Ticket daters were used by ticket agents to stamp passes for people buying a ticket. The Daters look sort of like a stapler with an arm that stamps onto a base. A ticket dater would have a place for a die that identified the railroad, station, and often the number of the ticket counter. It would also have a place for three numbers that would make up the date. When the ticket was inserted into the dater and stamped it would leave the imprint of the die and date through an ink strip similar to those found on typewriters. The flexibility of the ticket dater, die, and date system allowed for railroads to use the same daters with a different date every day on standard ticket forms to produce tickets, which otherwise would have to be printed individually or handwritten.
Ticket Daters can be found for under $100 and with restoration and some dies can be restored to working order.