The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 25, June 18, 2023, Article 6


A new edition of the standard work, The Atwood-Coffee Catalogue of United States and Canadian Transportation Tokens has been published by the American Vecturist Association. Thanks to Yosef Sa'ar for passing along the information. -Editor

AVA Publications Chairman Rich Mallicote writes:

We now have printed Eighth Edition catalogs available for shipment. The company we used for the Seventh Edition is no longer in business and it took a long time to find another qualified printer and negotiate a reasonable price for the books. The price for the new book is $37, ppd to anywhere in the US. For anyone outside the US that wants a book shipped to them, please contact me and we will figure out what the postage will be – the book weighs almost five pounds. The price is a little higher, because it is larger than the previous edition and postage has increased.

To order a hard-bound eighth edition, please send a $37 check – made out to AVA – to Rich Mallicote, 1039 Arbor Drive, Lakemont, GA 30552. To request a PDF copy of the catalogue, send an email to

For background, here is the text of the book's Foreword. -Editor

Atwood-Coffee Catalogue of Transportation Tokens 8th edition title page Transportation tokens were first catalogued by themselves in 1920 when Mr. F.C. Kenworthy typed up a list of his collection and in other collections he had seen. This earliest "check list" was passed around and copied by the few collectors of Mr. Kenworthy's acquaintance. Kenworthy's list employed a rather crude listing method whereby cities were arranged alphabetically without regard to their states, and reverses were indicated by code letters.

In March 1925, Kenworthy passed the job of compiling a listing of transportation tokens to Mr. R.W. Dunn who, in 1932, had his check list mimeographed. This was the first printed listing of transportation tokens anywhere in the world and it included both foreign and U.S. tokens.

Shortly after publishing his listing in 1932 Mr. Dunn passed the mantle to Roland C. Atwood. Mr. Atwood had an extensive correspondence with other collectors and travelled throughout the United States and Canada annually in search of tokens and their collectors. His Hollywood address became a kind of central clearing house of information on transportation tokens, and the result of this was a rapid growth in the size of the transportation token check list.

Early in 1942 the publisher of Keim's Hobby News, a mimeographed monthly, obtained a copy of Atwood's check list and, without Atwood's permission, proceeded to run it serially in his hobby publication. Meanwhile both Mr. Dunn and Ray B. Cooper of Chicago had printed updates of Dunn's list.

Beginning in January, 1943, the Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine published serially a Check List of U.S. Transportation Tokens compiled by Mr. Bernard Morganthau of New York City. This was completed in September, 1944, and shortly thereafter published in book form. It was of limited value to collectors, however, because it contained no information about the metals or sizes of the tokens, or their center devices, nor did it give full reverse inscriptions. Nevertheless, Morganthau's brilliant and witty articles in the Scrapbook and in the Numismatist, under the rubric "The Story Behind the Token" enhanced the popularity of transportation tokens as a separate hobby in their own right.

In 1948 Mr. Atwood arranged to have his Check List published by the American Numismatic Company of Los Angeles. The result was called the National Check and Premium List of All U.S. Transportation Tokens, published loose-leaf and now arranged for the first time by states.

Meanwhile, increasing interest in collecting transportation tokens as a separate hobby induced a San Francisco collector, Mr. R.L. Moore, to begin publication of a monthly mimeographed news-letter called the Fare Box. The first issue was published in July, 1947, and was mailed to about 100 collectors from a list given to Moore by Roland C. Atwood. The subscription rate was one dollar for twelve monthly issues mailed by first class. In December, 1948, Mr. Moore was forced to give up publishing the Fare Box and he turned it over to the newly formed American Vecturist Association. The A.V.A. continued to publish the Fare Box as its official organ under the direction of editor John Coffee who succeeded Mr. Moore.

The American Vecturist Association itself was founded on October 31, 1948, in the office of Max M. Schwartz in New York City. Chief impetus for founding the new society had come from editorials in the Fare Box by Mr. Moore, so we have the interesting situation causing the birth of the Association which then took over publication of the news letter. Mr. Schwartz, founding father of the A.V.A., was a veteran numismatist but a novice transportation token collector. He brought a vigorous organizing talent to the hobby and served as first President of the Association, and later as its Secretary. The word "vecturist" in the title of the Association was coined by Mr. Moore as "vecturalist", derived from the Latin "vectura" which means "passage money". In proposing a name for the new association it was agreed to shorten "vecturalist" to "vecturist", and so it has remained. The word is listed in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, and has even been one of the questions on "Jeopardy" on television.

American Vecturist Association AVA logo Yosef adds:

"At present it is only available to members of the American Vecturist Association. The digital PDF version is free to members around the world, and the printed work is US$ 37 postpaid within the USA. A worldwide digital membership in the AVA is only US$ 10."

  The Fare Box masthead June 2023

The American Vecturist Association (or AVA) is an organization of transportation token collectors in the United States and Canada, as well as worldwide. Members of the AVA receive the Fare Box, the monthly newsletter of the AVA. The Fare Box contains advertisements, stories, and information about various tokens, as well as resources to buy, sell, and trade tokens. AVA members are also eligible to join the New Issue Service, which mails new transportation tokens to its members for a nominal fee.

For more information about the American Vecturist Association, or to join, see::

McBride ad 2023-04-02 ANA Governor

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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