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Super Steer-A-Ball

Postby Guest » Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:36 pm

I am trying to find out about a slot machine called 'Super Steer a Ball' that we have in our Cotswold Motoring Museum collection. It is an upright machine with a steering wheel in front. You turn the wheel to release the ball and then steer it down a pathway and (hopefully) into the win hole and get another go. The game ends if you allow the ball to drop into the lose hole.

Can anyone supply some information about this machine?

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pennymachines
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Postby pennymachines » Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:36 pm

Steer-a-Balls were made amongst others by Stevenson and Lovett Ltd. of London, Hawtins Ltd. of Blackpool and most prolifically, the Jay Pee Manufacturing Company.
Although they were popular and numerous, at present very little seems to be known about the history of these games. Maybe someone can help us fill out some details. Many were made in the 1950s, but those pictured below are earlier and some were made later.

I think the Super Steer-a-Ball was made by the latter company and was probably their last model. The only other thing I know about the Jay Pee Manufacturing Co. is that they also made a version of the Sky Jump wall machine.

Does your machine have a microswitch coin mechanism, or the earlier all-mechanical ball release?
Hawtins-Steer-a-Balls.jpg
Hawtins Steer-a-Balls
Hawtins-Steer-a-Balls.jpg (39.17 KiB) Viewed 5713 times

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Mystery Steer-a-Ball bit

Postby Guest » Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:41 am

I am working on a JP Steer a Ball at the moment and found this mystery part in the cash compartment.
It looks as though it could be part of a winning ball return mech.
Did they have them?
Have you a clue on where/how it might fit?

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Postby pennymachines » Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:41 am

That's right, it is. I'm afraid I don't have a picture at the moment to show exactly how it fits together. Maybe someone else will oblige.

From memory, when you insert a coin it falls through a pivoted gate in the coin acceptor and comes to rest against a wire poking through a hole in the coin acceptor (the tip of the wire on your mystery part). The gate is now shut and redirects all subsequent coins to the cashbox. If you complete the course and drop the ball down the winning hole it falls onto the counter-weighted track (on your mystery part) causing it to tip and thereby retracting the wire which releases the coin to the return slot at the front of the machine. The ball is guided back to the start position and the coin gate rocks to its original position ready to capture the next one.

Hope this makes sense...

It takes a single 1 inch steel ball bearing.
Here's a scan of the JP Steer-a-Ball topflash (slightly vandalised).

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Postby Guest » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:54 pm

Our machine looks very much like the Roll a Road with the same style of cut-out for the back drop, but with Super Steer a Ball instead of Roll a Road. The graphics are quite simple and semi abstract, but with a traffic light roughly where the road sign is.

The coin release mechanism is all mechanical.

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Super Steer-a-Ball

Postby jimmycowman » Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:58 pm

Topic merged - Site Admin.

Don't know which one to put this in but... I'm restoring a Stevenson and Lovett Steer-a-Ball and I'm missing the top flash and looking in the Mechanical Memories Magazine (May 08) saw a man, Eugene Sloan, who paints fairground and artwork signs. After ringing him and having a very interesting conversation, he agreed to make me one after looking in the Arcades and Slot Machines book and the flick web site for info. Anyway, it came last weekend and what a fantastic job he's done! I would recommend his work to anyone. I'm very pleased. Take a look at the image:
DSC_0002.JPG

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Re: penny steer-a-ball

Postby pennymachines » Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:49 pm

Hi Jimmy,

Nice piece of artwork! Is it really a Stevenson & Lovett or a Jay Pee Manufacturing Co. Steer-a-Ball? The Stevenson & Lovett originally had a light up backglass like a pinball depicting a townscape and zebra crossing, plus traffic lights that changed when you turned the wheel.

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Re: penny steer-a-ball

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:13 pm

Not sure. What's the difference in the body of the machine? I'm happy either way.

Euge

Re: penny steer-a-ball

Postby Euge » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:37 am

Hi,

Thanks for the nice comments, I painted the back board for Jimmy. Tried to keep close to the design on Page 29 of Arcades and Slot Machines, however changed the lettering style slighty to the type found on the signs that had traffic lights. Searching through the net, (not much about) however did find a few variations, including the townscape. I really enjoyed doing this backboard especially trying to keep the quirkiness of the design from this age of austerity.

Best Regards,

Euge.

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Re: penny steer-a-ball

Postby pennymachines » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:01 am

Guest wrote:Not sure. What's the difference in the body of the machine? I'm happy either way
The body of the S&L has a wooden frame with inset metal panels. The PJ has a painted plywood case.

If you want to take on more of this type of work Eugene, perhaps you have some contact details we could put on the Services page. I'm sure many other collectors could put your skills to good use. Do you have a website?


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