
Manufacture brass clad iron
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes holed
Source Groenendijk
File:THU6.jpg
Filename THU6
Side 1 Δ L15
Side 2 Δ L15
Manufacture copper-nickel
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes holed
Source Groenendijk
File:THU7.jpg
Filename THU7
Side 1 Δ
Side 2 Δ / number
Manufacture Brass
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
File:THU8.jpg
Filename THU8
Side 1 Δ BM 1
Side 2 Δ Bm 1
Manufacture Brass
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes holed
Source Groenendijk
Budapest telephone tokens
File:THB1.jpg
Filename THB1
Side 1 FONCIÈRE / *BUDAPEST* / BIZTOSÍTÓ (insurance)
Side 2 TELEFON ÉREM (telephone token)
Manufacture Copper-nickel
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
File:THB2.jpg
Filename THB2
Side 1 SZT•ROKUS•KÓRHÁZCSOPORT•1936 (holy rock house group)
Side 2 arms and +
Manufacture Copper-nickel
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
File:THB3.jpg
Filename THB3
Side 1 SZENT JÁNOS•KÓRHÁZ (Saint John's House)
Side 2 TELEFON ÉRME (telephone coin)
Manufacture Copper-nickel
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
File:THB4.jpg
Filename THB4
Side 1 * VICTÓRIA HARISNYAGNÁR BUDAPEST (Victoria tights)
Side 2 TELEFON ÉREM (telephone token)
Manufacture Copper-nickel
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
File:THB5.jpg
Filename THB5
Side 1 IRGALMASREND KÓRHÁZA • BUDAPEST (House of Ireland)
Side 2 TELEFON ÉREM (telephone token)
Manufacture Brass
Size (mm) 21.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
Pécs telephone tokens
File:THP1.jpg
Filename THP1
Side 1 number
Side 2 blank
Manufacture red painted steel
Size (mm) 28.0
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk
File:THP2.jpg
Filename THP2
Side 1 number
Side 2 blank
Manufacture green painted steel
Size (mm) 23.5
Weight (grams)
Notes
Source Groenendijk