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Notes on the Collection of Transfers

W. J. Sidis




        This book is a description of what is, so far as the Author is aware, a new kind of hobby, but one which seems on the face of it to be as reasonable, as interesting, and as instructive, as any other sort of collection fad. This is the collection of street-car transfers and allied forms. The Author himself has already collected over sixteen hundred such forms, there being no duplicates included among that number; and he has found the process of collection, and the things observed during the process, both interesting and entertaining. He believes that others could get the same interest in such collection, even though it were made on a more limited scale.

        The result, therefore, is this book, containing many facts about transfers that such a collector might find useful, and many of the things that the Author has discovered while riding his hobby. However, since the greater part of this volume contains dry data concerning transfer privileges, classifications, etc., which would only be of interest to one concerned in transportation questions, or to one who has already acquired an interest in collecting transfer forms, the Author recommends that the Reader, after going through this Introduction, skip and read the end of the book first, and gradually work back toward the beginning as references and contexts suggest. The appendices are purely for reference, and are not intended for direct reading material.

        Inasmuch as the arrangement of transit systems, which is intimately tied tip with the subject of transfer collection, is constantly changing, it is quite probable that a considerable portion of the data given here concerning transportation systems, transfer issues and forms, etc., is already out of date. This is unavoidable, but an effort was made to have everything correct down to the date of [Sunday] December 7, 1924, though we regret to say that this effort was not successful throughout. We apologize, therefore, for the inclusion of any data in this book that may have become antiquated; also for a considerable amount of data the authenticity of which is doubtful. We disavow any intention to injure the reputation of any companies that may he involved in erroneous or out-of-date statements, and it is not our intention to enter into any disputes which any transit companies may have with each other or with anyone else. No advantages or disadvantages of anything are urged in this book; the only interest assumed is that of collecting the transfer forms.

        The Author also wishes to point out, and has called attention to it several times in the book proper, that great care should be taken not to use such a collection for fraudulent purposes. The very fact that such a thing might be possible renders it all the more the duty of each individual collector to exercise special care not to bring this form of collection into disrepute. With such care, the collection of transfers can be as honest an avocation as any other; and the Author would very much like to see it grow in such a way as to remain so.

        We have been very much tempted to give this process of transfer collection some special name, similar to the name "philately" for stamp collection, and "numismatics" for coin and medal collection. Consequently we went so far as to coin the term "peridromophily" for the general subject of transfer collection, and, concurrently with this, the term "peridromophile" for the transfer collector. But we refrained from using these terms in our book, on the consideration that they would hardly be necessary as long as such collection is not a very popular thing. As it is, we have had to introduce into the book an overlarge number of special technical terms pertaining to this form of collection, some of which were borrowed from philately.

        The Author acknowledges the kindness of the Connecticut Company and the Worcester Consolidated Street Railway Company in granting us permission to use sample transfers of their system for a jacket design.


[Friday] February 20, 1925.


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