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Page 2 - Tokens; City of New York Transit Ephemera & Fiscal Issues
The Catalog of Transit Fiscal Ephemera & Exonumia from the City of the New York
(pre-MetroCard)
featuring the collections of George S. Cuhaj & Philip M. Goldstein

Page 2





OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!




Overview

   The tokens of the New York City Transit Authority are without a doubt, the most popular and widely recognized fiscal memorabilia of the New York City Transit System. Hundreds of thousands if not more
of most of the varieties of New York City Transit Authority tokens remain unredeemed. They have been made into every conceivable type of jewelry: necklaces, pendants, bracelets, earrings, tie clasps, cuff links, button shirt collar studs, used as watch faces and rings and I am sure a lot of other novelty items.

   The NYCTA token issues have been well covered in many exonumia journals and urban blogs. However; to the general public, many may not realize the variety of issues that truly exist. 

   Furthermore, and quite unfortunately; misinformation abounds with the sales of so-called "complete sets" of "six" NYCTA tokens in a lucite holder on internet sales sites (and available through the New York City Transit Museum); when in fact there were nine issues: seven Regular Fare and two Special Fare. 

   Add to this, die and font varieties of a few of those varieties; and you have yourself a good 18 tokens to aim for to acquire a basic, yet "true" complete set of tokens for the NYCTA. 

   But, we are not done! One must consider the predecessor issues used prior to NYCTA issued tokens, which were issued by the Board of Transportation - New York City Transit System. These not so quite as recognized.

   Next, but not certainly last; nor to be overlooked; are the individual private companies that operated streetcar and bus services in the 5 boroughs. These include, but not limited to; the very popular Interborough Rapid Transit token that was never circulated. 

   Then, you have some of the earliest horse drawn stage car tokens from the 1800's made of pewter, and Vulcanite - a hardened rubber also known as ebonite. Yes, hard rubber tokens. These older 19th Century token issues fetch hundreds and even thousands of dollars. They may be out of reach for the casual collector, but they do come up for sale from time to time an are a very integral part of the history of New York City Transportation Tokens.

   Another facet of the tokens that is to be considered are the errors. In some cases, they also command a stout price as they are in demand. An exception to this being the NYCTA "Y cutout" token in both large and small varieties (more so for the large). It appears strike errors of the "Y" punch being not "clocked" properly with the words on the token are rather easy to procure. Naturally the more dramatic of these misalignments are more desirable than the lightly misaligned types. The most desirable tokens are where the Y punch is way off center and extends past the rim of the token.

   For some, collecting New York City transit tokens can be a daunting and expensive hobby, for others it is an obsession!

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The Atwood Coffee Catalog

   If you have your heart set on trying to acquire the varieties as some of us do, I highly recommend and suggest, nay; INSIST; that you join the American Vecturist Association, and purchase Volumes 1 (Catalog), 2 (History) and 3 (Varieties) of the Seventh Edition of the Atwood-Coffee Catalog. But, you can purchase the catalogs without joining.

   The Atwood-Coffee is an indispensable guide to collecting tokens. Did I say indispensable? I should say absolutely necessary. As a convenience, I am providing the link to the American Vecturist Association.

   The tokens listed below are accompanied with their corresponding Atwood-Coffee catalog number for the New York State chapter: NY630A. For the most part, the tokens are listed here below in alpha-numerical order, as listed in the catalog, with some minor corrections and reorganization to allow for chronological order and continuity.

   Also, some detailed notes accompany the listing with the respective tokens, that elaborate further than the Atwood-Coffee catalog does.

   Tokens displayed on this page are presented at 200% on a 16:9 widescreen format monitor at 100% window size; and all images are scaled accordingly to one another.

   It should also be noted that token issues for the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad and its successor the Port Authority Trans Hudson are listed on that respective page:

Page 12 - Hudson & Manhattan Railroad / Port Authority Trans Hudson

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19th Century Transit Token Issues

   

   Possibly the least known and least observed of the New York City transit tokens. They are without a doubt, historical. We are fortunate to have these available for inclusion here.

   The Omnibus, a rear entry stagecoach drawn by two horses with interior seating for 12 to 14 passengers was introduced to New York in 1827. 

   By 1849 there were 425 vehicles operating on 25 franchise routes. By 1851, there were 608 vehicles in operation. All but one route converged on Broadway south of Canal Street towards South Ferry. Only ten of these routes issues tokens.

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Nassau Railroad

   Organized in 1865 it would operate three horsecar lines in Brooklyn, with parts reaching into Queens. It would merge in 1868 to form the Brooklyn City, Hunters Point and Prospect Park Railroad.

21mm, brown Vulcanite, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY629A

extremely rare; $500.00 to $700.00

Brooklyn Cross Town Railroad

23mm, coper nickel, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY629B

extremely rare; $250.00 to $500.00

15/16", brass, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY629 not listed

extremely rare; $500.00 to $750.00

Brooklyn City Railroad

   This zone check is believed to have been used as a payment receipt for the extra fare collected on the line extending down Brooklyn's Third Avenue to Fort Hamilton.
An extra fare was paid at the Brooklyn city line (in 1870s).

