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Interborough Tries Change-Making Machines (1924)

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Automatic Change-Making Machine In Seventy-Seventh Street Station of Interborough Rapid Transit Subway, New York.

Electric Railway Journal · Vol. 63, No. 23 · June 1, 1924 · p. 880.

Interborough Tries Change-Making Machines. The Action of the Machine Is Automatic, an Electric Contact Device Controlling the Release of the Necessary Change When a Coin Is Inserted.

Machines for automatically changing dimes, quarters and half dollars have been installed for trial in the northbound Seventy-seventh Street station of the Lexington Avenue subway, operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, New York. The machine was developed by Frank Hedley, president and general manager, and J. S. Doyle, assistant general manager. The present installation consists of two units, which have been installed in the panels of the change-making booth at the Seventy-seventh Street station. The machines are approximately 30 in. square and the coin to be changed is inserted through slots at the top. A sign over the machine reads "Automatic Money Changing Machine -- Insert Money Here" and arrows point to the slots for the reception of the coins. When a coin is inserted it drops upon two contact points in the change-making machine and establishes an electric circuit to release the necessary change. The coin is held in position back of a magnifying lens, so that it can readily be seen by the person who inserts the coin. Similar lenses on the back of the machine inside the booth also provide for an operator's inspection. A switch is provided in the operator's booth so that he can open the circuit and thus automatically prevent the issuing of change, should it be necessary to retain a coin for inspection. Inserting a second coin in the slot releases the one in view and the second coin takes its position upon the inspection contact.

Should a coin of other denomination than that indicated be inserted in the slot, it drops into a receptacle immediately over the magnifying lens so that it can be returned. Change for the money inserted comes out in receptacles at the bottom of the machine.

In the present installation doors are provided on the front side for filling the machines with change and for taking out money which has passed through the machine. When the machines are extended to use in other stations, however, it is the intention to provide doors only on the inside of the change booth. It may also be necessary to make the machines up in individual units, one for dimes, one for quarters and a third for half dollars.

While the present installation is entirely in the nature of a trial, it is the intention of the officials to extend the use of these change-making machines to other stations on the system as soon as they are satisfied with its working. At congested points, like Times Square, it may be desirable to install these at frequent and convenient locations and have an attendant to oversee their operation and fill the machines with change as is required. Where there are separate stations on opposite sides of the tracks a single attendant on the traffic side should be able to take care of the change-making machines at both locations. This also applies to stations which have more than one entrance. In this latter case one attendant could take care of several machines, which would be installed at the most convenient points where passengers pass through turnstiles.

Statistics collected by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company indicate that approximately 50 per cent of the change issued at subway stations is for dimes, so at heavy traffic centers it may be necessary to have a larger number of machines for changing dimes than for the other denominations. The mounting of individual units would also be of assistance in taking care of maintenance, as a single machine could be removed and replaced by another without interruption to service and without interfering with adjacent machines.

The three-unit machines at present being tried provide for change up to approximately $175. Another interesting point in the statistics gathered is that at present approximately 5 per cent of the riders ask for change at fare booths, the remaining 95 per cent obtaining their change at other points.

After the installation of the machines, the company expects to keep accurate records regarding the amount of money changed and the various denominations to serve as a guide in determining the best size for the machines and the number of individual units needed.


Electric Railway Journal, McGraw Hill Company, Digitized by Microsoft, Americana Collection, archive.org.

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