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The Bollands Survey

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:15 pm
by JC
Have you ever wondered how many Bollands working models have survived? And which ones?
I've initiated a survey in order to try to locate and identify all surviving machines. In issue 9, I listed twenty nine machines that I could definitely account for. Issue 10 (which will be in the post later this week) lists seventy seven, so the list has grown considerably. However, there are still many more out there, and of course only readers of the magazine have participated so far.
So if any users of this site own or know of a machine (or several) please let me know. It is important that owners anonymity is respected, so please do not post owner's names on this site. Email me any information you have (through this site) and I'll include all newly identified machines on the list. (obviously, I shall need to know owner's names, or at least where the machines are located in order that details are not duplicated).

At a later date, I shall post the full list in this thread. In the meantime, I can reveal that the most common surviver so far is 'The Night Watchman' with twelve accounted for at present.

Thanks (in anticipation) for your help.

Jerry :D

Here's a splendid collection of Bolland working models at Chessington Zoo, sometime in the 1960s

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:17 am
by JC
In the March issue of the magazine I reported that the list has grown to 81. Since publication, a few more have been verified, bringing the list up to 89. So we are not far short of the 100 mark.
I identified the first machine so far to be housed in a French crane case - a Haunted House, which is on the Isle of Man. However, again since publication, I've found a Haunted Churchyard in the same style case. This is a machine which was previously included on the list, but for which I did not have a picture until recently.
I have details and a picture of a 'Pirates Cave', a model which is believed to have been commissioned as a 'one off', and it is looking increasingly likely that a number of machines were built as one-offs - something that I had not previously contemplated.
Please keep the info. coming in.

Here are the pictures published in the last two issues of the magazine.

The lost Bolland model

Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:36 pm
by JC
I shall be printing a full update in the next issue of the magazine - due to go to print end of next week, and I shall post the full list so far plus some pictures in this thread.

In the meantime, has anyone seen or know the whereabouts of this machine. This seems to be the only surviving picture of what is a very strange working model, and no one I know has ever heard of or seen it. Take a close look at the title (which I've darkened as much possible) and it can just about be seen: Man on the Moon

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 4:59 pm
by JC
Here is the list of Ninety-one models identified so far:

The Original Nine

Burglar 10
Drunkards Dream 11
Egypt 6
Haunted Churchyard 12
Haunted House 9
Hells Kitchen 3
Miser 9
Night Watchman 13
Witches Cave 3

The One-offs

Bloody Tower (wide clown case)
Davey Jones Locker
Ding Dong Dell (clown case)
Frankenstein (wide clown case)
Frankenstein's Laboratory
Haunted House (clown case)
Haunted House (wide clown case)
Pharos Fortune Teller (wide case)
Pirates Cave

Pharos Fortune Teller

Six known so far

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:14 pm
by JC
And here are pictures of three of the one-offs:

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:21 pm
by arrgee
Jerry, discovered a 'Haunted House' recently, located in the STEAM museum in Swindon. The note on the case says it is from the 1950s and has 9 individual 'happenings'

There are a few more (not Bolland) machines there, which I will post shortly.

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:06 pm
by JC
Nice pictures Arrgee, although I'm pretty sure I know who owns this, so it's probably already on the list.
I'm hoping, in the not too distant future, to start to compile a catalogue of pictures of all the surviving Bollands models, which could be viewed on this site - in the museum perhaps.

Re: The Bollands Survey

Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:10 pm
by pennymachines
Long forgotten image found on old hard-drive: Bolland's Smugglers.

Re: The Bollands Survey

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:51 pm
by gameswat
A few years ago I came across a Drunkards Dream that was sold as an original but was in fact a fake.The first clue I found was when I took that big front casting off the cabinet. The cabinet was an original old Novelty Merchantman model but freshly painted in the last five years. So I was quite surprised to see that this paintwork went on when the original crane castings had been installed on the cabinet... I was confused to say the least but my first thought was that the original cabinet had rotted and they recently swapped in a replacement, nothing wrong with that. Except the front casting was a recast. Started looking closer......... and found that all the internal mech parts were new castings but painted with gunk to artificially age them. Then the major giveaway - the beer barrels, instead of being solid cast alloy these were tin cans with some kind of putty added on the outside, but they still showed the rippled corrugations on the inside!! HA, classic, somebody went to all the trouble to make everything else pretty damn close and then they slacked off with that.

Re: The Bollands Survey

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:03 pm
by john t peterson

You are hereby officially designated: A CSI* Investigator, Sergeant Grade. :cool:

(* CSI: Coin-Op Scientific Institute)

J Peterson
CSI President, American Chapter

Re: The Bollands Survey

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:43 pm
by pennymachines
More pics of the Haunted House and Frankenstein in clown case, plus Pharos Tomb, The Burglar's Nightmare and The Drunkard.

Re: The Bollands Survey

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:32 pm
by pennymachines
Reviving this thread to include the recently posted Bollands Frankenstein and Bloody Tower plus a Love Test fortune teller spotted in a Michigan store by a well know slot machine sleuth.



Re: The Bollands Survey

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:29 pm
by pennymachines
And a quick round up of other Bollands models posted elsewhere in the Forum (plus one from the forthcoming Arne sale).

Re: The Bollands Survey

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:01 pm
by moonriver
pennymachines wrote:Reviving this thread to include the recently posted Bollands Frankenstein and Bloody Tower plus a Love Test fortune teller spotted in a Michigan store by a well know slot machine sleuth.
I have always thought that Bollands working models with a clown head cabinet were one offs ,as I have never seen two of the same model with clown head, I'm just wondering if this is the case? Also has anyone else seen another Bolland Love Test (as in the picture) or is that a one off machine? I was expecting it to be a simple mechanism inside but its actually quite complex compared to what it actually does

Re: The Bollands Survey

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:23 pm
by pennymachines
I'm no expert on these but my understanding was that the bespoke clown-faced cabinets are the later Bollands machines, made after the supply of cheap crane cabinets dried up (as sweets gradually became available after the war and working cranes became a good proposition again).

They aren't all one-offs, as evidenced by The Drunkard in clown-faced case above and (as Drunkard's Dream) in Merchantman Crane cases below.
Drunkard's Dream sold by Bonhams in 2007
Drunkard's Dream sold by Bonhams in 2007

Another sold at the Elephant House, this year.

I take it you tracked down the Love Test in Michigan?

Re: The Bollands Survey

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:57 am
by moonriver
Sorry Dave, I didn't make it clear what I meant to say. I meant I've never seen two clown-faced cases with the same model inside, in other words two separate clown face cases BOTH with a Drunkards Dream in (or other model).

The Bollands Love Meter was in Minneapolis not Michigan and I bought it. I'm wondering if it's a one off?