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Radiotelefoon-Verbinding met Nederlands-Indië

Photo(s) by Maurits van den Toorn. Imported from Flickr on Dec 5, 2020.
Radiotelefoon-Verbinding met Nederlands-Indië
Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Maurits van den Toorn and tagged with “blanchard”. License: All Rights Reserved.

A tariff list from sometime before World War II for making radiotelephone calls from the Netherlands to the Dutch East Indies, then a colony that would become Indonesia in 1949.

The entire sheet is set in all caps, from two similar styles of different width. The majority of the text is in Blanchard (Inland), a wide robust roman issued by the Inland Type Foundry in 1900. It was also cast by Caslon as Morland. Type historian Hans Reichardt notes that Blanchard was carried by the Typefoundry Amsterdam as Columbia, but doesn’t specify to which of Blanchard’s six styles this applies. The line at the very bottom features a related condensed cut. This face is shown in a ca. 1930 catalog by Amsterdam under the name Smalle Columbia. This typeface appears to be a version of the Condensed style of Buffalo. Buffalo was a follower of Blanchard, introduced by the Hansen foundry in 1902 or earlier. According to Lane & Lommen, Columbia was Amsterdam’s version of Buffalo, issued in three styles from 1905 on. The wide style used on this piece of ephemera definitely matches Blanchard, not Buffalo.

The first 3 minutes of a long-distance call cost 30 guilders and more. In 1930, this amount had a purchasing power similar to that of 300 USD today.

From the Flickr stream of Maurits van den Toorn, who comments (translated):

Incredible […] I’ve heard stories from the family how sometimes people called […] at Christmas or another high day. Everyone would take turns saying as much as possible so that the whole conversation turned into a cacophony.

2 Comments on “Radiotelefoon-Verbinding met Nederlands-Indië”

  1. fl 30,- for a 3-minute telephone call – those were quite expensive conversations! Looking for reference, I found this article that mentions 30 guilders as an average price for a new bicycle in 1924. The CBS, the Dutch institute for statistics, offers a tool for comparing current and past prices. According to their calculations, 30 guilders (or gulden) in 1930 would equal a value of € 261,- or $ 316.- today.

  2. Yes, that matches the amount I had found via the calculator by the IISG.

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