• William Tyson & Co Omnibus Tokens

        The Tyson & Co omnibus service operated in New York City in the middle 19th century. The company operated several routes, and is listed as having 29 stages in the company's fleet. Omnibuses were urban stagecoaches, and like buses, could carry multiple passengers. Passengers paid their fares using tokens, and provided them to the driver upon boarding.

        There were several omnibus companies operating in Manhattan during this era, all which had their own unique tokens. The Tyson & Co's omnibus tokens have been dated to somewhere around 1851¹, yet at least one other source dates the tokens to around 1845².

        I am aware of four separate varieties of this token. It should be noted that this token is not listed in any of Rulau's token guides. Rather, the token can be found in Volume I, 6th Edition of the Atwood-Coffee Catalogue, as well as a single line listing in Whitman's A Guide Book of United States Tokens and Medals.

        The four varieties of the Tyson & Co Telegraph Line token are illustrated by the following:

        Below please find two Tyson & Co Telegraph Line Omnibus tokens that I have recently acquired for my cabinet. They are both the NY-630-Lb variety, which have a dash under the 'O' and a period thereafter. Most Omnibus tokens were holed after they were struck so that the driver could place them on strings¹. Given this, I am satisfied with the condition of both specimens and the wear that is demonstrated on both. I estimate their condition at approximately VF.

        - Cheetah

        ¹ A Guide Book of United States Tokens and Medals, Jaeger, Whitman, ©2008
        ² The Numismatist Volume 28, 1915