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Stockholm ferry tokens

Started by Lou Salerno, July 31, 2019, 02:47:06 AM

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Lou Salerno

I'm hoping that someone can help me with attributing this token.

There are only four aluminum Stockholm ferry tokens listed in Smith's book, so I thought it was 820 OC.

Problem is, it only measures 23 mm, not 25. The only 23 mm aluminum token Listed is 820 OD, but it is a rounded pentagon shape.

Any insight will be appreciated.


Mine is 23 mm as well. I have seen hundreds of these and never noticed that any are notably bigger or smaller than usual, though I haven't measured every single one that's passed through my hands.

Conclusion: Smith is wrong. You have a normal token that is a good example of a late token from a very prolific issuer  :)

(There are also a lot of SÅAB tokens missing altogether from Smith, though I have yet to see a publication that manages to include anywhere near all of the known variants. The series is huge.)

Lou Salerno

Thank you ! - I always wonder if I'm missing something.

Considering the number of typos I make, it's not difficult to see one or two errors in a book of Smith's extent.

I did find a couple of other problems:

Token 820 LR is listed as measuring 19 mm in Smith's 1967 work, but has mysteriously grown to 24 mm in the 1980 book - I guess we all increase in girth with time —- still, mine measures only 22 mm.

Token 820 MM (with the incuse "20" over the 4) is listed as having reverses of 712 and 731, however mine is clearly 722 (Morrell & Co.) Since the same token without the overstamp (820 ML) is listed as having reverses 712 and 722, it makes sense that the 731 designation is a misprint.

As always, comments are welcome.


I have two examples of 820LR (Sporrong and Gumaelius reverses) and both measure 22.4 mm. However, this token is not round (see attached) and there are at least two reasonably logical ways of measuring it. You can take point to point (blue on my example), essentially treating it as a circle with bites taken out of it, or you can interpret it as a square with bites taken out, where the original edges are marked in black on my example and the measurement is in red. My 22.4 mm is the blue measurement I think; I'm not at home to check so only have access to digital records.

820MM I don't have so I can't shed any light there. Can you post a picture? I can then see if it's written up elsewhere (e.g. Stockholmspolletter).

More generally I often find that the diameters given in Smith aren't that accurate. I don't know whether this is because he didn't use a caliper and preferred to align the token with a ruler, which is always going to be less accurate, or whether he originally measured in inches (quite likely given someone in the US in the 1960s) and converted to millimetres with an inaccurate conversion factor or dodgy mental arithmetic. Or both. Usually I ignore the diameters given where the diameter is not the only distinguishing feature between two or more varieties, and where it is the only distinguishing feature, I just note that Smith has "bigger" and "smaller" variants. I then measure them for myself according to whatever accuracy and criteria suit me.

Lou Salerno

Good information - thanks !

Sure, here's a picture of the 820 MM. Clearly a 722 Reverse.


These Smith listings are updated from time to time in the Farebox.

While not directly linked to the above tokens we have this: [of the ones I have]

(from the Farebox January 1999)

Malmo Stads Sparvagar MSS
AR 19mm aluminum sd K Pollett $1 .00
Malmo Limhamn 10
AS 21 mm brass sd logo with lightning, wheel, wings $1 .00

Stockholms Angslups Aktiebolag 25
PA 24mm steel per Passagerare Pollett (reverse # 712) $1 .50
This token is similar to previously listed pieces except that metal is Steel
Liljeholmens Kabel
PB 24mm brass sd C C C Sporrong ( in rectangle) $1 .00
The Sporrong company logo on this token is a new variety . We will list
this variety as reverse # 745, which should be added to the listing as shown
on page # 110 of the World Horsecar catalog . ( see rubbing above )
Aktiebolaget Finnboda Varf Stockholm ( ships propeller )
QA 24mm brass sd C C C Sporrong ( in rectangle) reverse # 745 $2 .00

Svenska Amerika Linien 50 ( 50 is incuse )
I  23mm brass scalloped 10 lobes Sporrong Stockholm $2 .50

This last - ship money item is of interest and could be added to the listing of Ships tokens on WoT I was unaware of these.
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Lou Salerno