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Notes on the Collection of Transfers

W. J. Sidis




        148. Use of Local Maps and Guide Books.  The content of any transfer would be likely to refer in some way to local features of the city of issue and its vicinity, such as streets, squares, city lines, buildings, etc., in explaining the exact extent of the privileges represented by the transfer, both as to conditions of acceptance and issuance. While one may reason from this as to where the streets and other landmarks are located relative to each other, as we did in the preceding chapter about Philadelphia, still all this is not so satisfactory as the information to be obtained from a street map of the locality (especially if car tracks appear on the map) or a guide book of the city which will give more detailed information than could be obtained from a map, and which frequently contains information as to the exact routing of car lines and also as to company numbering of lettering of routes. With the aid of such information the collector is enabled to understand more clearly the inscriptions on his transfers; while the contents of the transfers, in turn, will have the effect of injecting into the guide book and map an element of life which they would not otherwise have. By a combined study of the transfers on the one hand and the map and guide on the other, the collector can easily learn the city or vicinity in question thoroughly enough to be able to tell the best mode of access over transfer-issuing systems (making allowance for fare as well as distance and time) between any two points in the vicinity. In this way it becomes frequently worth while for the transfer collector to collect also, on the side, maps and guide books of all sorts. Even maps of larger regions may have their usefulness in that collection, as for example, giving an idea of the relative location and distance of points mentioned as in the territory of various transfer-issuing systems, and determining the geographical interrelation of the various systems.

         Another connection in which a city guide book can be of use to the transfer collector is where the guide book lists car routes under a numbering system of its own, where no company numbering or lettering appears on the cars. This supplies a partial basis for a file number code, and helps the collector to systematize the arrangement of his transfers. For example, our own file codes for routes in St. Louis, Kansas City and Rochester, are largely based on the numbering arrangement used in guide books of those cities.

         Maps may also be used to serve as a basis for the collector to make other maps of the same regions which illustrate some special point in connection with transfer collection. The maps of geographical districts and sub-districts to illustrate the file number code are examples of this. See the map of our own District 2 at the end of Appendix A. To a great extent, the desired features on maps can be traced by simply placing a piece of paper over the map and copying the outlines. If a different scale is required than is found on the original map, the best precaution is to see that everything is in the right direction from everything else; for, it all angles are correct, the proportions are also correct. This may be necessary if the collector's map is of a region covered in the atlas or guide by several maps drawn to different scales.

         A collection of maps and guide books can well be kept in a special case or bureau drawer. There is no need for special order in this case. The collector will, of course, choose the maps and guides which are best for his purpose.

        149. Transfer Maps of Systems.  A transfer collector may find it interesting, as well as helpful to his understanding of transfer privileges, to make up his own maps of certain systems or portions of systems, showing routing and transfer points. The less real detail there is on such a map the more comprehensible it is, and the better it serves its purpose. Besides the routes and other such necessary indications (including connecting and transferring routes that may be inserted if required), such a map should be the merest outline, and contain nothing but shore lines and municipal boundaries and other such important markings. Routes should, to save trouble, be marked with the names of the streets they pass through. Differences of coloring may be used to indicate sub-systems, fare zones or subsidiary companies or some other such divisions. Dotted and broken lines, etc., may also be used to advantage, as to indicate zones, connecting and transferring lines, etc. Circles may be used to indicate transfer points; if several different kinds of transferrals are to be indicated, we may also use squares and crosses. The transfer point indication (ring, cross, etc.) may be deliberately placed slightly aside from the junction on the map to indicate certain transfer restrictions; thus, where there is a junction from which routes run north, south, east and west, the circle a bit north of the junction would indicate that transfers are from and to cars on that side of the junction, not from or to cars south of the junction.

         Such maps are useful merely as illustrations, and are otherwise to be kept merely as curiosities. We give here a simple illustration, the map of the Manhattan lines of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company (N. Y. City).

        150. Distribution Maps.  A collector might find it interesting to make out maps indicating the geographical distribution of the transfer forms in his collection. This can be done by making an outline map of the region desired, either in a single map or in several maps, and marking in pencil the location of important cities. Each transfer can be represented by an ink dot, placed where the transfer point usually is. If there are several transfer points on a single transfer form, fairly removed from one another on the map, take the one that can be considered most centrally located; if some other form with a similar transfer point is found, take some other transfer point; and so on till all transfer points are covered. If several forms have the same transfer point, the dots should be placed close together; if transfer points are so close together as to be indistinguishable on the map, the dots should be simply placed close together with same attempt to get them in the proper relative direction. Otherwise there will be little difficulty in locating on the map an ink dot for each transfer in the collection. When new transfer forms are acquired, the requisite number of new ink dots may be made on the map in the proper places.

