General vintage slot machine related topics.
alan57
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Hall Telephone Accessories Ltd. stamp vendors

Postby alan57 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:25 pm

Picked this up a couple of weeks ago, thought it would go well in the garden. It's a 1940s stamp vending machine.

The insertion of a coin first lifts a coin plate, then, when pressed, the coin enters the machine lifting the "driving weight". This is connected to a rack and pinion, which ultimately drives the stamp feeding mechanism;


At this stage the coin falls on to the coin guide and rolls past the testing device for ''misformed and abnormal" coins. When the coin has been accepted by the machine, it falls into a chute and thence to a balance arm. This acts as another testing device, as it only operates if the coin is the correct weight. This arm on being fully operated allows the escapement mechanism to rotate and permit the "driving weight", lifted when the coin entered, to draw the feed wheel sufficiently to feed one stamp through to the stamp aperture. Unaccepted coins are rejected and can be picked up in the cup below the stamp aperture.

The roll of stamps is placed on a spindle and held there by a metal arm. The stamps are then fed under a fixed guide bar, over a second guide bar and then under a bar which is pivoted to a lever. When the roll is finished this lever drops causing the "EMPTY" or in later years, "NOT IN USE" plate to drop over the coin hole. The stamps are now fed over a drum containing fixed pins, spaced at a distance of a stamp and fixed into the horizontal perforations, and at every fourth perforation at each side.

The coins used were mainly an old half penny, 1d or a 3d.

The one I have used is the old 1D coin and for that you would get 1D stamp - those was the days of low cost postage!
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gameswat
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Re: new penny slot project with a difference

Postby gameswat » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:22 pm

Alan, what do you plan to do about the missing case? Make your own in wood or metal, or maybe track down a cast iron original?

alan57
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Re: new penny slot project with a difference

Postby alan57 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:49 pm

Hi Gameswat
As you can see with the 1930s picture, the Stamp Vending Machine was fitted into a housing. This made it easier to maintain.
The main problem of course, it could never be completely water tight which ended up with many of the moving parts rusting up.
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alan57
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Re: new penny slot project with a difference

Postby alan57 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:57 pm

Many of the Stamp vending machines where situated in post boxes or in the larger K8 red telephone boxes, so here is my amateur attempt to try to create how it would have been in the George VI era.
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operator bell
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Re: new penny slot project with a difference

Postby operator bell » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:25 pm

Aha - NOW I understand why it was such an effort to push the coin into those machines - it was lifting the weight.

It's funny how clearly I can remember the "feel" of things from long ago. Pushing a coin into a stamp machine, operating a Beromat handle, that girl at school behind the bike sheds ...

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bob
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Re: new penny slot project with a difference

Postby bob » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:04 am

I still have three sets of these machines which used to be outside most suburban post offices in Australian cities until about 30 years ago. After literally years of negotiation I managed to buy them from Australia Post complete with keys, test roll of "stamps" etc. They were made by a British firm, Hall Telephone Accessories Ltd, and I also have the Australia Post service manual for these machines as well as a history of the use of stamp vending machines and some coils of stamps used in these machines.

The mechanisms were mounted as shown in a sheet metal cabinet with a cast iron front and tilted forward for servicing as shown in the photo. They had a flap in front of the delivery slot which is missing from Alan57's machine. They were generally bricked in a wall in a sheltered position and being virtually waterproof rust was never really a problem.

There were different models over the years but all except the later pushbutton mechanisms worked on the "stored energy" principle activated by raising a bar when forcing the copin into the machine. This was a brilliant idea as it was impossible to obtain more than one stamp for one coin. The operator's nightmare of a "runaway payout" cleaning out the machine was impossible and the machines had a successful working life of many decades, surviving the change to decimal currency until inflation finally forced them out of use. One photo shows the mechanisms only of the last variation of these with a push button mechanism.

Stamp vending machines had been used in Australia as early as 1903 using a British machine made by British Electric Machines Ltd. This was followed by the use of machines invented and manufactured in Australia in 1916 and 1928. From 1937 however the British machines made by Hall Telephone Accessories Ltd were used. Forty years later in the 70's about 3000 of these machines were still in use. Following the use of these machines Swiss made Sodeco stamp vending machines were tested, but were not successful and the use of stamp vending machines in Australia was discontinued.
Postage Stamp Vendor B4 No 119.jpg
Postage Stamp Vendor B4
Postage Stamp Vendor B4 No 119.jpg (24.11 KiB) Viewed 1956 times
Postage Stamp Vendor B4 2 No 120.jpg
Postage Stamp Vendor B4
Postage Stamp Vendor B4 2 No 120.jpg (22.4 KiB) Viewed 1956 times
Postage Stamp Vendor D7 No 121.jpg
Postage Stamp Vendor D7
Postage Stamp Vendor D7 No 121.jpg (19.16 KiB) Viewed 1956 times
Postage Stamp Vendor AA2 No 122.jpg
Postage Stamp Vendor AA2
Postage Stamp Vendor AA2 No 122.jpg (23.46 KiB) Viewed 1956 times

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john t peterson
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Re: new penny slot project with a difference

Postby john t peterson » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:55 am

Thank you, Bob. Fascinating detailed information on the history of commercial stamp dispensers in Australia. You need to put out that book, my man. !!CHEERS!!

J Peterson
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coppinpr
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Re: new penny slot project with a difference

Postby coppinpr » Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:25 pm

On a bit of a tangent from this post (note the pun), did you know the UK Pillar box was the brainchild of the writer Anthony Trollop who worked for the GPO for 30 years? The first were in Jersey as a trail run. Strange how unforeseen consequences come along from almost any invention. Trollop came in for a lot of stick from irate parents because the pillar box allowed, for the first time, young ladies to correspond with their male admirers without their fathers knowing. Prior to the pillar box, letters would be left on a tray in the hall of the house for collection and the father could see any letters being sent.
None of the original boxes from Jersey survive but two from Guernsey, introduced the following year, do survive.

Alan57, is your box original? I assume it is. If so, it must have been knocking about for some years as the post office no longer sell old boxes.

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bob
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Re: new penny slot project with a difference

Postby bob » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:35 am

The photos I posted previously were old ones and not very clear. Here's a new one of a couple of the machines which is a bit clearer.
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pennymachines
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Re: Hall Telephone Accessories Ltd. stamp vendors

Postby pennymachines » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:50 pm

Glenn H Morgan FRPSL and Graham Eyre have compiled a thorough British Stamp Vending Machine History.
Interesting to see BMR/BDR supplied vendors in 1932.

Link to British Pathé film showing loading and use of stamp vending machine outside St. Paul's Post Office in London.


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