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Notes on the Collection of Transfers

W. J. Sidis




        88. Indication of RepeatsWe may divide the repeat privileges connected with a transfer form to those connected with issuance and those connected with acceptance. The former conditions really amount to indicating the kind of fare for which the transfer is given―whether cash, tickets, or transfers, and under just what circumstances. The latter conditions, the repeat conditions of acceptance, amount to the statement as to when and under what circumstances, if any, a new transfer will be issued in exchange for the transfer form in question or whether an additional ride can be had in any way in exchange for the particular transfer form.

        Usually these repeat conditions are not indicated, although some systems indicate on their transfer forms directly one or both kinds of conditions. As we have already seen, on most systems this repeat question cannot come up at all; where it can, and no further indication is made, usually transfers are issued for any kind of fare; but many systems, without any notice to that effect on the transfer forms, do not issue transfers in exchange for other transfers unless specially so stated. If some form makes a special notation of repeat rights, or if some form makes special notation as to where repeat rights are not granted, it may usually be assumed that these notations are' intended to be exceptions to the general rule. Such exceptions are usually noted as to the repeat conditions of acceptance. We may add that, in the matter of the kind of fare for which transfers are issued, there is normally no distinction between strip tickets (or tokens) and cash fares, though even this distinction sometimes is made.

        When we are dealing with repeat rights on a given transfer form, they may depend on a punch or attached coupon. But ordinarily, if indicated at all, they will be quite definitely listed.

        It is a common thing to have different forms for pay transfers and for free transfers; it also happens that separate forms are used according to whether a transfer is an original one or a repeat. In such an event, the repeat form may differ in its entire arrangement from the original one; in the case of four obsolete Newark forms, even the transfer-issuing unit is different. More frequently, however, the difference between the regular and the repeat forms is simply an inscription to indicate the repeat form as such, or possibly a color distinction, while the difference of arrangement, if any, is very slight. If the repeat is very restricted, those restrictions are bound to appear on the repeat form, some of the possible alter- native receiving conditions being omitted, whether on the listing or on the punch spaces, or additional exceptions being made.

        The Cleveland Railways Company distinguishes its repeat forms by a box containing the word "FREE," and by printing the repeat transfer in black on white. The same forms may also be used for any occasion on which actual free transfers are to be used. The Public Service Railway of New Jersey, before October 1, 1923, used repeat forms which (except in the case of the four Newark forms above mentioned) were distinguished from the regular forms only by the red surcharges "2" (for "2nd transfer," the company name for this class of forms), and "NO CHARGE." In St. Louis, repeat forms are distinguished by two red horizontal bars.

        On the matter of the original fare, color distinctions are sometimes used to indicate the amount of fare originally paid; also differences in arrangement of the forms, devices used, etc. Thus the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit System lists the receiving conditions on its free transfers, and uses endorsed exceptions on its two-cent transfers. Sometimes, as in Springfield, Mass., a punch is used to denote the fare paid, and particularly whether or not the transfer is a repeat, that is, issued in exchange for another transfer.

        89. Use of Original Transfer for Repeat. In some cases the original transfer form can be used for fare on more cars than one, thus containing repeat privileges within itself without being exchanged for another transfer. This may be done by the passenger receiving his original transfer back in the condition in which he gave it, although this is not usually done It is, however, sometimes done that way in special cases where the other means of repeating on the transfer are exhausted.

        Generally, a transfer can be used to re-transfer to other cars from the car where it is first used only by one of two devices the attached route coupon (Smithoid type) or the validation punch. The "Bus Ticket" forms of the Los Angeles Railway use a combination of both devices.

        The validation punch is simply a punch space, appropriately labelled, used as follows: When a passenger presents a transfer for fare, and indicates a wish to re-transfer to another car, the conductor punches this validation space and returns the transfer to the passenger, who can then use it on the next car. There may be one or more validation punches on a transfer form, and the number of such punch spaces limits the number of repeats that can be made on that form. The use of each particular punch space may be restricted, usually in ways stated on the inscription of that space. This device is particularly used in the vicinity of San Francisco.

         The Smithoid type is somewhat more complex, but may well be compared to the successive coupons used in inter-company railroad tickets, in which each company whose lines are traveled over detaches its own coupon from the ticket until the whole ticket is taken. Similarly the Smithoid transfer consists of a main body with attached coupons; and, when re-transferral is desired, the conductor of each receiving car detaches one coupon, until the main body of the transfer (with time coupons, if any) alone is left. If further transferring is to be provided for under the company regulations in special cases, it may be done by allowing the passenger to receive back the main body of the transfer, or by a special provision for exchanging for a new transfer; but usually the fact that there are no more route coupons left indicates that no more re-transferring is allowed for the same fare. Thus, two attached coupons mean double repeat; one attached coupon means single repeat only.

