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Are you a vecturist?


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Something that I found out recently - A collector of transportation tokens is called a vecturist. I've always been fasinated with these tokens as they're interesting in many ways:


1) There's a large number of designs to collect.

2) Most of them are very reasonable - You can even find them in the junk drawers of your frinds and family members in a lot of cases. I see a good number of them in coin shop junk boxes.

3) Many feature interesting cut-out portions or holes - some have designs or themes cut into them.

4) You can put together any number of different collections: from your city, from your state, railroad tokens, bus tokens, bridge or tunnel tokens, etc..


If you've got any...especially from a locality near you, please post photos...I'd love to see them.


Here's a couple that I have photos of:


This one is a half fare token for a child under 12 years of age






Here's a toned one that I got out of a 25¢ box at a local coin show




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I have one of the last tokens used in New York City before the MTA switched over to the Metrocard several years ago.


If I find time later I'll scan it and post the results here, and if you want it just ask.


Here it is...



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Been one for a long time.Your'e right on all accounts, diverts me from high-buck items. Keith has a terrific site at vecturist.com. He has the i.d. connects.

Have 1000'S,most dups. I'm particlar about those w/dates. Lookiny around, you find them in original rolls. Just Tuesday I picked up a St. Louis Mo. Rolla Wellsx30. 1919.

Florida Coral Gables,1/2 fare from Kalemazoo, an '83. I do the arcade token thing, too. As well as Chuckee Cheese. Some bring $1000.00+. There's alot out there, fortunitly

overlooked. Give ya some pics after the 1st. New camera.

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I've got a few tokens from NYC subways and Atlanta's Marta. I have to agree that they are quite interesting although I've never really done anything with them.

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I collect transportation tokens by die variety. Most of these were made in batches of one thousand and the producers such as Osbourne Register Co didn't keep the dies so each order would have little differences. Some varieties can be very worn or very rare.


The American Vecturist Society is a great place to get started with these. There's a three part "bible" which includes a listing of the tokens and the varieties. The books are at greatly reduced prices for members.


A very large collection of these can be put together very cheaply and they are a lot of fun.

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I've always been fasinated with these tokens as they're interesting in many ways:


Thanks! It is always nice to find others who have the same interest. I knew about the American Vecturist Association (www.vecturist.com), which was recommended. There's a lot to pursue, indeed. For myself, first off, a long, long time ago, I completed a 2-year certificate in transportation management. That early career actually led me to computers, but I always had place in my heart for it. Many years and years later, I worked at Coin World. I took over the "foreign desk" from Richard Giedroyc and my writing assignments were his. The first thing they gave me was "Parking Tokens." They were amazed at how interesting I found it and how compelling I made it sound. I used computer databases to find news stories and got to tout a new effort by Downtown Pittsburgh. (Their DDA could not believe that anyone could be so thrilled about parking tokens.)


In fact, oddly enough... Back in that earlier time when I finished the transportation certificate, my wife and I were in Chicago. We bought our city train tickets and I jumped the turnstile. A loudspeaker commanded me to stop. I faced the loudspeaker and a camera and I explaioed why I wanted the ticket for a souvenir. I held it up to the camera and they let me go. I still have it, of course.


The thing is, I grew up in Cleveland with a great transit system. So, in addition to the tokens -- subway; trolley; bridge; parking -- I have tickets. Maybe 1/2 inch by 1.5 inch (1 x 3.5 cm). We also used paper transfers and I have some of those. Downtown Cleveland has the Terminal Tower (read about it here.) And when I was a teenager, reading Atlas Shrugged, the place took on a special meaning.... which is why when my wife suggested that I actually pursue a career like a grown-up, I chose transportation.


Beyond that, I also appreciate the fact that these tokens are the monetization of transportation: the line creates its own money.


(PS --

LOTR Fans will appreaciate the pillars of the "Hope Bridge" the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge in Cleveland.

Crossing from the West Side to the East Side was like Peter Jackson's Anduin cis Gondor.


Close up of the vehicles in their hands:


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I collect parking and car wash tokens as well but have found these more difficult to obtain so my collections of them are much smaller.


Most people don't realize that in all probility all the knowledge and technology that we take for granted is probably the direct result of the invention of tokens. Early Sumerian farmers used small disc of clay inscribed with representations of farm assets like chickens, cows, or wagons to represent items they had for trade. This was in the days long before currency so shrewd trading was important. As time went on their farms grew larger and there were many more assets to trade and it became inconvenient to count large piles of cow chips or chicken tokens. :ninja:


To counteract this they invented a nw improved token that could represent ten chickens or a hundred chickens and they realized that if the symbol inscribed on the disc could represent ideas than they could represent sounds or words and writing was invented. It is writing which truly underlies mans' ability to manipulate his enviroment. We're all weak and and ignorant before being educated. Primitive man couldn't invent the automobile until he invented writing.


Curiously it was the Egyptians who really picked this up and ran with it since it was they who had a convenient means of writing; paper (papyrus) and quill pen. This allowed the honeydo list to be invented.


There's a line in the Pyramid Texts which likely dates back to shortly after the invention of writing referring to a fare. "His fare is not accepted in the great ship". The meaning of this eludes me and I doubt it's referring to the world's first transportation token but it is intruiging.

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Here's a little more context from utterance #262


333a. Behold, N. comes; behold, N. comes; behold, N. is ascended.

333b. N. is not come of himself.

333c. It is a messenger who is come to him; it is a divine word which will cause him to arise.


334a. N. has passed by his broad-house; the fury of the great sea has avoided him.

334b. His fare is not accepted in the great ship;

334c. the palace of the Great cannot ward him off from the way of the śḥd.w-stars.


N is the dead king. I'd give you a couple more referents but no one agrees with them.



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