World of Coins

Tokens used for payments => Transport tokens => Ferry, toll road and bridge tokens. => Topic started by: FosseWay on April 14, 2013, 03:56:14 PM

Title: Gothenburg, Sweden: shipyard ferry tokens
Post by: FosseWay on April 14, 2013, 03:56:14 PM
In the Göteborgs färjetrafik thread (,18407.0.html) I described some of the tokens issued for general public use on the ferries which link the north and south bank of the Göta älv in Gothenburg. This thread covers tokens issued for the same ferries by the shipyards for the use of their employees, many of which lack easy means of identification.

By an accident of geography, most of the population of Gothenburg lives on the south side of the river, but most of the shipyards, not to mention Volvo, are located on the north side, on the island of Hisingen. Even today there are only two bridges, and it's often easier to take the ferry if your destination is some way from either. The first vehicular bridge, Götaälvsbron was built in the 1930s and the big motorway bridge at the mouth of the river, Älvsborgsbron, in the 1960s. Before these, there were just ferries plus a footbridge, Hisingsbron (there exists a bridge token for the latter, which I unfortunately don't have).

As a result, many workers needed to cross the river to get to work, and the larger shipyards provided a discount on the ferries by buying tokens at full price from the ferry company and selling them at a discount to their employees, who then gave them back to the ferry company each time they travelled.

First: Eriksbergs varv and Eriksbergs Mekaniska Verkstad. The 10 öre token is relatively unusual in having a numerical value. It also states the shipyard's name in full. Smith reference: Sweden 240 GK.

The EMW token is more typical, bearing no mark of value, no indication of what it was used for and no easy way of identifying it. This variant is, incidentally, not described by Smith (at least not in the first edition). Smith describes a version that has the initials EMV but is otherwise identical. The difference exists because of a change in Swedish spelling. The sound V was often written W, as it still is in German, before 1905 but spellings were standardised with V in that year. However, it took some time for personal, place and company names to catch up, and indeed some still are spelt with a W. EMV Smith reference is Sweden 240 GI.

Eriksberg 10 öre: brass, 18.0 mm, 2.23 g
EMW: brass, 19.0 mm, 1.99 g
Title: Re: Gothenburg, Sweden: shipyard ferry tokens
Post by: FosseWay on April 14, 2013, 04:00:50 PM
Next: Götaverken Arendal (GVA), which was situated to the west of the city near where the Volvo plant now is. These aren't mentioned by Smith at all.

The Götaverken Arendal shipyard closed in 1981, but I have no other information about when these tokens were used.

GVA monogram token: brass, 22.0 mm, 2.48 g
GVA simple text: brass, 23.0 mm, 3.70 g
Title: Re: Gothenburg, Sweden: shipyard ferry tokens
Post by: FosseWay on April 14, 2013, 04:08:27 PM
Then comes Lindholmens Varv. The LV token comes in two forms, one with blank reverse as here, and one with Sporrong's trademark as with the GVA tokens.

Later tokens were made of plastic, and are contemporary with the blue general-use ferry tokens described in the other thread. The text on the green token here explains that these tokens are only valid on ferry routes 3 and 4 for LV employees, and are not transferable. A similar token in yellow exists for Götaverken.

LV: brass, 19.0 mm, 3.50 g
Endast för anställda vid AB Lindholmens Varv: green plastic, 21.2 mm, 0.58 g
Title: Re: Gothenburg, Sweden: shipyard ferry tokens
Post by: FosseWay on April 14, 2013, 04:18:29 PM
Finally, for the time being at least, a token from Ångslups AB Hisingen for 3 öre, issued between 1907 and 1917. This token does not appear to be a shipyard issue but is in fact associated with the main Götaverken shipyard. ÅAB was founded and owned by Götaverken specifically to transport its workers across the river, so this token was used slightly differently from the others. There was no relationship with an external ferry provider to take into account, so these tokens will have been issued and used much as the public tram and ferry tokens were - simply as an alternative to legal tender currency and to avoid the need for ferry staff to carry and give change.

Ångslups AB Hisingen 3 öre: brass, 21.8 mm, 2.59 g
Title: Re: Gothenburg, Sweden: shipyard ferry tokens
Post by: Figleaf on February 08, 2021, 10:52:46 AM
I just used some of the info in this thread to id a token. Thanks for posting this. Very useful.