Zone Check

31mm, black Vulcanite, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY997A

extremely rare; $500.00 to $750.00

Third Avenue Railroad

   In 1855 the Third Avenue Rail Road extended service up to Harlem. Although the service was in operation, the rails were not yet laid the full distance, so a horse car was used on the southern parts and an omnibus on the northern reaches of the line. The tokens show an omnibus or railcar with Yorkville or Harlem destinations for a total of four varieties.  George H. Lovett was the die engraver, and an "L" on each obverse is at ground level, he may have also struck these token. The scarcer varieties are the omnibus with the Yorkville destination and the horse car with the Harlem destination. The cash fare for the full distance was 15 cents unless the tokens were purchased ahead of time.

Harlem

27mm, pewter, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630M

rare; $500.00 to $750.00 for better grade

Yorkville

27mm, pewter, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630N

rare; $500.00 to $750.00 for better grade

Harlem

27mm, pewter, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630O

extremely rare; $600.00 to $850.00 for better grade

Yorkville

27mm, pewter, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630P

rare; $300.00 to $500.00 for better grades

To Cable Line

23mm, copper nickel, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630Q

The first Cable Line in NYC opened in 1885 and operated crosstown on 125th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. In 1893-94 the Third Avenue Railroad it's main route from Park Row up Third Avenue to 129th Street to cable operations. This token dates 1885-1894.

uncommon, but the second most common of the 19th Century tokens
$50.00 to $75.00



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4th Avenue Line - Haskins & Wilkins

   Haskins & Wilkins operated the 4th Avenue Line. Two routes with thirty-five two-horse stages.

27mm, pewter, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630E

extremely rare; $1000.00 to $1250.00

5th and 7th Avenue Lines - Marshalls & Townsend

   Marshalls & Townsend operated the 5th and 7th Avenue Lines.  They operated forty-six two-horse stages. Soon after ordering the tokens, they sold the franchise for the 5th Avenue route, so some have the 5th & lettering scratched off from the struck token. A later order of tokens had the "5th &" removed in die. So, the A-C listing is reversed chronologically, but show properly here

5th and 7th Avenue Lines

27mm, pewter, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630F

extremely rare; $1000.00 to $1250.00

7th Avenue Lines ("5th &" scratched off token)

27mm, pewter, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630H

very rare; $400.00 to $600.00

7th Avenue Lines ("5th &" removed from die)

27mm, pewter, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630G

very rare; $400.00 to $600.00

6th Avenue Lines - Young & Ward

   Young & Ward operated the 6th Avenue Line with forty two-horse stages on two very similar routes, the cross over on 8th or 9th street being the only difference.

27mm, pewter, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630I

very rare; $400.00 to $600.00

8th Avenue Lines - Finch, Sanderson & Co.

   Finch, Sanderson & Co. operated the 8th Avenue Line with fifty-six two-horse stages. The first order of tokens had both partners listed, but when Sanderson left the partnership, his name was removed from the tokens on the existing stock.

27mm, pewter, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630J

very rare; $400.00 to $600.00

("Sanderson" scratched off token)

27mm, pewter, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630 (unlisted)

extremely rare; $750.00 to $1000.00

Kipp Brown & Co.

   Kipp & Brown operated the Chelsea Line. They operated three routes with sixty-two two-horse stages. The franchise, stables, omnibuses and horses sold for $85,000 in 1856.

Chelsea Line

27mm, pewter, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630K

very rare; $250.00 to $400.00

Telegraph Line - Tyson & Co.

   Tyson & Co. operated the Telegraph Line. It was the only east-west route of the token issuing companies. They used eighteen two-horse stages in 1851, increased to thirty in 1852. William Tyson sold out the line in 1856. There are four varieties of tokens: Two each of the lettering near or far from the edge, the near the edge variety has one or two periods under the o in Co. The far from edge variety has a period or no period after Tyson. The brass Tyson tokens as a whole are the commonest, the design with the letters close to the edge are the scarcer varieties. William Tyson was the president of the Omnibus Proprietors' Mutual Association.

28mm, brass, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630La (letters close to edge, 2 periods: 1 under ọ in company, 1 after)

uncommon but not rare; $50.00 to $75.00

28mm, brass, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630Lb (letters close to edge, 3 periods: 2 under ọ in company, 1 after)

uncommon but not rare; $75.00 to $100.00

28mm, brass, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630Lc (letters away from edge, 1 period after Tyson, 1 period under ọ in company)

uncommon but not rare; $75.00 to $100.00


28mm, brass, pierced
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630Ld (letters away from edge, 1 period under ọ in company

uncommon but not rare; $75.00 to $100.00

Token collectors please note:

The Telegraph Line - Tyson & Co. tokens are the most common of all the 19th Century transit tokens because they were struck in brass and not pewter.
There is evidence of fire damage on some of these tokens due to a stable fire, and the pewter variety would have melted; and thus not survived whereas the brass variety would.

