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A little bit of Shefras history

Postby coppinpr » Fri May 29, 2020 2:08 pm

While talking to Ian Shefras I was surprised to hear that he did not know of the well known Shefras roll down escalator. Curious, he emailed his dad, who sent him this interesting little history of it.
Prior to the escalator coins were put into the slot and went through a mechanism to release the machine to work.
It was not obvious if the coin was a good one or a dummy. The escalator showed the coins that are being played in a window and the owner could see that proper coins were being used. The problem was that with the way the coins were used. There was a larger element of silver in the coins. The coins were subject to wear. Many times the escalator jammed. There were many improvements all the time to stop the public scamming the machines. We had a machine in a club in Rugby where there was a second operator who had a machine that was not properly maintained. When I got to the club I was able to get my pocket money by snatching the handle. If the machine had been properly maintained I would not have been able to do that!
To overcome this many did away with showing half a dozen coins and altered the escalator to allow the second or third coin disappear straightaway into the tube that held the coins for pay-out or overflow to the cash box.
We developed the Shefras rejecter. Freddie Woodward designed it in Blackfriars Road. It did the job and stopped a great majority of the jams. We went to the cost of tooling up the rejecters so from a sand casting we moved to a die cast unit and we sold hundreds. I think the five machines you have have the MS rejecters.
I think at some time we must have destroyed many escalators as we changed them for the MS unit. Jimmy Thomas developed a different unit and there was a company who specialised in coin acceptance units. It was good whilst it lasted but the electronic machine came in first by Maurice Collins in Wales with the Ace machines and then taken forward by all the Welsh companies.
Does that help?

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