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gameswat
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Re: Automatic Sports Company games

Postby gameswat » Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:31 am

Here's some more interesting history on the Automatic Sports machines. These scans come from a Jan 29th 1972 World's Fair magazine.
rowlands 1.jpg
rowlands 2.jpg

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coppinpr
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Re: Automatic Sports Company games

Postby coppinpr » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:10 am

i wonder if that shed in a field is still there with the "scores of machines" still inside :(

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john t peterson
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Re: Automatic Sports Company games

Postby john t peterson » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:45 pm

Many years ago, I was contacted by one of you blokes (to remain unnamed) asking me to see if I could find part of a mermaid that was rumored to be hidden in plain sight in Pasadena, California, possibly in a nursery. As the story went, the mermaid base was being used as support for an aquarium. I arranged an over-night in Pasadena, rented a car and hit the circuit. I never did find the mermaid but did locate a two-man helicopter race game in one of the antique shops.

I like to think the old girl is still out there, holding up the tank full of little fishes.

J Peterson
Fishing for fantasy in America !!FISH!!

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gameswat
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Re: Automatic Sports Company games

Postby gameswat » Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:29 pm

JP, what year would this have been?

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john t peterson
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Re: Automatic Sports Company games

Postby john t peterson » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:21 pm

Memory is uncertain but to the best of my recollection, Gameswat, it would be around 2001-02. I'll PM you with some more details.

sweetmeats
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Re: Automatic Sports Company games

Postby sweetmeats » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:04 am

About seven years ago, when visiting America for a COCA convention I was talking to Ken Rubin (Drop Coin Here author) about the cast iron shooters and he mentioned that some years earlier he had heard of the base of a mermaid in New York being used as a birdbath. I seem to recall he hadn't seen it personally. Could this be the same reported as a fish tank? Or maybe to the one Bob reported on in Oz.

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bob
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Re: Automatic Sports Company games

Postby bob » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:22 am

Many thanks to Sweetmeats and Gameswat for their further contributions to the Matthewson machines thread. It’s really great to get all this information documented on the Pennymachines Forum pages and perhaps I can throw some further light on Matthewson and his coin op machines.

The two accounts by Bolland are from an interview conducted by the late Jon Gresham in connection with a book on coin op machines that he was writing. Sadly, although completed, Jon’s book was never published, as Ken Rubin’s book Drop Coin Here came out and publishers told Jon that there was not room for two books on the subject of coin op at that time.

Jon very generously shared the Bolland interview with coin op collectors including myself at the time. The two Matthewson gun machines had been found by Les Hinsley in Folkestone and were bought by him and Jon Gresham. Hinsley, as the finder, had the first pick of the two and consequently chose the mermaid cased one and had it repainted; Jon Gresham kept the fort machine in its original colours. The account by Bolland clearly puts the date of his conversions as having been done from 1946-1948, not as is sometimes stated during the '20s or '30s.

The belief that the Matthewson cast iron cabinets had started their life intended for another purpose stemmed from Bolland, and according to Jon Gresham the belief that they would have been intended as aquarium tank bases originated from Joe Pettit, another very early coin op machine collector. My discovery of the original design patents by Matthewson however disproved this theory.

Both of the letters in the World’s Fair/Coin Slot cutting recently put up here by Gameswat stated that a Mr Rowland of Manchester and his father operated nearly 800 of the Matthewson machines, mostly cast iron football machines in the north of the UK and many seaside piers. Indeed most of the football, golf and cricket machines that have turned up in the UK have Rowland’s name on the Directions/Instructions plate. On the other hand most, if not all, of the Matthewson’s machines that have turned up in Australia have Matthewson’s not Rowland’s name on the plates, indicating that they came here before Mr Rowland began operating them.

In the late '90s I corresponded with a friend in the UK and we endeavoured to do some research on Rowland’s operation of the Matthewson machines without any luck whatsoever. Rowland is not mentioned in the books by Braithwaite or Nic Costa. The only information that we had was in the article from the World’s Fair/Coin Slot. I am sure that there is much more to be learnt about the operation of the Matthewson sports machines during the interwar years.

Of the Matthewson machines that have turned up in Australia, these would have come here before Rowland commenced operating them. What has turned up in Australia to my knowledge are 3 Cricket Match machines complete in their cast iron cases and one Cricket Match mechanism, 3 six man Football Games, 2 two man Football Game machines, 4 Golf machines and 1 Mermaid Yacht Race. My Yacht Race, Golf and six man Football Match and, I think, one of the two man Football Match machines have gone to the US. I have the serial numbers of most of these machines and it would be useful, at some time, to compare the serial numbers of all the known remaining machines to help estimate how many of each type were originally manufactured.

One of the Golf machines listed above is in Australia, but I am unaware of its present ownership or location. There may exist another Football machine which was operated at a tourist site about forty years ago and is unlikely to have been thrown out. Similarly, there is mention of a Mermaid Yacht Race (see attached newspaper cutting) that was operated on a Queensland pier many years ago. This could be the same Yacht Race that I had which came from an Adelaide operator and which he may have brought from England, or he may have obtained it from the Redcliffe pier operator. However, it could be another Mermaid Yacht Race and is still out there somewhere. The same operator on the Queensland pier also had a Matthewson Golf and a Cricket Match, but both of these are now in the Queensland Museum.
Matthewson-Machines-on-Redcliffe-Pier540a.jpg
For many years it was thought that Matthewson invented the three Mechanical Trading Company machines, the Twist your Grip, Try Your Grip and the Automatic Shooting Range but I could never find Matthewson’s patents for these. Not really surprising as these were found to be the inventions of others who patented them. That this misattribution was finally discovered was due to Sweetmeats querying why Matthewson was considered the inventor (as I should have done but did not do) and as established by the researches of Gameswat and Sweetmeats and published on this forum.

Whilst Matthewson invented and patented many other things, there are still two coin op machines for which we have the patents, but the machines do not seem to have survived. One of these is patent specification 19,243 1892 “Improvements in Coin or the like Operated Apparatus for testing the Force of a Blow”. This is a coin operated High Striker type of machine the like of which I have never come across.
Matthewson-Patent-19243-1892a.jpg
The other is a much later patent, 196,650, 1922 “Improvements in Coin Operated Machines”. This is a comparatively simpler mechanism and cabinet than Matthewson’s other coin op machines in a wooden cabinet, for a game called “Police Station” or “Jail”.
That this was manufactured and operated by Matthewson was attested to by Matthewson’s step grandson who was interviewed by my friend in the UK sometime around the year 2000. The step grandson remembered the machine and drew a detailed picture of it, similar to that shown in the patent illustration. Perhaps someone has come across such a machine still existing somewhere?
Matthewson-Patent-196,650-1923542a.jpg
Last edited by bob on Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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bryans fan
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Re: Automatic Sports Company games

Postby bryans fan » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:56 am

**xXx**
Absolutely fascinating stuff Bob, thanks for sharing.
A welcome change from discussing bandits!

13rebel
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Re: Matthewson (Automatic Sports Co.) games

Postby 13rebel » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:44 pm

I'll second that! :D

hottoddy
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Re: Matthewson (Automatic Sports Co.) games

Postby hottoddy » Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:32 am

The two accounts by Bolland are from an interview conducted by the late Jon Gresham in connection with a book on coin op machines that he was writing. Sadly, although completed, Jon’s book was never published
I could read these stories for days. Is there a book waiting to be published? Please keep this going.. !!MEXWAVE!!


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