by Russ Jensen



     The hobby of collecting coin-op devices includes a wide

variety of variations.  The major types of machines collected

include slot machines, pinball games, jukeboxes, trade stimulators,

arcade games and vending machines (including scales).  The

collecting of any sort of "historical device" generally cannot be

successfully accomplished by a person, however, unaided by some

sort of "outside" help.


     First of all, the potential collector needs information

regarding the "history" of the type of machine and it's rarity, a

very important consideration for most collectors.  Books and

magazines generally are the best source of this type of

information, although visits with old time operators (if you are

luck enough to find them) are often very enlightening.


     These publications also serve as a source of information on

repair and restoration of machines which is extremely important

when dealing with antique devices.  Magazines also contain articles

about other collectors and collections which interest most

collectors as they like to know about others who share their

fascination with these remarkable machines.


     Finally, magazines contain advertising (both classified and

display) which greatly aid the collector in buying (and often

selling and trading) new machines for his collection, as well as

locating sources of necessary supplies and services.


     A collector, of course, cannot operate without "sources of

supply" from which to obtain machines to add to his collection.

Many times machines are obtained from "private parties" who somehow

or other have in the past acquired an old coin machine which they

have decided to sell.  Some collectors are lucky enough to find a

coin machine operator (or ex-operator) who still has some old

machines "kicking around" which a collector can purchase.


     In addition to these sources, the popularity of collecting old

coin machines has caused some new sources to develop.  National and

regional "shows" have spring up all over the country where dealers

and collectors gather to buy, sell and trade coin machines and

related items.  Auctions are sometimes held which feature coin-ops.


     In addition, dealers in antique coin machines now appear in

some places.  Some have stores and others operate out of their

garages, but they are becoming more numerous as coin-op collecting

becomes more popular.  Dealers in coin machines for home amusement

are also in operation these days and many times are a source of

"antique" machines for the collector as well.


     Collectors generally like to associate with other collectors

and share knowledge, discuss each other's collections, and buy,

sell, and trade.  Shows are a good place to do this, but sometimes

this results in the forming of associations and clubs.  While this

"group forming" is fairly prevalent in other forms of collecting,

it has not yet really caught on with coin machine collectors,

although a few local clubs have been formed.


     Now that I have summarized the "support system" for coin-op

collectors we will look at some of these items in more detail.





     With the possible exception of pinballs, the slot machine

probably has had the greatest coverage in books.  Coin machine

historian Dick Bueschel, most likely the most thorough researcher

in the field, has written a series of "100 Collectable Slot

Machines" (SLOTS 1 - 4) books.  There are currently four books in

this series each illustrating, describing (including history), and

giving the approximate values of 100 different collectable slot



     In 1992 Dick also published a giant 2 volume (both soft and

hard bound) set titled "Jennings Slot Machines - 1906-1990".  In

addition to giving a history of the O.D. Jennings company, these

books contain all the information from the service manuals for many

of the Jennings slot machines.


     In addition, Mr. Bueschel over the years has compiled a series

called "Coin Slot Guides" each providing repair as well as

historical information on a particular model (or series of models)

of slot machines.  At this time there are 34 of these guides

available.  The above mentioned books are available from Coin Slot

Books of Wheat Ridge, Colorado.


     You might think Dick has written a great deal about slots, but

there is more!  By the time you read this Dick will have another

slot book (quite possibly the best yet!) under his belt.  That

book, over 20 years in the making, is titled "Lemons, Cherries, and

Bell Fruit Gum" (what a great title!) and is published by Royal

Bell Ltd., the publishers of COIN SLOT INTERNATIONAL.


     Sometime back in the early 1970's I saw an ad in a book

catalog announcing that that book was "coming soon" and was dying

to see it.  Well, it's finally out!  Dick told me it will be the

definitive history of the slot machine and will cover the industry

right into the current decade - the only book to do that to date.


