San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

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San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » Mi 28.03.18 02:24

Some miscellaneous notes on prices pulled from San Francisco, published in 1940 as another of the WPA’s American Guides.

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At the time it came out of the San Francisco mint, this 1940s half-dollar would have paid the 50-cent toll for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, one way, in a car with up to five passengers. Additional passengers cost a nickel each.
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » Mi 28.03.18 02:28

In 1940, the toll charged for crossing the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in a (1-5 passenger capacity) automobile was 25-cents. This San Francisco-mint 1940s quarter-dollar would have done the job exactly.

Or for an out-of-towner seeing the sights or doing business, this 1940s quarter-dollar would have hired a San Francisco taxicab at its usual rate of 25¢ for the first 1/3 of a mile, with a dime owing for each additional 2/5 of a mile.
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » Mi 28.03.18 02:32

And speaking of dimes, of 10-cent pieces:

San Francisco’s Golden Gate has been a magnet for Americans since before there was even a bridge spanning it. But then the Bridge… And in 1940 it was still brand new. It seemed like everyone wanted a piece of it. So a 1940d dime like this one, in town from some part of the country served by the Denver mint, would have paid a pedestrian’s toll between the turnstiles on the Golden Gate Bridge. Bicyclists, too, crossed for a dime.

But almost from the beginning the Golden Gate Bridge was a suicide magnet. There were eleven jumpers in 1940—pedestrians, bicyclists maybe—I wonder if any of them were between the turnstiles, and left dimes like this one behind?

v.
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Zuletzt geändert von villa66 am Do 29.03.18 08:11, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon sigistenz » Mi 28.03.18 22:11

I enjoyed your juicy post as always. You make coins tell of their day. Great job, thank you. :)
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon Arminius » Mo 02.04.18 22:42

Linking common coins with day-to-day life of common people - i like it!

:)
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon Mynter » So 08.04.18 15:10

I allways like stories about what a coin would have bought you. Was the brigde operated privatly or by the state or county ?
Roadtolls remind me of where I am living. Norway must be not only the home of trolls,but also the homeland of tolls .New roadprojects are usually financed partly by taxes, partly by toll collected for every crossing. Now this is done electronicly,sometimes causing some trouble when a foreign numberplate too simular to a norwegian causes an unexpected bill to a norwegian carowner. Before you would have to stop at a booth where a ( not helmeted ) guard would collect the toll. Those collecting-stations where even manned on Christmas- eve, wich allways seemed to me the most unneccessary way to spend workinghours. Who would ever be on the road then.
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » Di 10.04.18 04:23

Mynter hat geschrieben:I allways like stories about what a coin would have bought you. Was the brigde operated privatly or by the state or county ?


From what I get, the Bridge is owned and operated by a stand-alone special-purpose public entity now called the “Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.” It was originally incorporated in 1928 as the “Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District,” whose purpose was the designing, financing, and building of the Bridge. The District was given additional responsibilities over the years and now also operates area ferry and transit systems.

(And by the way—setting aside the various special discounts—the current toll for a regular automobile crossing the Golden Gate Bridge is $7.75. And the toll-taking has been rendered cashless—on the Bridge, anyway.)

:) v.
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » Sa 28.04.18 09:05

A short detour before heading back to San Fran.

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The various American states take different approaches to toll roads. My own state doesn’t mess with them much, but neighboring Oklahoma is another story. (And why not, I guess—a lot of Oklahoma highway traffic is of the drive-through variety, mostly unrelated to the state’s residents or economy.)

Much of its toll-collecting is of the electronic variety, but Oklahoma does still employ tollbooths. Relatively infrequent or short-distance turnpike-users get to know them pretty well. (Be sure to take some quarters!)

The toll on the Will Rogers Turnpike, for example, has recently gone to $4.50, so folks who have to pay cash are going to either get or give some 25-cent pieces. (Maybe a half-dollar, once in a great while.)

My favorites are the exit tollbooths with the big coin-catching baskets. Toss a couple of quarters from your car and hope for the best—maybe they’ll miss, but they never do—so far. Into the basket the coins go. Up goes the cross-buck. The green “go” light comes on….

So a couple of new Park quarters (Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands) paired up for the Turnpike and ready to throw…

:) v.
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » So 29.04.18 21:50

I had taken this photo and was writing merrily along about the Golden Gate Bridge when it suddenly dawned on me that this wasn’t the Golden Gate Bridge at all. (The giveaway is the short tower—it seems like the work of distance and perspective, but isn’t.)

I had been wrong about this medal for some decades—this is actually the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (which is also the subject of the 1936 commemorative half-dollar).

:D v.
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » Mo 14.05.18 09:10

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937. The Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 (and 1940) celebrated the two new bridges, and more.

This west coast World’s Fair was just one of two World’s Fairs—at opposite ends of the country—to open in the U.S. in 1939. But putting aside the east coast’s New York World’s Fair…

The 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition was held on the recently-constructed “Treasure Island” in San Francisco Bay, and featured as its architectural centerpiece the 400-foot-tall “Tower of the Sun.”

Admission to the Exposition for an adult was 50 cents, so I guess 1939s half-dollars like this one (a product of the San Francisco mint) may well have begun their circulating careers at the Fair on Treasure Island….
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » So 20.05.18 09:48

World’s Fairs are a great place to buy and sell souvenirs, and surely among the least expensive reminders of San Francisco’s 1939 Fair would have been the 3-cent postage stamps picturing the Exposition’s “Tower of the Sun.”
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » So 20.05.18 09:50

Three cents was then the rate for first-class domestic postage in the U.S., so the Golden Gate commemorative above would have sent a letter anywhere in the country. (Sending a postcard cost one cent—hence the common nickname, “penny postcard.”)

Three 1939 pennies.
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon sigistenz » So 20.05.18 12:52

villa66 hat geschrieben:World’s Fairs are a great place to buy and sell souvenirs, and surely among the least expensive reminders of San Francisco’s 1939 Fair would have been the 3-cent postage stamps picturing the Exposition’s “Tower of the Sun.”


Chances are that I got the stamp in my collection in its attic hideaway. But I'll resist taking a look - the stamp demon might get hold of me again... :wink:
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » Di 22.05.18 07:36

sigistenz hat geschrieben:Chances are that I got the stamp in my collection in its attic hideaway. But I'll resist taking a look - the stamp demon might get hold of me again...


I know exactly what you mean. Whenever I pull stamps into a thread I'm always on guard. (Next thing I know, I'd have Pop's old album out and that'd be that for...some long time!)

I've been very disciplined here--and it's killing me(!)--the 1939 NY World's Fair 3-cent commemorative is one of my special favorites...and it would fit so easily....

:D v.
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Re: San Francisco 1940: odds and ends

Beitragvon villa66 » Do 05.07.18 06:55

More substantial souvenirs than mere postage stamps were available at the Fair, of course, and several of the medals issued in conjunction with the Expo are still very common and easy to find. This brassy medal featuring the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on one side and the Golden Gate Bridge on the other is one of my favorites.

There’s the appeal of the color and its interplay with the rays. And there’s the romance of the China Clippers—whose new home was to be “Treasure Island,” site of the Exposition….
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