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jimlad
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Watkins patent dispensing machines

Postby jimlad » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:28 pm

Hi All

My name is Jim Watkins and I am new to this site. I am very interested in Target Air Rifle shooting and on purchasing an old antique air rifle I acquired an old Pellet dispensing machine very similar the the Watkins Patent phonograph needle dispensing machine on the first page of this site. There is some slight damage to the wood case on the top, everything else seems to be in good order, although I cannot work out how it would work. There may be a part missing from inside, hence the post. Is there anyone out there that could help me in this matter with drawings, photos or maybe they have a similar machine.
Thanks in anticipation.
Jim
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pennymachines
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Re: Watkins patent Airgun Pellet Dispensing Machine

Postby pennymachines » Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:05 pm

Hi Jim and welcome.
I'm sorry we haven't been able to assist you so far, but sometimes you just have to wait until the right person comes along. !PRAY!!
The image of the Watkins Patent phonograph needle dispensing machine was donated by US forum member Rick.

Meanwhile, I repost some of your images and the link from the AirgunBBS.com forum which brought you here: http://www.airgunbbs.com/showthread.php ... et-machine
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jimlad
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Re: Watkins patent Airgun Pellet Dispensing Machine

Postby jimlad » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:28 pm

Thanks for your help.

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pennymachines
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Re: Watkins patent Airgun Pellet Dispensing Machine

Postby pennymachines » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:23 pm

Here are some more snippets of information on the Watkins Patent dispensers.
Although several seem to have turned up in the States, they are British made, manufactured by T J Watkins of Watkins Patent Delivery Machines, Shrewsbury, for dispensing small consumables such as matches, air rifle pellets, billiards chalk, gramophone needles etc. in clubs, hotels and theatres for one or two old pennies.

A collection of bespoke matchboxes printed for Watkins dispensers, advertising the venue: http://www.matchboxlabelsuk.co.uk/galle ... temId=1746
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This ebay sale of a Rare c1930 "T J Watkins Patent" Billiard or Snooker~ 1d Penny Chalk Dispenser shows some good close ups of the mechanism. It looks very simple, as befits a dispensing machine designed for club, rather than general public use.
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That one sold for £427 on Nov. 29th 2015. Another was sold by Morphy Auctions for $1440 on May 03, 2015 but one at Gerrards Auction Rooms on 15th Oct. 2009 was a snip at £26.

As none of the dispensers actually quote a patent number, and because the mechanism hardly appears innovative, I rather doubt that Watkins held a patent for these. In any case, the mechanism was probably similar regardless of the item vended - whether needles, pellets or matches, the dimensions of the box dispensed could be exactly the same. What I see is a chute to carry the penny down to a counterweighted drawer release. The coin will rest upon the drawer release until you pull the drawer forward, dispensing the product and allowing the coin to continue off the release to the cashbox at the base.
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sweetmeats
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Re: Watkins patent Airgun Pellet Dispensing Machine

Postby sweetmeats » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:54 pm

I have a similar machine to yours and from your pictures you only appear to be missing the coin slide taking the penny from the entry to the 'see-saw' that releases the drawer. I have put up a photo of the inside of my machine which I hope helps, also a copy of the Watkins patent. Yes, it was patented and a lot earlier than most people thought: October 1904. However, if you look at the coin entry, to me it is similar to other Edwardian machines I have and have seen so when researching the patent I started looking 1902 onwards.
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jimlad
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Re: Watkins patent Airgun Pellet Dispensing Machine

Postby jimlad » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:53 pm

Thanks all, especially Sweetmeats. It is all there - just had to get my head around it. Simple design, got it working. Pity no boxes of pellets with it.

Thanks again
Jim

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pennymachines
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Re: Watkins patent Airgun Pellet Dispensing Machine

Postby pennymachines » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:50 pm

Yes, well done that man.
Here's the full patent: GB190422734 (A) ― 1905-08-24
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So Thomas John Watkins was hotel proprietor of the Criterion, 40 High Street Shrewsbury.
In 1900 it was a tied house owned by Lassells and Sharman Brewery but run by landlord Thomas Watkins. Their inn had six private and four public rooms and accommodation for four people in two rooms. They also had excellent toilet facilities for that period with three water closets and two urinals. For entertainment the customers could play bar billiards or have a game of shove halfpenny
http://www.historicalhostelries.co.uk/000018.html

"During an exhibition match at the Criterion Hotel, Shrewsbury, on February 2nd (1903), H. W. Stevenson made a break of 588 in playing against T. J. Watkins..." Practical Billiards by Charles Dawson (Champion): 1904
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Criterion Hotel now
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Criterion Hotel 1900s
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john t peterson
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Re: Watkins patent Airgun Pellet Dispensing Machine

Postby john t peterson » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:28 pm

Mr. PM,

Are you sure you were not a master reference librarian in a former life? ;-)

J Peterson
Bookie in America

jimlad
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Re: Watkins patent Airgun Pellet Dispensing Machine

Postby jimlad » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:36 pm

It has been suggested that the pellets would have been dispensed in small quantities in a small box or tin. Would anyone have any photos or knowledge of the type of packaging that would have been used?

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Re: Watkins patent Airgun Pellet Dispensing Machine

Postby pennymachines » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:23 pm

John T. Peterson wrote:Are you sure you were not a master reference librarian in a former life?
Like Slotalot, I like to see how much can be squeezed out of the internets. -/00\-
Not a lot until Sweetmeats came up with the patent number.
jimlad wrote:It has been suggested that the pellets would have been dispensed in small quantities in a small box or tin. Would anyone have any photos or knowledge of the type of packaging that would have been used?
Given the dispenser's early vintage (1904+), its origin and the tubular shape of the delivery hopper etc., maybe they were originally British-made 'off-the-shelf' round tins or possibly bespoke printed boxes like those referenced above. The recess in the dispenser drawer will give you the diameter.
Here are some typical British air rifle pellet tins and boxes from the turn of the century to the 1950s: http://www.network54.com/Forum/670443/t ... ccessories
The air rifle pellet tin below is 7cm diam. - too big I would imagine for your machine. Possibly, Watkins repackaged pellets, etc. in their own small round cardboard boxes?
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Air Rifle Pellets
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Gramophone needles
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