It was also not clear from my last contribution that whilst the restoration on the 18 Matthewson shooters was undertaken by Fred Bolland in 1946, not earlier, he had in fact bought out some of the surviving stock of Matthewson’s Automatic Sports Company in the 1920s as reported by Nic Costa. Also Nic was certainly well aware of Rowland, even if he did not write at length about him. Indeed, as he commented in a letter to me in 1986: “almost since the start of my interest in machines (in the early '70s) I’ve only had two names thrown at me by all and sundry - Matthewson and Rowland. According to popular consciousness they made almost all the old machines, and single-handedly pioneered the industry. Nobody else existed!”
Costa was concerned that there were many, many other British inventors and operators of coin operated machines that predated them in shooters, racers and other competitive games that deserved recognition and acknowledgement. I also neglected to mention that a two man Football Game that in a wooden case as shown both in the mechanism and design patents still exists in Australia. This however was not operated in Australia but brought here from England some years ago by a British coin op machine collector.
Due to the interest in the Matthewson and other early machines I hope to make a further contribution here soon. This will deal with the discovery in Adelaide in the early 1970s of the Holden collection of coin op machines and its subsequent dispersal, including their restoration and 2 subsequent auctions. These had belonged to an amusement machine operator and included the Mermaid Yacht Race and most of the other Matthewson cast iron machines that have survived in Australia.