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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby bob » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:09 am

I agree with Rory that Old Thro Ball is not a cobbled together game. It’s still very much like the original game it started life as, probably as he says a BMC game, which I am sure I have seen before, but which I haven’t got a photo of and don’t know its original name.
I just don’t think it was a Beat the Goalie but an existing game which has been decorated by a showman here in Australia. Unfortunately Rory’s phone is out of order at the moment and I can’t contact him, or I’d have made it clear that I don’t really disagree with his view on this machine.

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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby gameswat » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:31 am

Bob, I certainly never once said it was a Beat the Goalie machine! I just used that as the easiest reference for how similar the Throwball was to known BMCO machines. I believe this game started life pretty much just the way it is. The list of games BMCO made in the Braithwaite book is extensive and still not all encompassing. And in fact as I found when researching my own Over the Moon machine the unusual models all vary in case style a lot.

To quote Gameswat earlier - "The Old Throball machine looks like BMCO or Bollands to me. Much like this Beat the Goalie in the museum. Very similar case and coin return on lower rhd."

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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby john t peterson » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:52 am

Easy, Gameswat. Quoting yourself in the third person is reserved only for the Queen and our President, Mr. Trumpelthinskin.

J Peterson
J Peterson is the royalty expert in America

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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby bob » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:43 am

A friend in Sydney kindly sent me the photos of a Nutt and Muddle Silver Jubilee machine which she has in her coin op collection which I'll attach below.
Kangaroo reel symbol.JPG
Kangaroo reel symbols on machine.JPG

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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby pennymachines » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:24 pm

Wow - some great machines and it's always nice to see something 'new'. The first Penny Patience you posted is just my cup of tea. These simple skill-game concepts are often the most fun to play, and the jackpot lifts it into a different class. Those rustic home built games also have tremendous charm, especially the green, long-cased penny flip game and Whacko.

Is the cabinet on the Town Broker original or did you have to rebuild it?
Gameswat wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:47 am
The Old Throball machine looks like BMCO or Bollands to me.... Pretty sure I've seen an advert somewhere with a Ping Pong machine that might relate to this too?
Three Ping Pongs - one in the middle has something in common with Throball, not least the net-style win cup.

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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby bob » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:39 am

The Penny Patience cabinet was built by me but is an exact copy of a complete machine that I had. It is built of Australian KD hardwood just like the original. All I had was playfield, an original coin entry and the bottom door with the jackpot mechanism which has to be taken off the machine to access the cashbox.

For the Town Broker all I had was the front door with no hardware on the front and most, but not all of the mechanism, on the back. I got some help at the time with the mechanism, from a British collector friend in the UK Graham Brierley, with whom I was corresponding and some years later visited at his home in Chester. Many years later I finally managed to get a copy of some of the unique decorative door hardware with the help of John Peterson, to complete my restoration of this machine. The cabinet is indeed all my own work.

The finding of the machines in the abandoned ice rink is quite a story in itself. The operator who ran the gambling pinball machines that had a workshop opposite my father’s shop that I mentioned earlier, lived in a beautiful art deco block of flats on the Esplanade called Mandalay (still existing) next to the St Moritz ice skating rink. Here he later had a workshop with a rumoured secret room where he hid his illegal poker machines. When it was derelict after closing in 1982 and I had begun collecting I heard of this workshop. I managed to get into the building quite readily and explored the basement a few times finding the wrecks of a couple of machines, some parts and various paperwork of interest.

I paid the place another visit to explore it more thoroughly than before, in the hope of finding the secret room. Needless to say there were no functioning electric lights, and at the time I was using a new rechargeable torch. However unlike normal battery torches which gradually become less bright as the battery is dying, this torch would shine brightly, and then, without warning, it would go out completely when the rechargeable battery in it “died”. Thus I was examining the rabbit warren of windowless rooms in the basement area under the ice skating rink when the battery died and I was left in total, utter, blackness.

I groped my way around in the dark and eventually fell down another level landing on my back. Fortunately I landed on a stack of thousands of empty cardboard drink and “dixie” ice cream cups. I had discovered the secret storeroom where the poker machines, now long gone, had been hidden. This was a room with a trapdoor, now open and some concrete steps leading to the area I had fallen into. In the last years of operation of the skating rink, they had used the area where I had landed to dump their empty drink cups. Fortunately due to my “soft landing” I was quite unhurt and it was with great relief that I carefully stumbled my way to the upper level and out of the building, never to return.
Last edited by bob on Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby ddstoys » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:29 am

What a great story howngoodnwouldnit be to explore more abandoned operators workshops

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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby bob » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:03 pm

I have quite clear memories of some vending machines from my childhood. One of these is of a little vending machine that my uncle had in his tobacconist’s shop which looked like a miniature petrol pump and sold a measured amount of lighter fuel to fill cigarette lighters. Although I tried to obtain one of these for my collection, I was unsuccessful as most of my collecting was in the days before ebay existed and such machines were very rare in Australia.

Close to the flat on the corner of Dandenong Road where I lived as a child, was a public telephone booth with an experimental coin operated phone that was unique in Melbourne, that visually indicated the state of operation of the phone’s mechanism. We did not have a telephone at home, at first because we could not afford the cost and later as it was impossible to obtain one because of shortages caused by the war. Some years later, after the war we did get a telephone which was on the Windsor exchange. This was still a manual exchange, where you asked for the number to be connected by an operator at the other end. Similarly the telephone at my father’s shop was connected to Central, the manual city exchange.

