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cleantex
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Streets Wheel Em In identified

Postby cleantex » Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:54 pm

Hi,
I am from Luxembourg, collector and drive a German forum for old slots
http://www.antik-automaten.de/WBB2
since one month.

Now I am just searching for a UK slot machine that I always remember from
some student time in London and in one play-hall situated at Piccadilly Circus.

Perhaps one of you know more about this and perhaps even some pictures still
exist. It was in the late 60ties, so about 40 years ago.

The machine was about 2 m large, with a large white ribbon over all the length
and this ribbon was covered with black strips of different wide.
The ribbon rotated constantly to the back part of the machine and it was in front
place for, if I remember, 4 players.

The game consisted to throw 10 pence in your allocated playing area and to try
that a coin stay lying on the black part, without debording on the white.

Depending of the fact, that the black strip was small or large, the payout in a shell
in front near you was high or low. There was a lot of people playing on this.

Perhaps somebody remember or have photos.

Greetings to UK,

Armand.

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badpenny
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Re: Old UK slot machine located Picadilly Circus

Postby badpenny » Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:59 pm

Hi .. welcome.

I've just visited your site, it looks great, well done!

The machine you describe sounds very much like the mechanical version of a fairground game I remember as a child. I have seen this machine and last remember it in an arcade in Matlock Bath Derbyshire. Perhaps some others may have photos.

Good luck

Badpenny

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badpenny
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Re: Old UK slot machine located Picadilly Circus

Postby badpenny » Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:04 pm

FUS1358.jpg

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pennymachines
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Re: Old UK slot machine located Picadilly Circus

Postby pennymachines » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:21 pm

Hi Armand,

The game you describe was the Wheel 'Em In, by Streets Automatic Machine Co. Ltd. of London. Originally made in 1926 (but I haven't seen versions as early as this), it was very popular in the 1950s and 60s. It was one of my favourites. The one Badpenny just found was made by Whittaker Brothers sometime in the 1970s or 80s. Bromley Inc. of Illinois, USA currently make Wheel M In which pays out in redemption tickets like most modern versions. Part of the fun of the old machines was the way the pennies rolled back along the top of the glass when you won. They were large with complicated mechanisms.

This chap has applied some science to the task of beating the Wheel 'Em In.

Good luck with your new website - I've put a link to it in the Archive and would be grateful if you would do the same.
Wheel_Em_In.jpg
Wheel_Em_In.jpg (15.07 KiB) Viewed 5405 times

cleantex
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Re: Old UK slot machine located Picadilly Circus

Postby cleantex » Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:17 pm

Thanks,
You are great! It was exactly Wheel 'Em In, by Streets Automatic Machine Co. Ltd.
Because I forgot that the pennies on payout rolled down over the glass, and it was exactly the machine from the picture. I was thinking first that there was more gambling places, but now I feel that they put 2 machines side by side. And playing was with 2 pence. It was noisy as hell and joined to this the sound when the pennies glides down over the glass, fascinating. Very interesting to find out how this machine was functioning, and opposite to all slot machines, the coins were pay out at a higher level as where they fall inside. A lot of mystery still inside the box.

Thanks also for the link, I already put yours longer time. If I have little more about the mechanics I will translate some things in German.

Greetings,

Armand.

malcymal
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Re: Old UK slot machine located Picadilly Circus

Postby malcymal » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:07 pm

And there is one of these Streets Wheel Em Ins still in use where I live in an arcade in Pagham, near Bognor Regis, West Sussex, England working on the new 2p coin. Pagham arcade is tiny, near the seafront, been there for 40 years. If you didnt know it was there you would miss it. They also have a roulette type game called Colourama (the guy had put signs on them telling you their age, this is one of 4 left in the country) where you bet on red, green, blue, white and yellow with a big rubber ball that spins around. You win 2, 4, 6 or 10 depending on your bet. When you go in the door you are met by 6 Bally bandits with gold awards, to exchange for prizes. If you are down on the South coast, worth checking out for a bit of nostagia.
Nice little collection.

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arrgee
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Re: Old UK slot machine located Picadilly Circus

Postby arrgee » Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:15 pm

I well remember these machines as a lad, it was as much fun trying to catch your wining pennies as they rolled down the glass, as it was actually playing the game.

Interesting site Armand.

cleantex
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Re: Old UK slot machine located Picadilly Circus

Postby cleantex » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:40 am

Crazy to hear that this machine and a few other goodies always in use in Pagham.
I am here in Luxembourg a little far away, but could be really interesting to jump there with digicam. Perhaps the owner will allow to show the intestines of his treasures. And this owners also have sometimes the old maintenance books. Alibaba. :roll:

Greetings,

Armand.

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pennymachines
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Re: Old UK slot machine located Picadilly Circus

Postby pennymachines » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:20 pm

Yes, some video of one working would be good. Hint to malcymal.
They're so rare now - I wonder if a single example on the old penny still exists. They've gone the way of most large electro-mechanicals - to the scrap yard. Maybe they just wore out eventually - as you can imagine, the coin-conveyor mechanism to raise the winnings was quite something. Paul Mitchel described how as a lad he cheated the game by attaching cotton to the coins to guide them into place: The Artful Dodgers (Arena). He later got a job in the arcade and discovered what damage this had done to the innards of the Wheel 'Em In.

Everything looks bigger when you're little, but I also seem to recall versions with four or more stations. Maybe Streets sold them by the yard.

Anyone remember these large multi-players?

malcymal
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Re: Old UK slot machine located Picadilly Circus

Postby malcymal » Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:42 pm

Hey that's a good idea - give me some time and I will get down there and film these machines for you. I remember when I was 16, that's 26 years ago going down there on my Vespa scooter, and regularly being banned for using reel strips to aid my winnings on the modern machines when they nudged. I'm on speaking terms with the son and I'm sure he will not mind! I will say its an advertisement for the arcade. Incidentally, these old arcades are suffering now due to the gambling laws, having to shield certain machines from public view, more expense and having competition from holiday camps with huge arcades. Its a shame.

I shall take my Fuji digi down there and get some shots. I had great fun on the Streets, I was getting a coin within the line and it didn't pay, I then had a coin slightly on a line and it did. Nothing's changed, they were so erratic when they were in use in the '70s. Coins flying on the floor too.... magical.


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