Hultsdorf Mills - Red Vulcanite
Colombo, Ceylon

A well designed token made of Brown Vulcanite, (vulcanised natural ruber with sulpher) struck in England and introduced at the Hultsdorf Mills in 1872. It represented the price paid for picking a hundred-weight of coffee at the greatly reduced rate of 25 cents a hundred-weight. The use of tokens was discontinued in the mill in 1891.

Value25 Cents
Diameter34.9 mm
Thickness3.5 mm
Weight3.2 gms
_obverse _reverse
Lowsley #17 Pridmore #65a Mitchiner

Obverse : G&WL. monogram within beaded rim inside raised rim.
along periphary between plain circle and raised rim.
A Ceylon catamaran in center with spreaders under sail in water.

The Company called The Hultsdorf Mills Co. (Ceylon) Ltd. was founded in London to develop the Mill called Belmont Oil Mill (in Belmont Street) founded in 1835 on a tract of land on the banks of the Canal at Hultsdorf. The name of Hultsdorf itself commemorates the name of General Hulft (A Governor of Ceylon during the Dutch regime). On the death in 1840 of the founder of the Mill, the new management christened it as Hultsdorf Mills, Colombo . Crushing machinery for coconut oil was installed. A saw mill was erect and in 1855 soap making was added to the mill's activities. In 1865 when the Hultsdorf Mills Co. went into liquidation the property was acquired by G. B. Leechman who with his brother William Carey Leechman as partner, founded the firm of G. & W. Leechman, the initial letters of this firm G. & W. L. are monogramed on the Token.

In 1886 a new competitor in the person of Philipp Freudenberg entered the field. He took out a lease of the Hultsdorf Mills and later in 1896, he purchased the premises. In the meantime, Leechman had erected a modern mill at Grandpass.

Found also as Black Vulcanite token (P#64) Pridmore lists a Red Vulcanite token which has two varieties one which is similer (P#65), and the other without a inner beaded rim (P#66). This brown Vulcanite is not listed in Pridmore, but listed in the 1982 Glendining & Co Auction, (lot #65) when his collection was sold. Unlikely to be a faded Red token.

* The Coins of British Commonwealth of Nations to the end of the reign of George VI 1952 Part 2 - Asian Territories by F. Pridmore Spink & Son Ltd., 1965. Tokens

The 600 dpi images are displayed at 200 dpi.
I thank Shiran Cruse, Kandy, Sri Lanka, for the scans of this token from his collection now with me.