Fortune Tellers and Love Tests (1 of 1) - PennyMachines MUSEUM
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Fortune Tellers and Love Tests

Coin-operated fortune tellers, although wildly divergent in form, almost all operated on two very ancient mechanisms of chance: spinning pointers or shuffled cards. The spinning pointer or disk is the prototype gaming machine. It's a small step from passively reading one's fortune or disposition from a dial to staking one's future on it by placing bets. Such simple mechanisms, which offered nothing to the punter but the indulgence of superstition, made them an excellent proposition in the early days of coin-operated automation. The rows of electric lamps that some later machines adopted were essentially a spinning dial variant, with a revolving battery contact replacing the pointer. Card dispensing fortune tellers are simply vending machines in more exotic guise. To sustain the suspension of disbelief, they needed dressing-up. An impressive outward appearance helped to disguise an inner mechanism which was usually less so. Consequently, fortune tellers frequently incorporate animated figures and other automata.


 

Love-Test

Love-Test

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Myers Automatics

 


 

The Oracle

The Oracle

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Click image to enlarge pointer

 


 

British Beauties Bureau

British Beauties Bureau

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pointer Click image to enlarge

 


 

The Green Ray

The Green Ray

Hope Bradshaw, 1931

 


 

Zodiac Love Test

Zodiac Love Test

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Bradfort

pointer Click image to enlarge