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For several years when I first began studying and collecting Columbiana, I believed the theory (presented in the 1980 Doolin ticket booklet as fact) that the number portion of these tickets—from 1 to 6—represented the six months that the fair was open. Seemed to make sense, but then why are there some that have NO number, just a letter?

In doing research for my first WCE history book I found the answer and it was 180 degrees different from what most collectors believed. Expo President Harlow Higgenbottam noted that the millions of tickets ordered for use every day of the fair (along with the colorful advance sale tickets) were ordered with random number and letter combinations and also with single letters —and used just as randomly. A day in June, for example, might use a 4/M combination and the next day a 1/L.

They went to all this trouble to discourage (ELIMINATE!) counterfeiting. No one had the slightest idea what cominations of letters and numbers would show up from one day to the next.

One thing I never could find, not really of need but to a historian and collector of interest, would be a list of what days which combination was used. And many combinations were reused up to a several times as there far few different tickets than days the fair operated.

I have never established a rarity by ticket, but simply based on top-of-the-head ideas, 1/L is probably one of the more common tickets AVAILABLE although there is no way to know how many of each variety was used.

In unscientific monitoring of the various combinations, 1/L seems to show up more than most. A good way to mae an assumption of rarity? Look at Doolin's 1980 guide to tickets. He only accounted for a limited number of combinations based on his years of ooking. In the last 2-3 decades as I continued all aspects of my research (that resulted in two books with a third one due to publish in the very near future)