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Repurposed Retro

New York Subway Token Earrings

New York Subway Token Earrings

Regular price $33.00
Regular price Sale price $33.00
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It's been over 20 years since New York City Transit has used tokens. For some, that was a lifetime ago. For others, it's hard to believe it's been so long.

For over 40 years, the subway in New York was five cents, so riders used a nickel to get on the train. For five years after that it was ten cents, so the machinery was updated to accept dimes. But in 1953, when the base fare was raised to fifteen cents, well, it complicated things. Without a fifteen-cent coin, what were riders to put in the turnstiles?

The first NYCTA subway tokens were brass and the size of a dime, with a large NYC in the center. After a few months, they were revised to add a Y-cutout, which allowed people to feel the difference in their pocket between that and the U.S. ten-cent piece. In the 50 years after the dime fare but before MetroCards became the exclusive way to pay for your ride, eleven different styles of tokens were used (per the New York City Transit Museum), but the one best remembered was a larger version of the 1953 cutout.

These earrings are made from original "Large Y Cutout" New York City Transit Authority tokens, which were used for a decade starting in 1970. Each token is 23mm in diameter. They are made with hypoallergenic, nickel-free, lead-free ear hooks.

Each of these items is different. The images shown are sample photos and do not show the exact item you are purchasing. Because each is handmade using upcycled materials, you should understand that the product you receive will vary in appearance.

About Repurposed Retro

Repurposed Retro features products we make in our Provincetown workspace from games, toys, and other items that remind us of our younger days. Memories, like the corners of my mind....

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