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nobby.pennytoy
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Location: Robin Hood Country

CLOWN MACHINE

Postby nobby.pennytoy » Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:23 pm

Can you help me identify the maker/manufacturer,age and why the Union Jack motif on the ball?There are no markings on the cabinet i.e.letters or numbers stamped on it.However it is stamped THIS MACHINE IS THE PROPERTY OF (can't read) BIRMINGHAM on the inside of the front door.Any information you may have about this game will be great.
Many thanks
_Clown_Catcher_.jpg
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nobby.pennytoy
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Location: Robin Hood Country

PHOENIX 'CLOWN CATCHER'

Postby nobby.pennytoy » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:03 am

My own research has revealed that this rare 'Clown Catcher' was infact produced by Phoenix Manufacturing Company of Birmingham cica 1920's. I believe the Union Jack was added as a symbol of victory following World War 1.

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pennymachines
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Postby pennymachines » Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:37 am

Nice!
We're back to William Thompson and the Phoenix Works again.
They started copying German clowns in 1913 and had an injunction served upon them for patent infringement which was nullified by the outbreak of WWI. Putting a Union Jack on the ball was like a two-finger gesture of victory or something ruder.

There must be many unidentified machines produced by the Coin Operating Company - I wonder why they were so coy about putting their name on the games. Maybe they were happy to pass them of as German (at least until the War) trading on that country's superior engineering reputation. Many so called Saxony Allwin Deluxes were actually Birmingham-made Phoenix or Harwood copies. Birmingham was hive of slot machine manufacturing but information is scarce.

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badpenny
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Allwin deluxe

Postby badpenny » Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:37 pm

Great Stuff ....... Could Pennymachines gaze at his crystal balls and advise me if the Allwin Deluxe I bought from a gentleman in the Black Country kind of direction (known to us both) nearly a year ago I think, is of Brummagem fame as well?

I only enquire out of interest, as it is a super machine and I felt guilty at the time for getting it so cheaply!

Badpenny

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john t peterson
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Postby john t peterson » Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:37 am

How about a picture, Badpenny, so that we all may share your guilt?

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pennymachines
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Postby pennymachines » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:34 am

This is the machine Badpenny was referring to. It may have been made in Birmingham but I'm not sure how to tell. One theory is that every so-called Allwin Deluxe produced in Germany started life as an Allwin Reserve but the vast majority were downgraded to "Deluxe" by British distributors because they were considered too generous. If this theory is correct (and I'm not at all sure it is), British Allwin Deluxes might be distinguished by the absence of evidence of a removed reserve mechanism. Maybe some of our German collector friends could help us here.
Actually, looking more closely at the picture, I notice a hole in the metal flash, roughly middle left, between the runners. There would have been a small ball blocking gate there - part of the reserve mech. So, going on my theory that British manufacturers didn't copy the reserve mechanism (because the operators didn't want it), I reckon it's a German model.
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