Baker and Hall
Polwatty Mills

A pewter token issued by Baker and Hall for use in the Polwatty Mills which was demolished in 1886. The tokens were then transfered for use in the Cotanchena Coffee Mills.

Denomination4½ pence
Diameter33 mm
Thickness mm
Weight8.13 gms
polwatty_mills_obverse polwatty_mills_reverse
Lowsley #27 Pridmore #8

at center.
Rev. : Blank

A pewter token about the size of a penny, but not so thick.
These chits were issued at Polwatte Mills in 1842, at the valuation of 4½d. each, but when the currency of Ceylon was changed, in 1870, from sterling to rupees and cents, the value was fixed at 18¾ cents.
Polwatte Mills were demolished in 1886, after the coffee failure, and the tokens marked Polwatty Mills were then transferred for use at the Cotanchena Coffee Mills, employing five hundred and fifty hands, and also the property of Messrs. Baker and Hall.

BAKER & HALL. This token discloses an interesting history. In 1850, J. L. Strachan, an Engineer, started on his own account, mills for curing coffee and general engineering work. This grew into J. L. Strachan & Co. in which Thomas Hudson was a partner. Hudson was then living at Polwatte.
J. F. Baker, a former assistant in an important coaling firm at Port Said, came to Ceylon and took over the office management of the Colombo Commercial Co., Ltd. (See token No. 22.) In 1879 Baker started his own business as a coffee and general merchant at Polwatte Mills, formerly in the occupation of Thomas Hudson. In the year 1881, Baker took into partnership his brother-in-law T. Watson Hall and the business was carried on under the style and name of Baker & Hall. In 1886 they removed their business from Polwatte to another property Known as Cotanchina Mills. Messrs. Baker Sc Hall closed down in 1904.
Polwatte is now the home of the Sisters of St. Margaret.

* Coins and Tokens of Ceylon, Lieut. Col B. Lowsley, Num. Chron. Sr III Vol. XV, 1895.
* 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 token was scanned at 600 dpi and the images are displayed at 200 dpi.
I thank Bob Lyall of UK, for the scans of this token from his collection.