        For most purposes, the main body of the transfer and the attached route coupons are considered as independent transfers, each being complete in itself in containing a description or implication of issuing and receiving conditions. The issuing conditions are the same for all coupons, though not always worded in the same way; the receiving conditions are different for all the coupons. The Smith patent forms are peculiar in that each attached coupon, as well as the main body of the transfer, contains a listing of receiving conditions.

        In the case of the Smith patent form, where there are two attached coupons, there may be one at each end of the transfer. If, however, there is a P. M. coupon at the left end, there will usually be two successive coupons at the right end of the transfer.

        A few forms issued by companies using the Smith patent show a sort of vestigial Smithoid form. In some free transfer forms of the New York Railways Company and related companies, an imitation of the Smithoid form is used; but the coupons are not to be used separately, and have no significance for repeat; and, in some cases, there is not even a trace of actual separation of the parts. The Yonkers Railroad uses a Smith form with the main body and one coupon blank as to receiving conditions. The other Westchester County (N. Y.) lines of the Third Avenue Railway System use forms which have a back referring to the Smith patent type, but with a front of a different type altogether.

        Where there are two coupons attached to the same end of the transfer, the coupons are to be used in order, the end one first. The New York and Queens County Railway system, in its forms issued before June, 1923, indicated this by the hollow red surcharges "1" and "2" respectively on the coupons to be used first and second. Where there is a coupon at each end, it is usually implied that either coupon may be used first, according to the particular kind of repeat route used, though generally the right-hand coupon is intended to be used first in most cases, The New York Railways Company indicated this by a hollow surcharge of a star on the right-hand coupon. 

        In the case of Smithoid transfers, the half-day is usually indicated either by some difference !n surcharges or coloring (particularly by the difference in hour punch spaces) or else by the P. M. coupon, which, for purposes of the use of the transfer for repeat purposes, counts as an integral part of the main body of the transfer, The attached route coupons are not good for passage by themselves when presented without the main body of the transfer, and so usually bear the words "Not Good if Detached.

Smithoid transfers are in use on the following systems, to our best information:

New York Railways Company (two-cent forms only).

Third Avenue Railway system (New York City forms only. Other forms use limitation).

Fifth Avenue Coach Company (New York City).

New York and Queens County Railway Company (before June, 1923).

Pittsburgh Railways Company (special forms only).

Kansas City Railways Company.

Los Angeles Railway (since May 1, 1921).

         The New York Railways, and the Manhattan and Bronx lines of the Third Avenue system, have one attached coupon at each end of the transfer; this is also true of the vestigial Smithoid forms used in Yonkers, N. Y. All except these forms and the Kansas City forms and the Los Angeles issue of 1921 use the P. M. coupon; the Kansas City forms distinguish the half-way by the color of the printing. and the others by surcharges and hour punch spaces.)

         90. Emergency and Continuation IndicationsFrequently special forms of transfers are issued for emergency transferring or for use in connection with the continuation privilege. The latter may be distinguished again into the preliminary continuation forms and the feeder continuation forms, although that distinction is not always strictly observed. Such special forms are usually labelled to indicate their particular use, and what has been said concerning issuing and receiving conditions applies to these, except that, in the case of emergency transfers, the conditions of place arc necessarily vague, inasmuch as they will differ with every emergency that may arise. The "Block Ticket" forms granted by the rapid transit lines of the Brooklyn-Manhattan system, which are really emergency transfers, are specified to be good on any lines of the system at any point within forty-eight hours.

        Again, on most transfer forms there is a special emergency punch; or there may be several different sorts of emergency punches. Sometimes even ordinary continuation privileges are similarly indicated, as with the "Turn Back-Diverted" punch on the Los Angeles Railway (forms issued since May 1, 1921). The words "Car to Car" on a punch, space usually imply emergency.

        The implications of such transferrals as to repeats is, that emergency transfers are to be used as though the trip had been continuous; that preliminary continuation transfers are good for another transfer on the same terms as cash fare; and that feeder transfers may be issued on any kind of fare but give no further repeat privileges. These rules may, of course, be varied in each case. Shuttle car forms, and other special classes of forms, are usually continuation transfers.

        91. Forms Not Giving Actual TransferralThere are sometimes a few forms issued, such as exit coupons, refund coupons, overlap or single or double zone fare receipts, etc., that would be included under the heading of transfers though not actually giving the right of transfer from one vehicle to another. These usually lack some important item of a regular sort of transfer, but most of what we have said concerning indication of conditions applies to them as well as to other forms.

        92. Classes of Transfers. Frequently the company issuing various transfer forms will have special names for different varieties, according to fare rates, transfer fees, overlap privileges, repeat privileges, arrangement, etc.; and often forms differ in such a manner even though no company name is attached to the various varieties. Such varieties of transfer forms issued by the same system we may call classes of transfers. Usually one of these classes will have a much more general issuance and use than any of the other classes, and will come much nearer to granting a universal transfer privilege; this class mar also be distinguished by having no company appellation. Such a class of transfers is called the regular transfer class, and may or may not have a company designation on the transfer form.

