Ceylon Machine Token Exonumia

A web display of high resolution color images of Machine Tokens which appear to have been used Ceylon. Exonumia from the LakdivaCoin collection with edited information from various sources. Exonumia covers a wide field of coin-like objects which are not strictly Currency.

The exact origin of these tokens are not well documented. The tokens appear to be very slightly smaller than contemporay British and US coins, they probably represent. They don't match any coins of Ceylon, where slot machines or Penny arcades were not frequent. The "similar" leaf design on the reverse of the tokens appear to indicate they are from a common era.

I speculate that these tokens were used in Ceylon during WWII when Ceylon was the HQ for the British South East Asia command and many military troops may have been stationed or come for Rest & Recreation. Both British Penny Arcade machines and US slot machines may have been brought into Ceylon during this period when these machines were popular.

Probabaly slot machine tokens, for Amusement or gaming on an automated machine. These "tokens" were issued as credits for use in the slot machines

British Colonial Period

  * Loaned For Amusement Only - No Value - Property of Machine
     Ruffler & Walker - 1 token - British Penny
     Samson Novelty Co. - 1 token - British Penny

  * Good For Play on Machine = British Farthinsize.
     Samson Novelty Co. - Holborn - token
     Property of Machine - token
     C. A. C. - token

  * India Burma & Ceylon Automatic Machine Co (India) - J. H. Somerville
     Elephant 1 token - US 1 cent
    Taj Mahal 25 token - US 25 cent

  * M.A.M.&Co token - US 5 cent

Both British penney size tokens have different obverse but identical reverse and were found with same lot. They both have a have a "similar" leafed design (excluding enclosed diamond) as the US coin sized India, Burma & Ceylon token, which I am trying to confirm original usage and era. I now suspect those two are also probably for use in Amusement Machines.

According to the Joint Stock Companies in India the Automatic Machine Co (India) was formed on 30th March 1940 with address at P-96, Chowringhee Square, Calcutta, and ceased to exist by the mid 1970's. I am trying to find out what type of Machines they distributed. J. H. Somerwille is probably the British manufacture of the Tokens for the Indian company.

The Penny Arcades for amusement (i.e. Pinball machines, cranes, fortune tellers etc) used Pennies were in operation right up until the time when the coin was withdrawn in 1971 with conversion to decimal currency.

The "No Value. Loaned for Amusement Only" is a slogan to overcome the gambling legislation that was in force at the time of issue. These tokens are 3% smaller in size and 6-8% smaller in weight than the British penny, and were probably minted for use in places like south Asia where British pennies were not in circulation.
Maybe from WWII era when British troops came to Ceylon for Rest & Recreation.
Parauke @ Coin and Medal Society in Crew, U.K., confirmed they were in use in the early 1940's.

The slightly smaller size than a penny is within tolerance to work a Penny Arcade machines. Melvyn Wright who maintains a website on these slot machines had not seen these tokens since in UK they used coins in circulation. He said A vast majority of British penny machines didn't have any coin checking features at all. They would work with virtually anything that would fit in the slot! Of course the public were not aware of this! Machines accepting higher denomination coins were a bit more sophisticated.

More details about these token is being researched. If you have any please send me E-mail.

I thank Melvyn Wright and Parauke @ Coin and Medal Society in Crew, U.K. for their information.