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coppinpr
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Has anyone got a Mutoscope Drivemobile?

Postby coppinpr » Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:32 pm

Truth is, I think I know the answer, and it's no. But I had to ask. Yet another TV program (this time it's Salvage hunters) is restoring a coin-op machine and needs help. This time it's an International Mutoscope "Drive-Mobile Drive Yourself Road Test" from 1954. They would like to photograph a restored version if one exists in the UK, so if anyone has one and is interested please let me know. This is thought to be the first seated game of its kind anyone know any different?
machine 1.jpg
machine 1.jpg (10.04 KiB) Viewed 365 times
The same goes for anyone with a restored German Fussball that looks like this rare looking one (poor photo. It's all I have at the moment)
Fußball-Match.png
Fußball-Match.png (92.15 KiB) Viewed 365 times

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pennymachines
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Re: Has anyone got one of these?

Postby pennymachines » Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:44 pm

coppinpr wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:32 pm
Truth is, I think I know the answer, and it's no.

There are a few in the UK. I believe Clive operated one, there was one at the Mablethorpe arcade, and one went unsold at the EH, 2016.

104.jpg

catalogue wrote:Made by Mutoscope as "Drivemobile" - but interestingly this UK version states on the backflash "Mills Novelty Co."

The Brighton Run theme suggests it was made for export to the UK.


Image

One of our members here posted about his M1-themed Mills novelty Road Test in 2008. Again this seems to be Mutoscope's Drivemobile. Maybe they were made under license?

Image
coppinpr wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:32 pm
This is thought to be the first seated game of its kind. Anyone know any different?

26 years earlier, Algernon Evans filed British patent GB322268 for a seated driving game. See: Oldest known car driving/motorcycle riding games?

coppinpr wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:32 pm
The same goes for anyone with a restored German Fussball that looks like this rare looking one (poor photo. It's all I have at the moment)

I also received an email from Curve Media about this a couple of weeks ago. They had noticed the page here about these games: Glerios, Seipel & Co. Fußball-Match identified. Unfortunately, that's the sum total of my knowledge about them.

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Re: Has anyone got a Mutoscope Drivemobile?

Postby coppinpr » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:13 pm

Mr P., perhaps you can answer something that has been bothering me as I research the "road test". The Mutoscope Co shows in several places on the net as going out of business in 1950, yet their "Road Test", still under their name in the USA, came out in July 1954. Now I see that the UK versions "M1" (which is the one the TV company has) and "Brighton Run" carry the Mills Name (at least sometimes). Is there any evidence that Mills bought out the old company in 1950?

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Re: Has anyone got a Mutoscope Drivemobile?

Postby pennymachines » Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:03 pm

I don't know where you got that date but, according to Alexander Smith, William Rabkin, founder of International Mutoscope, died in 1956, the company filed for bankruptcy in 1969 and, "while it managed to limp along for a few more years was never a potent force in the business again."
Historical Interlude: The History of Coin-Op Part 5, Consolidation and Stagnation
coppinpr wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:13 pm
Is there any evidence that Mills bought out the old company in 1950?

None that I'm aware of, but I haven't researched it.

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Re: Has anyone got a Mutoscope Drivemobile?

Postby coppinpr » Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:42 pm

pennymachines wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:03 pm
I don't know where you got that date,
I know it doesn't mean a thing in reality but I found that date in three places including the science museum and Wikipedia, in the end you have to believe something

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Re: Has anyone got a Mutoscope Drivemobile?

Postby pennymachines » Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:02 pm

Acknowledged experts and researchers, like Bueschel, Costa etc., who've chased down original documentation and quote their sources, are more trustworthy than Wikipedia.

They're not as convenient as a computer, but you still can't beat books for this sort of information. Alexander Smith quotes his sources (books, correspondence, etc.)

Wikipedia is only as good as the anonymous editor who submits to it. I've found it unreliable on our specialist interest. They have the company's demise as 1949 (as does the Science Museum). One probably got the date from the other. This is why you have to chase information back to its origin, otherwise errors on a popular site get duplicated, mutate again at some point, and ignorance and confusion prevails.

Remember the Bell-Fruit Gum Company?

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Re: Has anyone got a Mutoscope Drivemobile?

Postby coppinpr » Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:56 pm

that IS why I said "it doesn't mean a thing in reality" :cool:

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Re: Has anyone got a Mutoscope Drivemobile?

Postby JC » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:56 pm

pennymachines wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:44 pm
Wikipedia is only as good as the anonymous editor who submits to it. I've found it unreliable on our specialist interest. They have the company's demise as 1949 (as does the Science Museum).

I suspect there was some confusion here - the William Rabkin mutoscopes were produced from 1925 - 1949.
pennymachines wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:44 pm
The Brighton Run theme suggests it was made for export to the UK.
pennymachines wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:44 pm
One of our members here posted about his M1-themed Mills novelty Road Test in 2008. Again this seems to be Mutoscope's Drivemobile. Maybe they were made under license?

These machines were all made by Mutoscope as 'Drivemobile'. A small number were imported into this country and converted for British use, specifically for 240v operation, and were renamed either 'M1 Road Test' or 'Brighton Run'.

Mills Novelty Co is just a made-up name. The bloke who imported them (can't remember his name, but I can probably find out) had a workshop unit in an old Lancashire Mill - that's where he got the Mills name from.

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Re: Has anyone got a Mutoscope Drivemobile?

Postby pennymachines » Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:55 am

Such tidbits of information are sometimes crucial to understanding how a machine came down to us in its current form. Funny (and confusing) that he unwittingly hit upon the real name of another American game manufacturer of the period.

JC wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:39 pm
I suspect there was some confusion here - the William Rabkin mutoscopes were produced from 1925 - 1949.

Something like that, no doubt. It says the company, "continued to manufacture arcade machines... until 1949", and "may have been the first to market the claw machine", both of which we know are incorrect. Rabkin claimed his was the first digger, although Exhibit Supply challenged Mutoscope over patent rights on their slightly earlier game, and Norwat's Steam Shovel was on the scene in 1926.

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Re: Has anyone got a Mutoscope Drivemobile?

Postby coppinpr » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:00 am

JC wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:56 pm
can't remember his name, but I can probably find out
Jerry, that would be very useful, if it's not too much trouble. !THUMBS!


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