Fire damaged

42nd Street, Manhattanville & St. Nicholas Avenue Railway

   Boulevard was the pre-1890 name for the section of Broadway north of Columbus Circle.

28mm, copper nickel, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630S

extremely rare; $1000.00 to $1250.00

N-York and Harlaem Railroad Co.

   Incorporated in 1831, the first section opened in 1832 with the first being along Bowery from Prince Street to 14th Street. Further extensions included 1833 for service in Fourth Avenue to 32nd street. In 1834 north along Fourth Avenue to Harlem and then in 1837 further north to Harlem. A southern extension was made in 1839 via Bowery, Broom and Centre Streets to City Hall and Park Row.

   Horse power was used at first for the entire route with steam engines introduced in 1837 for service north of the 27th street depot. After 1870, the horsecar service turned at 42nd Street and continued up Madison Avenue to 86th Street. Steam train service ended at the new Grand Central Terminal.

   The B&S under the railroad coach is the mark of the maker of the token, Bale & Smith.

18mm octagonal, copper-nickel, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY630Dc

three varieties:
a - Rosette counterstamp on obverse
b - Dog counterstamp on obverse
c - without counterstamp

18mm octagonal, copper, solid
Considered a pattern
Atwood-Coffee NY998a

two varieties:
a - without counterstamp
b - leaf counterstamp

tokens at left are photo rendering

18mm octagonal, lead
Considered a pattern
Atwood-Coffee NY998D

two varieties:
a - without counterstamp
b - leaf counterstamp


Expect intense bidding not only from New York topic collectors but broad spectrum token collectors as well.

These New York & Harlaem Railroad tokens crossover in interest to collectors of Hard Times era tokens and NYC collectors in general, expect intense bidding

Omnibus tokens are "pierced" as drivers presumably carried the tokens on a looped ring of wire for convenience. 

The above omnibus tokens were struck as solids by the manufacturer; and the holes were added after delivery.
Unpierced examples do exist and command a 20% premium.

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OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!



20th Century Transit Token Issues - pre-unification



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Surface Transportation Corporation
Orchard Beach Turnstiles

1949

23mm, copper nickel
Atwood-Coffee
NY628A

S.T.C. = Surface Transportation Corporation

fairly common; $7.50

1949

16mm, brass
Atwood-Coffee NY628B

uncommon; $15.00

Manhattan And Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority

1965

23mm, copper nickel
Atwood-Coffee
NY628C

M.A.B. = Manhattan And Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority

fairly common; $7.50

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OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!





Brooklyn Bus Corporation

   Organized as a subsidiary of the Brooklyn - Manhattan Transit Corporation to operate their franchised bus lines. Ultimately it was taken over (along with the BMT) by the New York City Board of Transportation in 1940.
1938

22mm, white metal, gunmetal plated, solid
Atwood-Coffee
NY629C

two varieties

fairly common; $10.00

Brooklyn & Queens Transit Corporation

   Another subsidiary of the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation created in 1929 to operate streetcars in Brooklyn, Queens (and via the Brooklyn or Williamsburg Bridges into Manhattan. Previously these lines were operated by the BMT directly. Ultimately it was taken over (along with the BMT) by the New York City Board of Transportation in 1940.
1929

22mm, white metal, solid
Atwood-Coffee
NY629D

four varieties

common; $7.50

1936

24mm, brass, 2mm punch hole in center
Atwood-Coffee NY629F

uncommon; $15.00

Kings Coach Company

   Operated two routes in Brooklyn (eventually taken over by the BMT) and one in Queens (taken over by Triboro Coach).
1935

23mm, white metal, K cutout
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631Ba - counterstamped

not commonly seen; $20.00

1935

23mm, white metal, K cutout
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631Bb - not counterstamped

not commonly seen; $25.00

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OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!




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Interborough Rapid Transit Company (unissued)
Moderately rare.

ca. 1927

Struck by Scovill Manufacturing for the Interborough Rapid Transit for intended fare increase to 7 or 8 cents in 1928.
The New York State Public Service Commission denied the proposed fare hike, and sacks of tokens were placed into storage.
In 1943, a significant amount of these tokens, still in their original cloth sacks were sold to Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Co,
and smelted into new 16mm H&M Tokens.

In 1948, the remainder were sold again, and smelted for metal content.


22mm, copper nickel
Atwood-Coffee NY630U
6 varieties known regarding design and IRT font

increasingly difficult to find. $75 and up

East Side Omnibus Corporation

   Organized in 1932. The company operated five routes operating on First, Second and York Avenues. The company went bankrupt in 1948 with their routes taken over by the Board of Transportation.

