TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: What's This Telephone Related Item?

Re: What's This Telephone Related Item?

Mr Joseph Singer (
Tue, 22 Aug 2006 15:11:34 PDT

Mon, 21 Aug 2006 13:00:08 -0700 Jim Stewart <>


> I was cleaning out a desk drawer last night and ran across this
> item. It's about .007" wider and thicker than a US quarter. I
> can't remember where I got it, but the Princess phone on the back
> leads me to believe it's payphone related.

It's not payphone related at least not for the US. I've seen and used
such a token when I was at a gym with a pay metered tanning booth.
The token looked exactly as the one you have illustrated.

That said many countries did use tokens in their public pay
telephones. In Israel for years they used tokens. Part of the
reason for keeping on using tokens is if your currency is unstable
all you have to do is to raise the price of tokens (typically
obtained at the "post office" or at kiosks.) During times of
inflation it's almost impossible to find tokens since people hord
them knowing that because inflation is so rapid it's a "hedge"
against inflation since tokens will increase in price as inflation
happens. With that system in place it's not even necessary for the
telephone company to increase debiting for calls since the cost of
tokens has increased.

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