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Tamaulipas TampicoTampico

Compañía Eléctrica de Luz, Fuerza y Tracción de Tampico, S. A.

The Compañía Eléctrica de Luz, Fuerza y Tracción was registered in London on 24 May 1912. It purchased Tampico's animal tramway and electricity company and ordered new trams from Wason in Massachusetts on 16 August 1913. The new vehicles arrived in Tampico in 1914 in the heat of the Mexican Revolution and the date when they started running is unknown.

The catalogues list various tickets from this tram company but we need further documentary evidence before we can agree that these were used as paper currency.

Luz Tampico 6c

  series from to total
6c J         includes number 0361


Luz Tampico 10c

  date on note from to total
10c 1 February 1916         includes number 906
21 March 1916         includes number 2691


Luz Tampico 5c

  date on note from to total
5c 21 June 1920         includes number 22758


The last boleto has the signature of the general manager, Harvey S. Leach.

Harvey S. Leach first came to Mexico in 1891 as an employee of Weetman Dickson Pearson (later Lord Cowdray), the British construction contractor, railroad builder, and later oil magnate. Leach worked for Pearson from 1891 to 1899, a period in which the Pearson company built the canals that drained Mexico City, constructed the harbour and docks of Veracruz, and finally laid the tracks of the Inter-Ocean Railroad across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

In 1900 Leach left the Pearson company and went to work as a consulting engineer for the Guanajuato Power Company from 1900 to 1904. Leach took another job in 1904, this time as consulting engineer for the Guanajuato Development Company, and then from 1906 to 1912 he worked as a general construction contractor in Mexico City. Finally in 1912 Leach went to work for the Compañía Eléctrica de Luz, Fuerza y Tracción de Tampico as a civil engineer, rising to become general manager of the company by 1914. 

On 2 September 1923 after provocation fron Leach, who reduced wages and fired unionised workers, the workers at his company went on strike. The strike was not resolved until 16 February 1924 after the government of President Obregón seized the company’s properties. Because of Leach’s hostile attitude, the Mexican Union of Electrical Workers demanded his expulsion from Mexico under Article 33 of the Constitution "for his attitude of open hostility towards the Institutions of the Republic and the complete lack of respect for the authorities of the Nation". Leach and some of his supporters asked the U.S. government to launch an international appeal (among Leach’s supporters was W. F. Buckley, father to conservative author and commentator William F. Buckley, Jr., who had himself been deported on similar grounds). At the request of Leach and people like Buckley, U.S. State Department officials appealed his deportation several times but in response to the last appeal, General Sáenz informed them “that in view of the strike situation at Tampico President Obregón could not at that time revoke his order of expulsion.”

The situation was delicate because of de la Huerta's rebellion and Obregon's desire not to upset the United States but, frankly, although he had been in Mexico for over 30 years Leach deserved to be expelled.

sig Leach


Maury & Ramón

Maury 5cA cartón for 5c in change (feria).

Tampico Banking Corporation

Among the archives that were thrown into landfill by the new owners of the American Bank Note Company was correspondence from 1921-1926 on notes for the Tampico Banking CorporationABNC, 40422.00. This might have been for a proposed (and possibly effected) issue of low value notes, to address the same shortage as the Comisión Monetaria notes in Mexico City.

We know of four notes issued by cantinas in Tampico.

Cantina "El Sol"

The cantina "El Sol" issued a 10c note.

 The initials on the reverse are of [                                 ][identification needed].

  sig Leach

Cantina del Comercio

The Cantina del Comercio, of Manuel Blanco Sierra y Cía, of calle del Mercado 1031, issued a similar 10c note.

M. Blanco Sierra sig Leach

Cantina La Covacha

The nearby Cantina La Covacha, of V. Setien, in calle Bajo Mercado 1030, issued a 20c note.


V. Setien sig Leach

"El Louvre"

The cantina and restaurant "El Louvre" on the corner of calles Estado and Aurora issued a note for 50 centavos.