1933

22mm, copper nickel, ES cutout
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630AA

two varieties

fairly common; $10.00

Avenue B & East Broadway Transportation

   Organized in 1932. It operated two routes; Grand Street Crosstown and one on Avenue B. It was taken over by the New York City Transit Authority in 1980.
1934

23mm, copper nickel, diamond center
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630ABa - counterstamped numerals

uncommon; $15.00

1934

23mm, copper nickel, diamond center
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630ABb - not counterstamped

fairly common; $10.00

1947

23mm, copper nickel, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630ACa  - counterstamped numerals

uncommon; $20.00

1947

23mm, copper nickel, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630ACbnot counterstamped

fairly common; $15.00

1951

16mm, copper nickel, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630AD

uncommon; $20.00

1951

16mm, copper nickel, gun metal plated, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630AE

uncommon; $25.00

1952

16mm, copper nickel, red enameled, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630AF

uncommon; $25.00

Department of Plants & Structures Bridge Railroad (Williamsburg Bridge)

The New York City Department of Plants and Structures was a transit operator organized in September 1919 by Mayor John Hylan. The Department was charged with organizing six private entrepreneurs to operate "emergency buses" to replace four abandoned storage battery street car lines: the Madison Street Line; Spring and Delancey Street Line, Avenue C Line and the Sixth Avenue Ferry line.
The system grew taking over the Brooklyn and North River Line (streetcar) and Queens Bus Lines. The DP&S also began operating trolleys in Staten Island to replace the Staten Island Midland Railway. All routes mentioned would be privatized.

Another of the DP&S acquisitions was the Bridge Operating Company, which operated the Williamsburg Bridge Local trolley in 1921. This line, as opposed to the previously mentioned lines; would remain City operated. The fare to cross the bridge was 1 2/3 cents, or three tickets for a nickel. How the tokens factored into this, it not certain. The Williamsburg Bridge trolley was replaced by bus on December 5, 1948, and the bus route was B39 and became part of the City of New York Board of Transportation.

1921-1948?

16mm, copper nickel, star punch out at center
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630AE

common; $10.00

Comprehensive Omnibus Corporation

   Organized in 1933 by the same owners of the East Side Omnibus Co. It operated three routes: the Madison-Chambers Crosstown; 49th-50th Streets Crosstown and the 66th Street Crosstown. The company went bankrupt in 1948 with their routes taken over by the Board of Transportation.
1935

22mm, bronze, CO cutout
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630W

uncommon; $20.00

1944

22mm, steel, CO cutout
Atwood-Coffee 
NY630Y

uncommon; $25.00

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OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!





Green Bus Lines

   Formed in 1925, it combined and sold off numerous smaller company franchises during its lifetime. It was taken over by the MTA in 2006.
1937

21mm, bronze, ball center
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631R

uncommon; $7.00

Jamaica Buses

  Granted bus franchises in 1933 and remained independent of the MTA until 2006.
1933

22mm, brass, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631C

uncommon; $15.00

1972

20mm, brass, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631U

uncommon; $7.00

1976

20mm, brass, bar center
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631V

common; $10.00

North Shore Bus Company


   Established in 1920 and operated until 1947. Routes were concentrated in Flushing and Northern Queens.
unknown date (1935-1947)

22mm, copper nickel, triangle cutout
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631E

uncommon; $15.00

1930

16mm, copper nickel, R cutout
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631F

common; $7.50

New York & Queens County Ry. Co.

   Operated streetcar lines in Western and Northern Queens, as well as a line over the Queensboro Bridge. It was a subsidiary of the Interborough Rapid Transit Co. until the IRT prioritized their operation to subways and elevated lines and no longer wanted to finance the interest payment on the outstanding bonds. Lincoln C. Andrews was appointed receiver for three years commencing January 1923 but the line was unable to raise the fare above five cents.
1924

16mm, coper nickel,
ball center
Atwood-Coffee NY631A

uncommon; $20.00

Queensboro Bridge Railway

   These tokens were issued for the streetcar shuttle which used the outer lanes on the bridge from an underground loop-track terminal on Second Avenue (Manhattan) to a loop track in Queens Plaza. Tokens were used for discounted fares for workers and volunteer at Coler - Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Welfare Island (reached by a station/building built next to the bridge and making a connection with it for automobiles. A bridge connecting Welfare Island to Queens would be built in 1955.
Streetcar operations ended on April 7, 1957.
1944

23mm,
steel, bar center
Atwood-Coffee NY631O

common; $7.00

1945

23mm, brass, bar center
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631P

common; $6.00

1947

23mm,
copper nickel, bar center
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631Q

five varieties.

extremely common; $4.00

   This brass 16mm token was sold to employees and volunteers at the Coler - Goldwater Memorial Hospital at a half fare discount. Although used on the Steinway Transit Company bus serving Welfare Island, it used the name of the corporate owner.
1970

16mm, brass, ball center
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631T

common; $5.00

Steinway Transit 

   These tokens were issued for use by employees and volunteers at the Coler-Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Welfare (now Roosevelt) Island. Tokens were sold at the Hospitals at a half fare discount. They were valid for use only on the Steinway Transit Route serving Welfare Island, the Q102.
1976

16mm, white metal, S
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631W

common; $4.00

Triboro Coach Corporation

   In the 1920 the company was known as the Woodside - Astoria Transportation Company and operated a number of routes in Astoria, Woodside and Maspeth. In 1931 the company was reorganized as Triboro Coach Corp. and added several other routes from smaller companies expanding service to Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona, Forest Hills, Jamaica and Rockaway Park. In 1946 the company was sold to Green Bus Lines but operated as a subsidiary. Eventually the franchise lines were taken over by the MTA in 2006.
1936?

