Antique Coin Machine

Often seen as works of art, Antique coin machines are treasured by collectors for their beauty and charm. Typically referring to machines that accept coins and dispense items, they have a history that extends back to Hero of Alexandria’s holy water machine in first century Roman Egypt. By the 1880’s, vending machines were commonplace in America. People could purchase cigars, snuff, matches, pipe tobacco, collar buttons and chewing gum, all for a small coin!

San Francisco car mechanic Charles Fey introduced the first gambling slot machine with automatic payout around 1890. The machine featured three spinning reels with hearts, spades and diamonds painted on them and a Liberty Bell cracked image in the center of each spin. If a lucky gambler spun three Liberty Bells on the machine, he received fifty cents. Fey also invented the first draw poker and trade check stimulator, which included a slot for a paper trade check.

Mechanical Marvels: The Timeless Allure of Antique Coin Machines

Among the most coveted antique machines are the incredibly rare floor models that resemble jukeboxes and used to be sold as a means to build excitement in bars and encourage patrons to drop more coins in the jukebox. One example is the awe-inspiring Mills Owl, an all mechanical floor model that was a precursor to the ‘Dewey’ machine. This amazing piece of Americana, in perfect working condition, is a rare jewel that can sell for as much as $50,000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *