Diggers and Merchandisers (1 of 1) - PennyMachines MUSEUM
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Museum

Diggers and Merchandisers

In 1896 an enterprising American modified a child's toy digger to pick up sweets at random when the player wound the handle, like a mechanized lucky dip. It was widely imitated and finally commercialised in 1924 as the Erie Digger by the Erie Manufacturing Corp. of Connecticut. Thus Merchandisers, including those known as diggers or claws (in the US) or cranes (in the UK), developed from novelty vending machines. Norwat Amusements' 1926 electrically operated Steam Shovel greatly increased the entertainment value by putting some active control of the digger into the hands of the player. By the 1930s novelty merchandisers were all the rage in America, Europe and Britain. A British contribution to the genre came in 1936 with Leonard Walton's Rotary Merchandiser which enticed players to push prizes off a revolving turntable. The Gaming Board was quick to categorize all such games as gambling, considering the skill element to be negligible.


Clutching Hand

Clutching Hand

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Hawtins, 1940s

 


Hercules

Walden Goliath Crane

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Walden-Bryans, 1935

 


Bran Tub

Bran Tub

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Bryans, 1937

 


Prize Finder

Prize Finder

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Bryans, 193?

 


Bran Tub

Bran Tub

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Bryans, 193?

 


Prize Finder

Pendulum

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Bryans, 193?