22mm, 
copper nickel, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631I

uncommon; $20.00

1936

22mm, 
copper nickel, gunmetal plated, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631J

uncommon; $15.00

1936

24mm, brass, solid
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631K

common; $12.00

1936

24mm, brass, T punch out
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631L

uncommon; $5.00

undated (1940?)

24mm, copper nickel, copper plated, S
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631M

uncommon; $15.00

1940

24mm, copper nickel, gun metal plated, S
Atwood-Coffee 
NY631n

uncommon; $20.00

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OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!




Richmond Light & Railroad

   John J. Kuhn was appointed receiver for three years (1920-1923). Under his leadership the company was able to raise the fare to eight cents, and exited from the receivership by splitting up into the Staten Island Edison Co. and the Richmond Railroad Co.
date unknown (1902-1927)

16mm, copper nickel, R
Atwood-Coffee 
NY632A

uncommon; $25.00

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OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!


   Before continuing further on this chapter of tokens, there is one token that must be viewed. This token is quite special - only two are known to exist; and when one is placed for sale, it commands prices that even an advanced vecturist blanches at. 

   It is the proposed pattern for the New York City Transit System (Board of Transportation) Subway Token.  Those two pieces of the pattern token below that were struck, are now the "holy grail" for vecturists and NY transit collectors alike.

Extremely Rare / Next to impossible - only two known

Pattern - Not produced

16mm, white metal, ball center
A-C NY998N


   The following tokens were used throughout the city, and therefore do not fall into a borough category as the tokens in the preceding chapter do. 

   Furthermore, the Atwood-Coffee catalog, (at least in my opinion) makes a glaring error in the categorization of the NYCTA token issues: they are attributed to the Borough of Manhattan (NY630 series), when the New York City Transit Authority headquarters was in Brooklyn! Specifically, it was located at 370 Jay Street. This building was also the location of their very highly secure Office of Revenue and its associated vault where the fare proceeds were brought to be accounted, and then transferred to the respective banks. These vaults also contained the token issues for that period. 

   So, in all practicality, the NYCTA token issues should be attributed in the catalog to the Borough of Brooklyn, (NY629 series) and not Manhattan.

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First Unification; New York City Transit System - 1940 - 1953
1938

22mm, copper nickel, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY629G

uncommon; $15.00

1940

22mm, steel, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY629H

uncommon; $15.00

1940

22mm, brass, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY629I

very uncommon; $25

1941
Issued for Childrens Fare - associated with the Three Cent Children's Ticket in
Fare Tickets Chapter, First Unification above.
24mm, brass, 2mm punch hole in center
Atwood-Coffee NY629J

uncommon; $12

1941?

22mm, bronze, solid
Atwood-Coffee
NY629K

uncommon; $20

Unissued - Error

Instead of properly stating the obverse legend: NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT SYSTEM",
this token bears the legend: "NEW YORK CITY TRANSFER SYSTEM"

22mm, bronze, solid
Atwood-Coffee
NY629KA

extremely rare; $250

New York City Transit System - Manhattan Bus Division
1949

22mm, copper nickel
Atwood-Coffee
NY630V

rare; $100

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OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!

.

Second Unification; New York City Transit Authority Tokens - 1953 - 2003


New York City Transit Authority Chairman Maj. General Hugh J. Casey displays the "new" token in 1953.
Press Release image from the collection of George S. Cuhaj

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NOT Complete Sets

   Not to be repetitious, but quite unfortunately; misrepresentation and misinformation abounds with the sales of so-called "complete sets" of six NYCTA tokens in a lucite holder as seen on internet sales sites, which were put together by overenthusiastic sellers. There are in fact eleven token issues: nine Regular Fare and two Special Fare. 

   Even if one was to exclude the Special Fare Tokens (and I do not know why one would - they were available for purchase to the general public, albeit at limited locations), there still remains nine token issues released for standard fare, not six.

   If you are to include die and font varieties of a few of those varieties; and you have yourself a good 18 tokens to aim for to acquire a basic, yet "true" complete set of tokens for the NYCTA.

   In short: future buyers interested in purchasing so called "complete sets" of 6 tokens, beware! You could assemble a set of six tokens individually and for a lower cost than by purchasing the so called "set".

obverse reverse notes
Rare.

16mm solids were in use from July 25, 1953 to September 1953, with the 16mm Y cutout introduced mid-September 1953 when the image above was distributed.

These solid tokens were removed form use soon thereafter.
16mm, brass, solid 
Atwood-Coffee NY630AN

rare; $25.00

September 1953 - July 5, 1966:        15¢ (rapid transit - see note below)
July 5, 1966 - January 3, 1970:  20¢

note: bus fare was 
13¢ from 1954 till 1955
Fifth Avenue bus route fare raised to 15 cents on January 1, 1954
remainder of bus routes raised to 
15¢ in 1956 and fares for rapid or surface  transit became uniform.