        It is important to distinguish the various classes of transfers on any system, since each transfer-issuing unit may issue transfers of various classes. Notation for the issuing unit, plus a symbol for the class of transfers, usually gives a fairly complete description of the individual form; if form number, issue, and color are added, there will hardly ever be anything further required to identify the exact form.

         We may apply the term special classes to all but the regular class. "General forms" is a term that may be applied to the class of transfers issued by a much wider issuing unit than would normally be the case. Transfers of the special classes may be called special forms, but should not be named special transfers where the company applies this term in a more restricted sense, or where it may be otherwise convenient to restrict that term to one of the special classes.

         Appendix F contains the nomenclature of classes of transfers which we have seen in the systems for which we have collected transfers. A reference to that will indicate what sort of divisions into classes are to be found among transfers. As to indication of the class, the company name, if there is one, is printed on it. Otherwise either the arrangement will have to indicate it or some printing surcharge or omission of such, imparts the desired information.

        Sometimes it is desirable to give a class name to the transfers of a system even when there is no more than one class; and sometimes, indeed, the company prints such a class name on the transfer form.

        93. Form Numbers. On many transfer forms there is to be found what is ordinarily called a form number, usually some collection of letters and figures which serves as the company's designation for the particular form. This form number is always worth noting, although it does not always indicate what would be a single form for the collector's purposes. Normally a form number takes account of differences of wording and arrangement, but leaves out color, surcharges, and new issues, all of which would make new forms for the collector. Hence it may happen that a collection may contain many forms from the same system designated by the same form number. Thus, in our own collection, there are 46 forms, differing in color and surcharges, from the Connecticut Company, all bearing the form number C 418. This company uses a single form number for each division or sub-division. The Springfield (Mass.) Street Railway Company uses the same form number, 266-S, for all trolley transfers, though the wording on them differs widely.

        Form numbers are usually printed on some obscure part of the transfer, but are worth looking for, since sometimes they are important clues to identification.

        94. Serial NumbersGenerally individual transfers are identified by a serial number, which does not denote the form but the individual ticket issued. Since surcharges constitute almost the only practicable way of indicating these, the serial number is usually found surcharged even when that device is not used for any other purpose. Two successive transfers from a single pad will have successive serial numbers. However, it is not important to note a serial number, since it differs with each transfer of the same form; all that is needed is how and in what part of the form the serial number is noted.

        Where there are attached coupons, the serial number usually appears on the main body of the transfer and on each attached coupon, though it is sometimes omitted from time coupons.

        The Schenectady Railway Company uses "serial number" in a sense not connected with actual serial numbers.

        95. Conductor's Numbers and Run NumbersSome systems print or surcharge on their transfer forms the conductor's number, making it possible. to identify the conductor issuing each transfer. This number may also be indicated by a punch. Transfers of the San Pedro (Los Angeles) Motor Bus Company have the conductor's name printed in the corner.

        Some forms also contain what is called the "run number" surcharged or punched. The run number is presumably the number of round trips made during the day by the vehicle or the conductor. Both the conductor's number and the run number are non-essential points, but their presence is a peculiarity of the transfer form.

            The following systems in our collection indicate these data:

Middlesex and Boston Street Railway (conductor's number printed).

Richmond (N. Y. City) Light and Railroad Company (run number surcharged).

Newburgh (N. Y.) Public Service Corporation (run number surcharged).

Poughkeepsie (N. Y.) and Wappingers Falls Railway (conductor's number surcharged).

Peeks kill (N. Y.) Lighting and Railroad system (conductor's number printed on general form, and punched on P. & W. T. form).

Kingston (N. Y.) Consolidated Railroad (conductor's number printed).

Hudson River and Eastern Traction Company (Ossining, N. Y.) (conductor's number punched).

Frankford, Tacony and Homesburg (Phila.) Street Railway (conductor's number surcharged).

San Antonio (Tex.) Public Service Company (run number stamped).

B & H Transportation Company, Long Beach, Calif. (run number punched).

Long Beach, (Calif.) Transportation Company (conductor's number punched).

San Pedro (Los Angeles) Motorbus Company (conductor's name printed).

Bay Cities Transit Company, Santa Monica, Calif. (run number punched).

        96. Issuing and Receiving Punches. In some cases, receiving punch spaces are provided where the receiving conductor is to punch the transfer so it cannot be used again. Other systems provide similarly an issuing punch, usually called a "conductor's punch," which is to be punched when the transfer is issued, or it is not valid. An issuing punch makes a transfer valid; a receiving punch makes it void. These devices are not of importance, but may be noted in passing. Allied to these, we may note the conductor's stub used on the United Railways of St. Louis; there the conductor keeps on his pad a duplicate of each transfer issued, punched like the one the passenger gets, so that the company keeps a record of every transfer given out. This is done by printing transfers in two parts, one kept on the pad while the other is detached and issued to the passenger.


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