Train Conductor's Ticket Punch

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The Bonney-Vehslage Tool Co. made this ticket punch that was used on the Southern Railway's Murphy Branch line during the 1920s. This punch makes an ā€œLā€ shaped hole in the ticket. A conductor's punch cancelled the passenger's ticket stub and also cancelled the main portion of the ticket retained by the conductor. Each conductor had his own punch, which made a specifically shaped hole. The hole shape differed from punch to punch. In this way, if a passenger presented a stub and claimed his ticket had already been taken, a conductor could verify who in fact cancelled the ticket. A railroad conductor on a passenger train was (and is today) the supervising officer of the train and supervisor of the entire train crew. In addition to this supervisory role, the passenger-train conductor serves as the pursar, in charge of seeing to it that all fares are collected.
Currently not on view
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
America on the Move
ca 1920
associated dates
1910 / 1910
used date
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Southern Railway
overall: 5/8 in x 2 3/8 in x 4 1/2 in; 1.5875 cm x 6.0325 cm x 11.43 cm
National Museum of American History
Object Name
Ticket Punch