     Marshall Fey of Reno, Nevada, the grandson of Charles Fey the

inventor of the 3-reel payout slot machine, has also written and

published several books on slot machines.  His original book "Slot

Machines - A Pictorial History of the First 100 years" is now in

it's fourth edition.


     This large format book is crammed with pictures of slot

machines from the late 1800's on.  The text details the history of

slots, much gleaned from Marshall's association with the coin

machine business in which has grandfather and father were always



     Marshall is not only knowledgeable in the history of the slot

machine, but also in their internal workings.  A few years ago he

published "Bally Slot Machines - The complete Service Manual for

Electro-mechanicals 1964 - 1980", including service information for

these Bally machines.  I also understand that he has recently

issued a similar publication covering the later solid-state

controlled Bally machines.


     In addition, several years ago Marshall put out a small

booklet titled "Bally Slot Machines - Electro-mechanical 1964-

1980".  That publication showed pictures (most taken from

advertising brochures) of all Bally models of the period in

chronological order with a brief description of each.  Marshall

later revised and updated that book to include "electronic slot

machines" made by Bally between 1980 and 1986.




     As far as Trade Stimulators (the slot machine's "non automatic

payout" cousins) are concerned, the only books I know of currently

are two volumes of "100 Collectable Trade Stimulator" books by Dick

Bueschel.  These books follow the same format as his similarly

titled series on slot machines previously mentioned and are also

available from Coin Slot books.




     As far as books on "antique" jukeboxes are concerned, there

have been several over the years.  The first was probably "Jukebox

Saturday Night" written by J. Krivine and published by Chartwell

Books, originally released in 1972.  This hardcover book in

"oversize" format detailed the history of the jukebox, including

much information on the industry's personalities.  The book was

replete with pictures, both color and black and white, including

numerous reproductions of early jukebox advertising.


     The original issue of this book is long since out of print and

I have heard that people have offered (and possibly paid) $100 or

more for it.  It was recently reissued, however, making it again



     Another book "Jukebox - The Golden Age" written by Vincent

Lynch and Bill Henkin was also first published many years ago.

Later it was reprinted and retitled "The American Jukebox - The

Classic Years".  That book covered jukeboxes of the period 1937 to

1947 during which many beautiful "classic" 78 RPM jukeboxes were



     The book contains a brief history of the jukebox industry,

followed by full page, full color illustrations of classic

jukeboxes of that era.  The book also contains some illustrations

of "counter-top" models, as well as colorful wall-mounted speakers.


     Another fairly early jukebox book was "Vintage Jukeboxes - The

Hall of Fame" written by Christopher Pearce and published in this

country by Chartwell Books in 1988 (but I am told it is still

sometimes available).  The book is replete with many illustrations

(both color and black and white) including many full color, full

page, pictures of classic jukes, plus a lot of pieces of jukebox



     The author concentrates on what he refers to as "the jukebox

years" - the 1940's and 1950's, although several late 1930's models

are described and pictured.  The book focuses on "the big four"

jukebox manufacturers of the period: AMI, Rockola, Wurlitzer, and

Seeberg.  Most of the models of that period are described in much

detail, as well as much historical information on the



     Another jukebox book, this one published in 1991 by H.C.

Blossom in England, was "Jukebox Art" by the same author as Vintage

Jukeboxes.  This book includes much on jukebox history (up through

the early 1960's) and is again replete with illustrations of

machines as well as jukebox advertising.


     A small book on jukeboxes, titled simply "Jukebox", was put

out by Chartwell books in 1994.  This book was produced by Dieter

Ladwig in Germany and translated into English.  It featured many

color photographs (mostly full page) with accompanying descriptive

captions.  The text in this book is somewhat limited, but includes

a brief "thumbnail" history of the jukebox, plus mini-histories of

most of the major manufacturers.


