INDIA BURMA & CEYLON - 1

Automatic Machine Co (India)

A SouthAsian token used I assume in India, Burma & Ceylon which I am trying to confirm original usage and era. The two types with different numbers probably indicate a numeric value of some quantity. This 1 and companion 25 token with Taj Mahal are only a few % smaller in size than the corresponding US coin denominations. I suspect they are slot machine tokens from the WWII era, and made to operate equipment originally made to accept US coins.

SPECIFICATIONS
DenominationOne ?
AlloyCu-Ni
Diameter18.95 mm
Thickness1.6 mm
Weight3.0 gms
ShapeRound
EdgePlain
DieAxis
somerville_1_obverse somerville_1_reverse
Unidentified

Obverse : Carries an tusker elephant facing left on cresent ground with
AUTOMATIC MACHINE CO (INDIA) . along the periphery.
Reverse : Has large 1 at center within a diamond with a leafy pattern outside each edge. The legend INDIA BURMA & CEYLON around with scroll at below. J. H. SOMERVILLE in smaller font size at bottom along the periphery.

With 1 written on center it is very slightly smaller than a US cent. It is non-magnetic and with copper-like toning is probably Cupro-Nickel (Confirmed by edxrf).

Maybe unrelated - In WWII the British Eastern Fleet was under the command of ViceAdmiral Sir James Somerville, who is remembered as one of the decisive players in the drama of the Japanese air raids on Ceylon in April 1942. WWII was the main period in modern times that linked the 3-nations INDIA BURMA & CEYLON in common operations,

The origin of this token is being researched. It is not listed under Ceylon in Pridmore. What Automatic Machines and when. Why is Burma and Ceylon mentioned if an Indian Token.

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. In all probability, these were slot machine tokens used by allied troops stationed in India, Burma and Ceylon during World War II.

If you identify it please send me E-mail.

Mr Paul Baker of UK recalls the "J. H. Somerville". name appearing in very small text on a number of older British co-operative society tokens and concludes it's therefore a maker's name.

The token was scanned at 400dpi and the images are displayed at 300 dpi. This token was obtained in the 2001 May PAN coin show in Pittsburgh. A numismatist known to me looking through a dealers mountain of 2x2 Albums spots this token comments to dealer that he knows someone who will be interested and by pure chance spots me across the room and signals to me to take a look. I felt I was destined to buy it.