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Billboard Magazine

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:50 am
by coppinpr
I quite often use Billboard Mag as a research tool and I believe it's very much an un tapped source of slot machine info. I recently found a series of four articles written for Billboard in 1948 by well know British coin op men describing the state of the industry in the UK from their individual point of view. (the four men were Tom Boland, Morris Shefras, Philip Shefras and Thomas Kosh (juke box maker)). I will add the other three to the existing thread on the Boland article as soon as I can.

Billboard was, in the years that interest us at least, a massive weekly publication and the size and content of the sections it was divided into are a surprisingly good indicator to the strength of the various parts of the entertainment industry, especially if you go back ten years or so and compare an earlier edition. The July 24th 1948 edition is a good example, along with 10 pages of general and legal news it is divided into:
10 pages of radio & TV
20 pages of Music
4 pages of nightclubs and Vaudeville
11 pages of outdoor (not including fairgrounds)
3 pages of parks/resorts/pools
4 pages of circuses
18 pages of carnival and traveling fairs
2 pages of roller and ice rinks
12 pages of merchandise
4 pages of Juke boxes
4 pages of variety
4 pages of Vending machines
and not forgetting a staggering 26 pages on coin machines.

Go back 10 years and TV doesn't exist of course, vaudeville, variety, ice rinks and music are bigger sections and resorts, juke boxes, vending machines & carnivals are smaller.
Not every edition is archived, but most are from the '30s onward. It really is an interesting and useful resource.

As the editions are archived in their original form it's very informative (and entertaining) just to scan through the slot machine adverts.
Find it here:- ... gazine.htm

Re: Billboard Magazine

Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:55 am
by dickywink
Billboard is an amazing source of information ...
I found the article by Thomas Kosh over a year ago whilst researching for my website ... I don't know if you noticed, but Billboard got the page numbering all wrong at the bottom of the first article, so you need to search the paper for parts of the article ... "edition Jul 31st 1948": Part one is on page 154, part two is on page 162, part three is on page 164.

The article is a good insight into the industry from 46-48 but regarding the Ditchburn History it was full of glaring mistakes and shows then that it is a bit like "Chinese whispers" in that the real info has changed by the time it has reached Thomas Kosh.

In his article he talks about the New British Jukebox made by Hawtins, the "Melody Maker". Well, it was in fact called the Music Maker and then he goes on to say that a man by the name of Blackburn from Blackpool bought the business from Hawtins... well that was Mr Geoffrey Norman Ditchburn (not Blackburn). He then states that the price of the jukebox is now $1554.55 including tax ... another porky as Ditchburn did not put the Jukeboxes on sale, they only operated or leased them.

So even as a great Source of knowledge Billboard is ... don't take the articles as gospel ... remember that they had no internet then to spread gossip and hype ... it was all done through the medium of print, and we tend to sometimes look at these articles as historical fact where in reality a lot were done for self promotion and gossip ... I treat some of them like a facebook post now, as you need more than just an individual's view from 1948 ... I have found that I have to be very careful not to use articles like this on their own as it could result in me re-writing History.

Also, don't forget that CashBox Magazine also has lots of info as Billboard and can sometimes be used to cross reference: ... gazine.htm

Wouldn't it be great if the UK's Coinslot paper was available from a site like this in PDF format? It would answer a lot of questions for me... I'm currently looking at visiting Sheffield University as they have a complete archive of World's Fair.

Has anyone here visited or seen the collection, and importantly do they include the Coin Slot Supplements?
Also does anyone know when the first Coinslot papers were published and added to the World's Fair?

All the best

Re: Billboard Magazine

Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:45 am
by coppinpr
dont take the articles as gospel ... remember that they had no Internet then to spread gossip and Hype ... it was all done through the medium of print, and we tend to sometimes look at these articles as historical fact where in reality a lot were done for self promotion and gossip
I fully agree, and, of course, nothing has changed in that respect. Present day internet news reporting is perhaps the worst, often because the reporter clearly knows nothing about the subject his report is based on. Back in the more insular days of print only it was more common for the reader to accept the written word as gospel than today where we have more cross reference points to refer to...... If the reader is interested enough to challenge what he originally reads.