16mm, brass, Y cutout
Atwood-Coffee NY630AO

extremely common; $1.00 in minimally circulated condition


January 4, 1970 - December 31, 1971: 30¢
January 1, 1972 - August 31, 1975:      35¢
September 2, 1975 - June 27, 1980:     50¢

23mm, brass, Y cutout
Atwood-Coffee NY630AS with multiple varieties:


Thick oval font (shown) and thin round font.

Also, multiple variations exist in presence of, or lack of dots; and their size
between "NEW" and "TRANSIT" and the words "CITY" and "AUTHORITY"


extremely common; $1.00 in minimally circulated condition


   To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the IRT; the NYCTA, under the jurisdiction of the state controlled MTA, jointly planned celebrations. William Bonell, a graphic designer from J.C. Penney Co. was selected to design a commemorative token which was to circulate concurrently with the then current 23mm Y-cut out issue.

   Osborne Coinage of Cincinnati, Ohio struck ten million in brass for general circulation. The design includes a subway kiosk entrance on one side, and a rendering of the 1904 subway car on the other. A diamond cut-out at top radiates throughout the background in ever-larger dimensions. It is interesting to note that nowhere on the token does it say "Good for One Fare." An error is known with two subway car designs, and no kiosk design, but has not been verified.

   In addition to the regular strikes, 5,000 were struck in proof brass from polished dies and made available to the public from the NYCTA's revenue office at 370 Jay Street. An additional 10,000 pieces were struck in copper-nickel, but were never released, and are presumed destroyed.

   The Fifth Avenue Jewelry firm of H. Stern was licensed to have an edition of 250 (edge numbered) made in 14-karat gold. They also has a special NYC theme bezel available for an additional fee. (see further in 
Proofs chapter below)
Issued in commemoration of 75th Anniversary / Diamond Jubilee of the opening of the first subway
in New York City in 1904
.

November 1979 - June 27, 1980:  50¢

10,000,000 struck.

23mm, brass, with diamond punch hole at top center
Atwood-Coffee NY630AY

varieties: two; (diagonal lines in car body: NY630AYa, or
lack of diagonal lines in car body
: NY630AYb)

extremely common; $1.00 in minimally circulated condition

June 28, 1980 - July 2, 1981:                 60¢
July 3, 1981 - January 1, 1984:              75¢
January 2, 1984 - December 31, 1985:  90¢
January 1, 1986 - December 31, 1989:  $1.00


35,000,000 struck
22mm, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY630AT


extremely common; $1.00 in minimally circulated condition

with initials SJD below between "D" in "GOOD" and "F" in "FOR"
initials stand for Sylvester J. Dobosz,
assistant director of revenue.

 

January 1, 1986 - December 31, 1989:  $1.00
January 1, 1990 - December 31, 1992:  $1.15
January 1, 1992 - November 11, 1995:  $1.25


50,000,000 struck

22mm, brass, with 8mm steel center
Atwood-Coffee NY630BE


extremely common; $2.00 in minimally circulated condition
due to the lack of expertise in identifying the SJD, these are commonly mixed in with those tokens lacking the SJD initials

Plain - SJD initials removed from reverse

January 1, 1986 - December 31, 1989:  $1.00
January 1, 1990 - December 31, 1992:  $1.15
January 1, 1992 - November 11, 1995:  $1.25

60,000,000 struck


22mm, brass, with 8mm steel center
Atwood-Coffee NY630BI


extremely common; $1.00 in minimally circulated condition

Released December 1988 to commemorate opening
of Archer Avenue Extension (IND and BMT). Circulated with above issue.

January 1, 1986 - December 31, 1989:  $1.00
January 1, 1990 - December 31, 1992:  $1.15
January 1, 1992 - November 11, 1995:  $1.25

100,000 struck.

22mm, brass, with 8mm steel center

Atwood-Coffee NY630BG

increasingly difficult to find due to lower production quantity and in better grades;
$5.00 in minimally circulated condition

Final issue of token.

November 12, 1995 - May 3, 2003:  $1.50


60,000,000 struck


22mm, red brass, with pentagon shape punch hole
Atwood-Coffee NY630BJ

extremely common; $1.00 in minimally circulated condition

issued 1966
used as special fare token for train to Aqueduct Race Track

then repurposed for use
for Express Buses late 1980's-1990's

28mm, brass, Y cutout

Atwood-Coffee NY630AP

uncommon; $15.00

issued April 1979

used as special fare for train to Aqueduct Race Track

500,000 struck

23mm, white metal, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY630AX

uncommon; $20.00

   Token sales ended on April 13, 2003. Redemption of tokens at turnstiles ceased on rapid transit lines on May 3, 2003 and on surface lines December 31, 2003.

OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!

Rolls and Ten Packs - "Timesaver Paks"

   Those people who used the subway and transit system for their daily commute, whether it be work or higher education; they would purchase their tokens in multiples of ten: Five days multiplied by two trips a day for those with one rid commute, or twenty tokens for those unfortunate souls who needed to take a subway and a bus; or three buses.

