Bus Museum - Ticket Machines - Punches
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Information on opening your ticket punch can be found at the bottom of this page.
Click here.
Barkers number B10158   Barkers number B10158 opened   Strap and plate from B10158  
Bell Punch number 75557   Bell Punch number 75557 opened   Strap and plate from 75557  
Bell Punch number 77042   Williamson punch number 4500   Williamson punch number 5023  
Williamson punch number 8339   Williamson punch number 8339 opened   Strap and plate from 8339  
In the days before machines printed tickets, conductors carried a wooden rack filled with different priced, numbered tickets. These were then punched with a hole to indicate the stage boarded or the date. A counter on the machine recorded each ticket and this could be checked against the actual tickets issued. The small disc cut from the ticket fell inside the machine. These could be emptied later and counted if necessary. The colour of each would identify the value of the ticket.
Although these punches were obsolete long before I started on the buses, conductors still spoke of printing a ticket as punching it or ringing it off, a reference to the bell which sounded each time a ticket was clipped. One ticket machine company continued to be called Bell Punch and conductors were sometimes nicknamed clippies. The punches shown here date from the first half of the twentieth century.
These punches are in excellent condition considering their age and the amount of use they must have had. The punch would have been worn on a leather strap. The ticket was inserted in the slot at the top and the lever at the bottom depressed. The punch makes a clean hole in the ticket, the bell rings and the counter advances.
To prevent the counter moving by mistake, the lever cannot be operated unless a ticket is inserted. The punch slots into a metal plate with a leather strap. A ticket is inserted in the slot at the top and the lever at the bottom depressed,. A bell rings to indicate that the ticket has been properly punched. The punch makes a hole in the ticket, the piece of ticket dropping inside. The Wiiliamson type has a ticket register. The Bell Punch model has no visible counter but it can be opened to reveal one inside. In addition, the pieces of ticket can be emptied and counted back at the depot.
Opening a Bell Punch ticket punch (as 75557 and 77042).
If you look to the right of the serial number there is a cover which pivots away to the left.
This reveals a U shaped slot in which there should be a hole on the left hand side.

If it is in any other position there is a blank surface underneath.
Using a pointed instrument, pull it up to the top left to reveal a deeper hole underneath.

You now need something thin but strong (I use a straightened paper clip) to poke into this hole and push down on the lever in the hole.

With this lever pushed down, press down on the surface and push to the left, you should see some movement, the left hand edge moving out away from the main body. This can be stiff but resist using a screwdriver or such as this will scratch the surface. Once you have started moving the cover, the pin can be withdrawn.

The top should slide completely out, revealing the lever that you had to push down on. You will also see the ticket counter. This can be returned to zero by poking the hole above it. This is marked DO NOT. I like to keep records of tickets issued so I have never tried this.

In use, the ticket counter would have been compared with the number of pieces of ticket to check the honesty of the conductor.

If the punch has been locked by pressing the round button on the back, unlock it by inserting your pointed instrument in to the hole above the screw on the left of the base.

Replacing the cover is easy, simply slot it back in and push it until it snaps shut. Close the cover over the U shaped slot (having reset the hole to the top right if you like.).

Opening a Barkers ticket punch (as B10158).
Carefully remove the three brass screws and lift off the back. Take care not to damage these soft screws.

Before tipping out the ticket pieces, place a finger or thumb on the spring to prevent it falling out.
Note where the spring sits so that you can refit it if it does fall out. (It will fall out).

To replace the back plate, place the spring in its groove with the end resting on top of the bolt.
Position the back plate so that the slot is over the bolt and use the base of the slot to gently press the spring back so that the slot sits snuggly on the bolt.
Holding the backplate in position, refit the screws taking care not to over tighten them so as not to damage the heads.
Opening a Williamson ticket punch (as 4500, 5023 and 8339).
If you look in to the slot below the hinge, you should be able to see a shutter with a hole in it.

Insert a small screwdriver or similar into this hole and ease it slightly in the direction of the ticket slot (away from the punch lever).

At the same time, lift the door open to empty the ticket pieces.

To close the door, simply press it down until it clicks shut.
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