|Arcades and Slot Machines
The penny arcade is
alive and well. This is almost entirely due to the efforts of
enthusiasts who have collected and restored original machines. There
are now a number of both travelling and static arcades where an old
penny can still buy amusement.
|The coin operated machines
show what the butler saw, tell fortunes, grab prizes, test your skill, run
races and are ready to pay you when games are won!
The manufacture of mechanical slot machines
was perhaps most innovative and productive from the 1920s to 1950s. Anyone
collecting examples of such a period will have a fair representation of the
penny machine business. The present day punter can relive this time-proven
enjoyment by a visit to a vintage arcade.
Vintage machines can still be bought at
relatively modest outlay by collectors. This book, therefore, aims to focus
on amusement machines of the period mentioned and gives a guide to relevant
manufacturers and their products. Older machines are covered back to the
advent of coin freed gaming machines a century ago.
Machines are only useful if
there are places to operate them. Railway stations and seaside piers have been
such places. The development of a distinct breed of accommodation known as
arcades is examined. Nowadays we may add the vintage arcades, operated by John
Hayward, John Morley, Pete Williamson, Clive Baker, Steve Hunt and Dave Hooper
besides, of course, Carter's Steam Fair and the museums.