   The NYCTA realized a significant amount of time could be eliminated from these multiple token sales by offering pre-packaged token "packs". Those people who bought multiple tokens, could now purchase the pack, instead of the clerk having to count out 10 (or more) individual tokens. This certainly cut down on the time required at the token clerk window and sped up transaction time.

   When this convenience actually started is not known, but the first observed "packaging" for rolls of tokens is this one:

unmarked roll of ten tokens - not packaged by NYCTA as it does not bear an MTA or NYCTA logo.

Rolls of tokens were sold by high end retailers like B. Altman; financial institutions like Manufacturers Hanover; as well as 10 Long Island Rail Road stations as a convenience to customers. So in all likelihood this is an example of those packages.
Also possible, they were supplied to messenger or delivery service employees by their respective companies.

23mm, brass, Y cutout
Atwood-Coffee NY630AS

January 4, 1970 - June 27, 1980


large two tone blue M logo and
all upper case:
PLEASE COUNT & EXAMINE
TOKENS BEFORE OPENING

Express Buses - sold at Sixth Ave and 57th Street station token booth as the Express buses rode across 57th Street.

28mm, brass, Y cutout

Atwood-Coffee NY630AP


January 1, 1986 - December 31, 1989

rare: $100.00 - $150.00

large two tone blue M logo and
all upper case:
PLEASE COUNT & EXAMINE
TOKENS BEFORE OPENING

22mm, brass, with 8mm steel center
Atwood-Coffee NY630BE

all with initials SJD

January 1, 1986 - December 31, 1989

uncommon; $20.00 - $25.00



M logo in circle
New York City Transit Authority

unusual red ink "TimeSaver Pak"

Please count and examine tokens
before opening

22mm, brass, with 8mm steel center
Atwood-Coffee NY630BE and NY630BI mixed


January 1, 1986 - January 1, 1989

uncommon; $25.00 - $30.00

MTA logo in circle,
New York City Transit (
"Authority" removed)
(use of this logo began in 1994)

blue ink "TimeSaver Pak"

Please count and examine tokens
before opening.

22mm, brass, with 8mm steel center
Atwood-Coffee NY630BE and NY630BI mixed


January 1, 1992 - November 11, 1995

common; $15.00 - $20.00

M logo in circle
New York City Transit Authority

blue ink "TimeSaver Pak"

Note the use of old M logo (pre-1994), with the Pentagon Token (a 1995 issue), with full legend New York City Transit Authority
and despite the above issue with the new MTA logo with predecessor token.


November 12, 1995 - May 3, 2003


22mm, red brass, with pentagon shape punch hole
Atwood-Coffee NY630BJ

common; $10.00 - $15.00

   Token sales ended on April 13, 2003. Redemption of tokens at turnstiles ceased on rapid transit lines on May 3, 2003 and on surface lines December 31, 2003.

OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!

Errors, Patterns, Proofs & Counterfeits

   Nothing attracts more attention than objects of "error" and they almost always capture the awe of even the non-collector. The "inverted Jenny" stamp block which never fails to amaze is evidence of this - even those who are not philatelists (stamp collectors) talk about it. US Coins and Currency have their fair share of error superstars as well; with common errors even being within reach of the novice collector. 

   So it is not surprising to know of errors existing in the realm of New York City transit tokens. 

   Now, with something as mass produced by high speed automated machinery, mistakes are bound to happen. Normally, quality control does a thorough job of inspecting batches of tokens, but every so often one escapes. Errors escape at the manufacturer who may have lax security. 

   The next point of observation would be the token clerk who would observe them at the distribution point or when they jam the counting machine or turnstile. It was a common practice for clerks to remove them and place them on a small visible shelf right above the distribution slot.

   For the sake of explanation, these manufacturing errors below differ from the "New York City Transfer System" error (NY630KA) listed in the First Unification chapter above, because that was a die engraving error, which made it into limited production and was used briefly.

Here is a very cool error. IRT token, one of the punch out punches broke, so only two punches complete and a slight impression of the third.

22mm, copper nickel
Atwood-Coffee NY630U

very rare

strike error; single mis-strike

22mm, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY630AT

extremely rare

strike error; rotated punch out

Most common of the errors. Seen in both 16mm (NY630AO) and 22mm (NY630AS) Y punch out types;
and to varying degrees of rotation.

uncommon, but seen for sale from time to time

strike error; double mis-strike

22mm, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY630AT

extremely rare

strike error, un-punched

16mm, brass, Y cutout
Atwood-Coffee NY630AO

caution must be exercised - at a quick glance, this token error could appear as the Atwood-Coffee NY630AN.

extremely rare

strike error; no strike / blank planchet

22mm, brass, with 8mm steel center
Atwood-Coffee NY630BE, BI or BG

extremely rare

strike error; rotated punch out

23mm, brass, Y cutout
Atwood-Coffee NY630ASv2

uncommon, but seen for sale from time to time

strike error; unpunched

28mm, brass, Y cutout

Atwood-Coffee NY630AP


extremely rare

notice the vertical line between the N and C, this was used to align the Y-cut out properly.

strike error, off center punch error extending through rim

23mm, brass, Y cutout
Atwood-Coffee NY630AS

extremely rare

notice the small center hole, used in the Y cut out alignment process


clipped planchet error

22mm, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY630AT

extremely rare


double sided obverse die error

Yes, these really do exist; and not produced as a novelty double sided coin from a trick shop.