         Such a distribution map, if a large amount of territory is covered, will not quite serve the purpose of a population distribution map, especially allowing for the different varieties of transfer-issuing units and color combinations in different places, as well as places where transfer privileges have been suspended. But on the whole, it will help to indicate how population and traffic are distributed geographically; and it makes small and large cities and population centers are quite easily recognizable.

         Of course, drawing distribution or system maps is not a necessary part of transfer collection, and it is hardly even recommended to collectors; but it is an interesting side line which may help to add interest to the process of collecting transfer forms.

         The below is a sample of such a distribution map for "up-state" New York: that is, New York State north of the immediate vicinity of New York City. It is obvious here that many of the important cities have received their due share of notice on the map in the form of dots, though other important centers of population, such as Utica, have been omitted entirely because not covered in the collection represented. The outline itself was produced by tracing the outlines of an atlas map; location of cities was similarly obtained.

        151. Census Guides.  Guides, almanacs or memorandum books will sometimes show the population of the


largest cities in the nation; guide books will frequently give information from which the number of car lines can be found. The latter information is also often indicated directly on transfer forms. This supplies a basis for working out and comparing car indexes of different cities. To the collector who takes any interest in comparing car indexes, we may suggest the following form to systematize things:



Pop. (Thou.)      Norm.        Dist.        No. C.L.        Index
Calif. Alameda 29 7 9A 9 1.7
Bakersfield 19 6 9b . . . .
Berkeley 56 9 9A 15 2.0
Fresno 45 8 9C . . . .
Long Beach 56 9 9B 9 1.2
Los Angeles 576 30 9B 34 1.4
Oakland 216 19 9A 39 2.8
Pasadena 45 8 9B 15 2.3
Richmond 16 5 9A . .
Riverside 19 6 9B 6 1.4
Sacramento 66 10 9C 14 1.7
San Bernadino 19 6 9B 7 1.5
San Diego 75 11 9B 14 1.6
San Francisco 507 28 9A 54 2.4
San Jose 40 8 9A . . . .
Santa Barbara 19 6 9B 5 1.1
Stockton 40 8 9C . . . .
Vallejo 21 6 9A . . . .
Colo. Colo. Springs . . . .
Denver . . . .
Pueblo . . . .

        The above is an illustration of the form for working. Accuracy of data we cannot guarantee. Under the first column "State", are listed the states; under the "City" column, the larger cities of each state. The "Pop." column lists the census population of each city in thousands. "Norm." means the number of car lines there should be with a car index of 1.25. "Dist." means the geographical division and sub-division under the file code. "No. C. L." means the number of car lines in the city, ascertained or estimated; and "Index" is the car index, the "No. C. L." entry divided by the square root of the "Pop." Entry.

        Even where it is not desired to investigate car indexes, the last two columns and the "Norm." column may be omitted, and we still have a good index of the sub-districts to which each city belongs, and the population of each city. The population may be used to ascertain whether it is a likely place to look for new transfer forms.

        When traveling, such a list may be used to help classify the file numbers without looking back at the main collection. The collector may well insert the sub-district of each fair-sized place in the railroad time table.

        152. Information Leaflets and Time SchedulesMany systems give out leaflets of information concerning their routing, especially if there has been any change recently made. In some cases such leaflets include an account of transfer regulations. Such information is also sometimes to be found on bulletins placarded at points served by the cars of the system in question. Also in many cases systems, particularly interurban systems, give out time schedules somewhat similar to railroad time tables, which also give a great deal of information concerning routing. It is by all means worth while for the collector of transfers to watch such bulletins, information sheets and time schedules. They all help him pick out places that can be reached within a reasonable time. For the latter purpose it is also well to learn about regular railroad schedules, since many places can be conveniently reached by a trolley trip, stopping over frequently to collect transfers, etc., and requiring a return by railroad.

        A collection of time schedules is hardly a thing to be undertaken, but the transfer collector should have on hand such schedules and information as to help him in the process of collection. Sometimes also announcements issued by companies as to prospective alterations, particularly as to new routes, are worth looking into, since they will usually contain information useful to the collector; these information sheets also frequently contain maps which will help in the understanding of the arrangement of the system.

        In many ways such schedules serve the purposes of a guide book, and sometimes are of help to the collector in other ways. Thus the Pacific Electric Railway (southern California) issues a time table which also incidentally indicates to what cities that system gives local service. Thus a collector studying that time table will be aided in finding out exactly where to look for transfers. In general, all these aids should be taken into consideration by the one who is trying to make a collection of transfer forms.


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