Also on the corner where the experimental telephone was located was a small grocer’s shop. On the wall outside was an “Ace” chewing gum vending machine which dispensed a packet of chewing gum for a penny. It proudly announced on the front that for every fourth penny one got two packets. Most people however did not realise that it had a counter on the side from which one could work out (by dividing the number on the counter by four) when it would give you two packets for a penny. It was from these two “machines” and the various amusement machines that I played with in Luna Park and in amusement arcades in the “city”, as Melbourne’s central business district was called, that my interest in coin op machines developed.

I am not sure whether this chewing gum vending machine was an Australian machine or a British one especially made for the Australian market. The cover of the machine, front and sides consisted of a durable vitreous enamel sign. I had two of these machines in different colours, neither of them had a makers name anywhere. Interestingly in Melbourne these machines sold “Ace” chewing gum, a competitor of Wrigleys with a similar product to theirs. In Sydney it sold exactly the same product but with a different name and thus different art work on the machines.

Ace Chewing Gum.jpg
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Another machine from my childhood that I later had in my coin op collection was the “Gorilla” peanut vendor. I remember using such a machine that was on location outside the sea baths at St Kilda beach where I went to swim as a child. The original full version of this machine came on a special wooden stand and had a larger back which contained advertising signs that were attached to a canvas roll that moved the next advertisement on the roll to the window displaying them. Thus it had an advertising window that changed every time a purchase of peanuts was made. I have a copy of the patent that exists for the design of the machine and another one for the advertising roller mechanism.

An old tinsmith still working at the place that did sheet metal work for me remembered the person who operated these machines in Melbourne many, many years before as he used to get work done at this sheet metal workshop. The operator of the peanut vending machines was the father of Brian Naylor, a very well known newsreader from the earliest days of Australian television. In 1984 I proudly restored a Naylor’s Gorilla Brand peanut machine I had obtained in a rather derelict condition to its former gleaming aluminium glory, and sent a photo to Brian Naylor at the TV station, but sadly he did not want to acknowledge his father’s more humble origins. Tragically in 2009 Brian Naylor was one of those who lost their lives in the devastating bushfires in Victoria which wiped out the town of Marysville where he lived, killing 57 people.

In about 1990 a Victorian “picker” found a shed in a South Australian country town containing about twenty or thirty of these machines in a very derelict state. I restored some of these machines for him, which he sold to an American collectable vending machine dealer. He sold these to collectors in the US for five figure amounts, as nothing quite like them had ever appeared in the US. The ones sent to America did not have the advertising roll in the machines however as he did not want this mechanism restored. These machines were in a terrible state due to the peanuts having been salted with the consequent corrosive effects on the brass and aluminium in the machines.

Gorilla Peanut Machine.jpg
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Another machine that was not made in Australia but was made especially for Australia to sell Salted Peanuts, was the Adlee vending machine dating from 1924. It is of interest to American collectors, as the Adlee company never made a similar looking vending machine for their home market. As I had four of these I was able to swap my surplus ones for some American Columbus and Advance Gumball vending machines.

Adlee Century Peanut Vendor No 28.jpg
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Columbus Gumball Vendor Model M No 56.jpg
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Columbus Gumball Vendor Model A No 57.jpg
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Advance Gumball No 55.jpg
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Another machine that is British but deserves a mention here, as I have never come across one in the UK, is the Fry’s cast iron chocolate vendor. Two of these have turned up in Tasmania, which is where Cadbury and Fry’s chocolate factory was located in Australia. As well as the machine that I had in my collection, there is another one on public display at Cataract Gorge in Launceston. The machine’s mechanism is similar to other British BAC cast iron chocolate vending machines of the period.

fry's chocolate machine on stand.jpg
Fry's Chocolate Vendor etc 1 jpg.jpg
The earliest Australian vending machine in my collection was the cast iron fronted Midget Match Merchant : Born in Australia made by Bewley in 1908 for which I have the patent. As well as mine, a couple of others have turned up over the years.

Midget Match Merchant.jpg
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Not much later is the Climax Safety Match wooden cased mirrored glass fronted machine. I have a copy of Max Steinberg’s Australian 1912 patent no 7187 for this machine, and have come across his cigarette machine which is almost identical, but slightly wider than the match machine.

Climax Safety Match Vendor.jpg
Climax Safety Match Vendor.jpg (20.61 KiB) Viewed 3623 times
Dating from ten years later and covered by Harry Cranny and Walter Lines’s patent no 7102 of 1922 are a whole range of machines manufactured by Mechanical Products in Sydney but found all over Australia. With a variety of attractive cast iron and aluminium fronts on a sheet metal cabinet, these include a Like a Flash cigarette machine; “Like a Flash” being a brand of batteries marketed by the owner of Levinson’s, the largest Penny Arcade in Sydney. Most of the machines including those vending both wax matches and safety matches as well towels however use the Tyme Sava brand. The wax match machine selling the little round drums of wax vesta matches had a heavy sheet metal screen printed front. Some had hand painted advertisements on their sides and were in aid of various charities such as hospitals and babies homes.

Like a Flash Cigarette Vendor.jpg
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Tyme Sava Cigarette Vendor.jpg
Tyme Sava Matches 3 No 186.jpg
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Tyme Sava Matches Red No 86.jpg
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Tyme Sava Towel Vendor.jpg
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Tyme Sava Wax Match Vendor513.jpg
Tyme Sava Matches 2 Babies Home No 160.jpg
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A few more vending machines will figure in the next and last in this series of postings on Australian manufactured and other coin op machines.
Last edited by bob on Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby bryans fan » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:59 pm

What a truly outstanding collection of super machines you found and restored over the years. Inspirational!!!

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Re: Australian Manufactured Coin Op Machines

Postby treefrog » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:23 pm

Bob do you mean like the one below which came up in a local auction to me and took my fancy? It had an estimate of 30 to 50 and sold for 360 plus comm, obviously people were in the know.......

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