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coppinpr
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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby coppinpr » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:12 pm

A UK machine I think and not a trade stimulator (not simulator). When I was a kid this type of machine that simply gave you your money back on a win was commonplace (Steer-a-Ball and the 6d shooting games spring to mind).

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mei-mei
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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby mei-mei » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:12 am

Hi, coppinpr, I don't believe you were around in the 1930s! :shock: So were all trade 'stimulators' (sorry typo) made in the US then? or did we make some here? If so what did they look like? MM

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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby coppinpr » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:09 am

These games were still common until decimalisation in arcades and places like golf clubs. Just because they were made years earlier didn't mean they didn't last. People in the '50s & '60s didn't look for updates in slots like they do now. These would go on the wall and sit there for years and years, slowly becoming less popular until they were replaced. It wouldn't surprise me at all if several still exist on golf club walls. I know of at least one that was converted to 2p in a golf club in the '80s.

The trade stimulator was very much an American idea which took route in the "punchboards" operated under the counter in almost every general store in the US. The mechanical stims also helped to avoid the strict gambling laws. I don't know if many were made in the UK. The only one that I can think of that you could even slightly include would be the round, clock-like fortune teller that was common on pub counters. Some still exist in situ now used as charity collectors.
I think trade stims are very interesting. I have only five though, Richard Bueschel's book "Vintage Trade Stimulators & Counter games" is a must if you are interested in the type.

The demise of the trade stim was started by prohibition when high street bars closed but was really killed off by, of all things, the arrival of the supermarket in the 1930s with its checkouts and lack of counters.

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pennymachines
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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby pennymachines » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:35 pm

Trade stimulators do seem to be a uniquely American phenomenon. They brought a touch of low-stakes gambling into the retail environment, in the form of small, cheaply-made devices which could be played by the customer in lieu of a direct purchase. Instead of buying a low value item (confectionery, cigar etc.), you put your coin in the machine and played for the chance to win three or four cigars, etc. As the name suggests, the opportunity to have a flutter stimulated trade by encouraging customers to spend money on items they might not otherwise buy. The trade stimulator was often supplied free to the shop when they purchased a sufficient quantity of whatever product was being promoted by it.

Perhaps it was never tried in the UK because of stricter anti-gambling enforcement. Some trade stimulators would combine spinning reels with vending a low value item such as a gumball etc., but the defining characteristic was they didn't pay out. Any winnings were to be claimed in goods from the shop. That's quite different from the Nine Hole Golf, which is a coin return amusement game. The nearest British equivalent to a trade stimulator would be our amusement machines which give a score but no coin return (Bryans Rippler, Trickler etc.) These would sometimes advertise prizes to be paid (by the proprietor) for high scores. Again, they're not true trade stimulators because they were designed for arcades, clubs or bars, not retail premises.

Nor was the 'round, clock-like fortune teller' mentioned above. These were purely fortune tellers and made originally, I believe, as collecting boxes for St Dunstan's blind veterans charity.

The golf games we've been looking at are all British-made (for the old penny), but they're such simple things to manufacture it wouldn't surprise me if versions were made in America or elsewhere (although I've not seen any).

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mei-mei
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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby mei-mei » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:10 pm

Thanks guys for a really interesting piece of history. I too love the trade stimulators and the simpler style of English machines for their simplicity and variety. MM

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treefrog
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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby treefrog » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:35 pm

These type of machines were made well into the '60s and maybe later. Below is a version from Kraft, Ski Run....
IMG_0635a.jpg

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bob
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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby bob » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:45 am

Penny Patience 7-603.jpg
Penny Patience 1-597.jpg
Similar machines were also made in Australia and New Zealand. A 1933 patent exists for an Australian machine which I used to have a couple of versions of. I bought these from the manufacturer, an operator who bought the company from the patentor. The original patent and machine had a jackpot which was fed from one side of the playfield, coins lost on the other side went straight into the cash box. These machines were deemed to be an illegal gambling machine and consequently most were converted to just return the penny if one completed the course.

Two types were made, one with a captive washer used to propel the penny, the other had a special tapper which the operator said gave more control. The game could be adjusted to make it easier or harder by elevating or lowering the piece of track beyond the drop to the next lower lever. This was quite imperceptible to the player and I have encountered owners of these machines who were not aware of this feature. I will attach a couple of pages of the patent. The elongated holes on the alloy playfield on which track is mounted were to prevent players from banging the glass and trapping the coin when the "fluid" glass moved to "hold" the coin which would then tranquilly proceed and drop to the next level if the elongated holes were not there. When the machines were converted from the jackpot model, the jackpot mechanism was removed and they were put on a stand.

The same manufacturer also made a small "Penny Skill" machine based on the same principle but made very easy to win. However the operator said that players invariably kept playing until they lost the coin. Once they start playing he said the coin was his.

Similar machines were made later in New Zealand and Australia. The tin patience machine is a later Australian one dating from the forties or fifties. Some of these had a movable playfield which could be tipped from side to side. I don't have any photos of these to hand but maybe Gameswat could find these more readily than I can and will oblige.

The early play fields were generally hand painted with scenes from parts of Australia or the world. The track simply consists of strips of sheet metal slightly thicker than a penny simply bent as required and bolted to the playfield. Much simpler than sawing.
Penny Skill.JPG
Penny Patience Floorstanding Model.jpg
Penny Patience Floorstanding Model.jpg (18.44 KiB) Viewed 2177 times
Penny Patience with tappers587.jpg
Tin Patience.jpg
Penny Patience 8-604.jpg

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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby pennymachines » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:54 am

Fascinating info and pictures Bob - thanks!
I love the jackpot feature. The more you delve into them, the more interesting these games become.
The 'innards' which sold in New Zealand last year may have been from a locally made version then, which would explain the slight differences in track layout from the Bolland's catalogue example.
coppinpr wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:05 am
2. 5min 30sec into this video you catch a glimpse of several machines much like the "nine holes golf" that has a thread running. Would these be US made?
3.jpg
The Steeplechase was made by the Automatic Novelty Co., San Antonio, Texas, but is not the same as the golf games. It involves rolling balls down the tracks; you don't strike the balls from the sides and you don't get your coin back. Unlike the golf games, it is a trade stimulator.
automatic-novelty-steeplechase-trade_2a.jpg
automatic-novelty-steeplechase-trade_3.jpg
automatic-novelty-steeplechase-trade_3.jpg (21.13 KiB) Viewed 2160 times

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mei-mei
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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby mei-mei » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:44 pm

Hi coppinpr, with regards to the 'steeple chase' machine. My understanding is that 5 different coloured balls would 'come out of the gate' and the idea was to bet on which colour got to the finish first? Though not really sure how a payout would work on that? Have I misunderstood? MM

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Re: Play Nine Holes golf penny game

Postby pennymachines » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:56 pm

There is no payout on these. It's a trade stimulator or betting game upon which you could place wagers.
The one in the video is attributed to Exhibit Supply Co., 1932. It would appear similar games were also made by Keeney and Automatic Novelty Co.



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