Page 1 of 1

Mutoscope identification

Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:40 pm
by gasngulp73

C796B95F-7CA5-42BF-BBA4-8F3CD20904D6a.jpg

Hi. I have recently purchased this mutoscope. Initial enquiries indicate it has a resemblance to an early American model. Looking for any pointers regarding its make or age etc. Seems to be mechanically working. But is missing its reel and a little love...
Any help appreciated.

Re: Mutoscope identification

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:15 am
by gameswat

Re: Mutoscope identification

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:00 am
by JC
These wooden mutoscopes were the earliest produced and were installed in 'mutoscope parlours' - establishments that would have had several dozen machines for the punter to play. They were internally lit with electric light. The infinitely more elaborate cast iron machines, that came probably no more than a year or so later, could only be sited outside (seaside piers, promenades etc) as they were not internally lit, having frosted glass panels on the top of the machine to let in natural day light.
One thing that strikes me about your wooden 'scope, is that the crank handle is not original (not to that machine at least) - it appears to have come from a much later Rabkin 'tinnie' which were manufactured in New York between 1925 to 1949. If I'm honest, the lens hood looks like it's probably come from a tinnie also.
Nonetheless, an important and pretty rare piece of coin-op history - well deserving of restoration.

Re: Mutoscope identification

Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:28 pm
by pennymachines
Very nice find. !!THUMBSX2!!
JC wrote: Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:00 am The infinitely more elaborate cast iron machines, that came probably no more than a year or so later, could only be sited outside (seaside piers, promenades etc) as they were not internally lit, having frosted glass panels on the top of the machine to let in natural day light.
My wooden scope has an internal light and the frosted glass panel on top.

Re: Mutoscope identification

Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:35 pm
by JC
Well that's handy - so they could have put all the machines outside whilst they swept the floor, and then brought them all back inside when it started to rain !!IDEA!!
Seriously, it does seem odd - surely wooden scopes wouldn't have lasted long, sited outside and subjected to the elements? Perhaps that's why they're so rare!

Re: Mutoscope identification

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:29 am
by gameswat
Not odd JC, most early home stereocard viewers in wood cases had glass in top and no internal lighting. Just supposed to pick up ambient interior light.

Re: Mutoscope identification

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:55 am
by john t peterson
It's hard to imagine that veneer lasting long out in the elements. I'm voting for indoor locations only.

J Peterson
Indoor by Covid

Re: Mutoscope identification

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:20 pm
by treefrog
Over the years I have seen so many vintage pictures of machines on piers out in the elements and most of wood not cast iron p, eg punch bags, two player games and allwins.....maybe they just did not last and served their purpose or those that cared wheeled them in every night.