A recent enquiry has drawn my attention to the world of Chinese transportation tokens. There are a few Chinese transportation tokens in the British Museum – they are a random assortment of plastic and metal pieces- and there are some paper transportation tickets as well – also a random assortment. All of these are on the BM database (unfortunately, Collection Online hasn’t been updated since last summer, although data entry, edits and imaging continues behind the scenes).
Here’s one from Tianjin:
Tianjin Urban Rail Transit 天津轨道交通 token for a single journey (BM 2015,4147.5 presented by Michael Rank – BM Collection Online)
[Every object in the BM collection has a unique registration number. The registration number for this object indicates it was item no. 5 of the 147th acquisition made by department 4 (Dept of Coins and Medals) in 2015.]
Many thanks to Mr Sa’ar for drawing my attention to the following:
- The Facebook Transportation Tokens Collectors group, which is “Dedicated to the study and collecting of passenger transport fare tokens of the world; metal, plastic, hard rubber and fiber composition. Such tokens are used for fare payment on public transportation, tramways, buses, ferryboats, bridges, horse cars, omnibuses, tunnels, toll roads, metros (subways, underground), funiculars, elevators, city gates, and more. This Facebook group was founded 2 February 2010 by Roger P. Cantaloube.”
- “Shanghai Ferry Tokens” – by Conrad Frost on the Chinese coin forum
I just discovered another 435 Chinese transportation tickets, issued by 147 different companies on Colnect.
To browse Chinese websites, copy and paste 代用币 (daiyongbi), the Chinese term for “token”, into a search engine (if the text is overwhelming, try searching for images).