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Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:12 pm
by inkcollector
Hi, I hope you don’t mind me posting but I’ve come across your forum looking for information about a nice little Harper slot machine I found yesterday in a bus yard I’ve been clearing. How this survived so well when the shed was so open to the elements is amazing. I’ve hopefully attached photos for you to see. I'd be interested if anybody could shed a little light on it for me. I’ve had a look around the forum and never dreamt there were so many machines.
Kind regards, Ian

Re: Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:51 pm
by pennymachines
Hi Ian, welcome to the site and well done for saving that handsome Harper vendor. Here are a couple of similar examples that I've seen.
I assume you've already found Harper Vending Machines

Re: Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:29 pm
by badpenny
Thanks for joining inkcollector, that's a nice vendor you've saved there, well done!

So what is your interest, what is you talk about that makes members of your family huff and roll their eyes?
With us it's penny machines, sit down, have a biscuit and let me tell you about mine.

You see, it all started back in the 70s immediately after decimalisation when I bought my first machines, the second one is pictured above with the sticker marked 162. I only sold it a couple of years back.
Actually the interest really started in the 60s when ……. are you still awake?


BP :cool:

Re: Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:03 am
by inkcollector
Morning, yes I found the Harper thread and made for a good read. These machines are a lovely piece of history. I actually collect enamel signs and old bottles. Mainly shear lip Victorian glass ink bottles and then anything that has local interest. My father started me early when we used to go digging for bottles and the collecting never stopped. Like most collector I have stuff everywhere now. The biggest decision is whether this vendor gets a place in the house or the garage. Or whether I’m allowed it in the house... I take it your collecting doesn’t stop at vendors also?

Re: Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:46 am
by badpenny
Oh lord love you NO!
Along with my 2 dozen one arm bandits and 15 or so wall type amusement machines I also have a pinball machine. None of which live in my garage.
Personally I've found keeping them in the house has always been resolved by refusing to negotiate on the subject, ask any of my three ex wives or four partners whom I've lived with.

Re: Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:07 pm
by inkcollector
That’s an impressive collection you have there badpenny. You must of been searching some years to locate all of them.
I’ve been looking at my machine more today and am stuck as to how I might open it up. The key is long lost. I assume the lock mechanism is pretty simple inside so was considering buying a lock pick set and wasting a few hours trying to open it.

Re: Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:20 pm
by badpenny
Locks that use flat locker type keys I find don't pick easily.
I'd suggest taking the whole thing to a professional locksmith and let them go through their chain of keys.

Alternatively carefully drill through the two rivets either side of the lock as they are holding it in place.
Centre punch the middle of each rivet and enlarge to hole with ever increasing diameter drill bits.
Don't drill the barrel of the lock, it'll still leave you with a brass lock bar to move across and heaps of swarf inside the machine.

BP :cool:

Re: Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:27 pm
by pennymachines
Another method is key blank impressioning. Must admit I haven't tried it yet but will do so as soon as I get some key blanks.


Re: Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:01 pm
by badpenny
I can see how that works with a cylinder lock, however those locker type jobbies are more like lever locks.

Re: Harper cigarette machine

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:16 pm
by arrgee
ink collector wrote:I actually collect enamel signs and old bottles


Hi ink collector, is there a Forum or website you could recommend for enamel signs - info and discussions etc