22mm, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY630AT

extremely rare

doubled sided reverse die error

22mm, solid
Atwood-Coffee NY630AT

extremely rare

   As with other errors in numismatics; error tokens will garner the attention of error collectors outside of the New York Transit exonumia area as well. Heavy bidding can be expected in an auction venue.

.



.

Die Set Up

   This next piece, while it may appear to be an error, is in actuality a Die Set Up piece. This was done to check the dies for adequate pressure and alignment. This can be determined by only one side bearing  the token design, but note the rim on of opposite side is evident, but not the design. A blank rimmed die was in place instead of the die that carried the design.

die set up

23mm, brass, with unpunched diamond at top center
obverse only impression

Atwood-Coffee NY630AY
unlisted in Atwood-Coffee


extremely rare

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Patterns

1974 pattern

In anticipation of awarding a contract to the Osborne Coinage for what would be the 22mm brass NY630AT;
a very limited quantity of this token was struck in bronze for testing and quality purposes.

22mm, bronze, solid
unlisted in Atwood-Coffee

extremely rare


.

Proofs

   This proof token was struck by the Roger Williams Mint using a specially prepared polished die pair. The results are coins or tokens that are exceptionally mirrorlike, and proofs are rarer than uncirculated coins. Uncirculated coins or tokens, on the other hand, are created in larger quantities and may have blemishes.

   These proofs were sold at the NYCTA Revenue Department cash window at 370 Jay Street in very limited quantities in 1979 to 1980 or so.

   They came in unmarked but heat sealed plastic pouches for basic protection from dings.

   The Fifth Avenue Jewelry firm of H. Stern marketed a 14 karat gold version of the Diamond Jubilee token. These were also struck from proof dies. Mintage of 500, edge numbered.

   The NYCTA had struck a very very limited supply (supposedly 25 pairs) of 16 and 23mm tokens, struck from new proof dies. These tokens are not to be confused with regular tokens which were polished, gold-plated and sold as cuff-links or tie-tacks.
 

75th Anniversary / Diamond Jubilee Brass Proof

Sold from the Revenue window at 370 Jay Street.

Produced from polished dies of NY630AY.

23mm, brass, with diamond punch hole at top center
unlisted in Atwood-Coffee

rare; 5,000 struck

75th Anniversary / Diamond Jubilee Token Gold Proof

23mm, 14 karat gold, with diamond punch hole at top center
individually numbered with H. Stern engraved on edge at top of token

A special NYC theme bezel available for an additional fee.


Atwood-Coffee NY630
AM Presentation Piece

rare, only 250 struck

.

.

Counterfeits

   If there was a way to save on paying the full fare price, one can be sure that there are less than honest people willing to make a counterfeit token or make available selected world coins or tokens from other cities which would trip the turnstile.

   In most cases, these well executed counterfeits were mass produced, and sold in bulk quantities to a distributor. This distributor would add their mark up to the unit price, and resell the counterfeits, at say 25% to 50%; of and actual token cost for a package of 50 or 100.

   Something to be kept in mind about counterfeits, no matter how crude it is they really only have to work once. The tokens were often poorly made so as to be easily identified and separated from authentic tokens buy the booth attendant before recirculated in conjunction with the daily operations of the token booth.

   So, for the sake of thoroughness, the following are examples of NYCTA token counterfeits.

Counterfeit NY630AT

This token is drastically lighter than an authentic brass token. It appears to be cast in either zinc or aluminum.
Counterfeit NY630AS

Lead with light brass plating.


on display at and courtesy of the New York City Transit Museum


OverviewThe Atwood-Coffee Catalog

19th Century Issues

20th Century Issues
BronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island

First Unification City Wide IssuesSecond Unification City Wide Issues

Rolls & "Ten Paks"

Errors, Patterns, Proofs and Counterfeits!
Page 1: Fare Tickets & Employee PassesPage 7: Half Fare Tickets - Sundays / Weekends
you are on Page 2: TokensPage 8: Half Fare Tickets - Senior Citizens & Handicapped
Page 3: Continuing Ride Tickets & Transfers - Rapid TransitPage 9: School / Student / Pupil Reduced Fare & Free Passes
Page 4: Continuing Ride Tickets & Transfers - Surface; Streetcar LinesPage 10: Special Issue Tickets
Page 5: Continuing Ride Tickets & Transfers - Surface; Bus RoutesPage 11: Staten Island Rapid Transit
Page 6: Continuing Ride Tickets; Surface; Add-A-RidePage 12: Hudson and Manhattan & Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH)



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