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pennymachines
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British slot machine production during WW2

Postby pennymachines » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:30 pm

I've always been a bit unsure as to what extent slot machine manufacturing continued during WW2. This article from Billboard, January 31, 1942 provides some answers.
There'll Always Be an England
Now that the United States is in the war and the coin machine industry is facing, at least partially, the same situation which was before the coin machine business in England at the inception of the war, the question has been raised a number of times as to "what happened in England when the war began there?" The question goes on to include the situation after more than two years of war — are any machines being manufactured — what is the status of distributors and operators? The Billboard is able to bring some light to bear on these questions, having contact with the English coinmen thru the London representative of The Billboard. We quote from a dispatch dated September 1, 1941: "The cutting off of imports from America at war's start did for a while seem to present the manufacturers here with a wonderful opportunity. . . . In the earlier period during 'the phony war' from September 1939, to the start of the blitz a year later, it is known that machines were produced by Streets Automatics, J. G. Brenner, Cliff Barret, British American Novelty Company and Clements."

It is definitely known that Clements is still producing machines at this date, altho it has not yet been ascertained at this writing whether others are still producing machines.

It should be noted that the British manufacturers, small in numbers and having limited production facilities, are under far greater stress than manufacturers in the U.S., having to contend with bombings, tighter labor supply, lack of materials and other factors unknown to American manufacturers.

Advertising In World's Fair, British amusement and coin machine trade paper, is equal to that of pre-war days. Many quotations from it have been given in The Billboard's columns. It is interesting to read how they have come to accept bomb damage as an ever-present problem and danger — yet not unsurmountable.

Naturally a large portion of the trade in England insofar as coin machines are concerned is conducted by distributing firms which have reconditioning services. The parts supply appears to be good.

Because the coin machine firms are forced to move at times, it is impossible to keep a real check on the number still in business. An estimate of the number still active may be made, however, from the number of advertisers in World's Fair; in the most recent issue there are 22 advertisements. It may he said that there are more in addition to the 22 who advertised. The most recent issue of the paper on file here is the November 22, 1941, issue.

An optimistic piece appears in the paper's column "Automatic Gossip." It says: "London is much more peaceful than it was this time 12 months back. We point out that there are many opportunities for those who care to combine their business with a little pleasure on a visit here.

"The main reason London firms desire to see provincial customers come to London is that they would, by so doing, be able to inspect for themselves the varied and large stocks which flow thru their establishments. They may thoroughly test any particular line which takes their fancy." The article concludes: "Those who make personal visits will also be able to appreciate why sometimes there is a delay in sending machines ordered. Horwitz is insisting on his mechanics devoting whatever time may be essential to reliably overhaul used machines before resale."

The operating picture appears good, altho, as may be expected, there is at times disappointment in securing machines desired. Arcades are plentiful in the inland cities. During the height of the blitz season and expected invasion many arcades were moved inland from coastal cities following the evacuation of people from these areas.

Some arcades have been destroyed in bombings, but it is indicated that the irreplaceable machines lost in this manner have not seriously depleted the supply of machines on hand. The variety of machines is large even tho most of them are old. Judicious trading and reconditioning have served to give variety to the machines on location. Some of the games appearing In advertisements are such old-timers as Bally Reserves, Bubbles, Fiesta, Majors, Gun Club, Odd Ball, Stop-and-Go, Tally Ho, Reel 21, St. Moritz, Airport, Sky-Hi, old bell machines and 12-record phonographs. The last-named machines are scarce and not many are offered for sale.

Many manufacturers, distributors and operators have been called by the military, and their businesses are being operated by wives, parents or older employees.

The coin machine business in England has not laid down and curled up because of Hitler's guns and bombs. The coinmen of Great Britain have the spirit exemplified in the tune There'll Always Be an England and have continued actively in business despite hazards and hindrances that we in America cannot even begin to comprehend.

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john t peterson
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Re: British slot machine production during WW2

Postby john t peterson » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:26 am

Most interesting article, Mr. PM. I found most of it confusing, however the final sentence summed it all up. "There'll Always Be an England." Amen to that.

J Peterson
American by birth, English by spirit. !!USA!! /\UK/\

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arrgee
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Re: British slot machine production during WW2

Postby arrgee » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:41 am

J Peterson wrote:American by birth, English by spirit
Dig back a few hundred years John and you could find that your long departed former Peterson's came from this little island, in fact you may be Badpenny's uncle's cousin's nephew's son, fifteen times removed. /\UK/\

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Re: British slot machine production during WW2

Postby john t peterson » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:50 pm

It would be an honor, Arrgee. One of my mother's cousins was a bank robber so anything is possible.

J Peterson
American bandit, the other kind

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Re: British slot machine production during WW2

Postby coppinpr » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:20 pm

I always assumed john was born in the uk but keeps it a secret in case presedent Dump sends him back

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Re: British slot machine production during WW2

Postby badpenny » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:54 pm

Most of my family have been removed at some time or another …… some for not paying the rent, but most of them for committing nefarious affairs against sovereign and state.

BP !!ESCAPE!!


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