     Similar translations of German books in this same format also

came out around this time - one on slot machines and another on



     Finally, a new jukebox book which just came out in 1995 is

called "The Ultimate Jukebox Guide" by Ian Brown and published in

Europe.  I was recently told by Rick Botts (publisher of the

jukebox hobby magazine JUKEBOX COLLECTOR) that this book contains

photos of all the jukeboxes put our by almost all the manufacturers

(both U.S. and foreign) between the years 1927 and 1974, also

including historical information.  If this is indeed the case the

term "ultimate" is not far from the truth.




     What about books on pinball (my favorite subject)?  Well,

prior to 1976 none existed.  And then came a small flood!  The

first to hit the streets was by Canadian author Michael Colmer,

titled "Pinball - An Illustrated History".  It had many

illustrations (primarily black and white) many of which were in a

"collage" form, thus not providing much detailed information.  The

accompanying text had historical information as well as discussing

social considerations.


     This book was closely followed by an oversize, hard back,

volume, "Pinball Portfolio" by British author Harry McKeown,

published by the same outfit that did "Jukebox Saturday Night".  A

highlight of this book was the chapter titled "Classic Machines"

which provided full page color illustrations of six machines (all

from the 1960's and 1970's), describing the unique play

characteristics of each in detail.


     Next came "Pinball" by Roger Sharpe (now an executive in the

pinball industry) published by E.P. Dutton in 1977.  This coffee

table book was definitely the "pinball picture book" containing

scores of photographs of pinball being played in a wide variety of

locations taken by award winning photographer Jim Hamilton when he

and Roger traveled all over the country and to Europe.


     Also in 1977 came "All About Pinball" by Bobbye Natkin and

Steve Kirk, published by Grosset and Dunlap.  This was an "all

around" book covering pinball from history to a detailed discussion

of how to play the game, all in all an excellent, well rounded



     A book titled simply "Tilt" appeared in 1978.  It was written

by San Francisco bay area pin buffs Jim and Candace Tolbert and

published by Creative Arts Book Co. of Berkeley, CA.  It was

primarily intended to be a guide for caring for your home operated

pinball machine, although it contained some excellent history

information as well.


     Following that, in 1979, another Canadian author, Edward

Trapunski, came out with a book called "Special When Lit",

published by Dolphin Books, which treated pinball from an

historical as well as sociological point of view.


     All of the pinball books I have just described are

unfortunately now out of print, but you can occasionally find one

for sale, but usually at a fairly high price.


     Fortunately, however, that was not the end of pinball books,

more coming out in the late 1980's and the current decade.  Two of

these were both published in 1988.


     One was "Pinball 1" by none other than the venerable Dick

Bueschel.  That book was in Dick's "100 collectable" format, with

a large "history section" followed by 100 pages each showing a

photo of a pinball or bagatelle game (from the period 1885 through

1978) with a detailed description of each (including additional

historical data).


     The over 100 page history section, titled "The Origins of

Pinball and the 'Depression Baby' Boom", details the history of the

ancestors of the modern pinball game, including the bagatelle games

which started in the late 1700's.  Dick also describes many

pinball-like games which came out before 1931 and several early

pingames of that year.


     Not only that, but this "historian's historian" (as I like to

call him) also talks of many other historical events happening in

other areas, including much "industrial history", one of Dick's

favorite subjects.

     The reason the history section only covered up through 1931 is

because the later years of pinball's history are planned to be

covered in subsequent books in a projected series.  "Pinball 1" was

published by Coin Slot Books, but subsequent books in this series

are to be published by  Steve Young in New York, with "Pinball 2"

due to be released early in 1996.


     The other pinball book to come out in 1988 was "Pinball - The

Lure of the Silver Ball" by Bill Kurtz and Englishman Gary Flower

published by Chartwell Books.  The book contained many photos of

pingames over the years, mostly in color.  The text described the

history of pinball during the various decades, and also had a

chapter devoted to how you can own you own pingame at home.


     It was several years before the next pinball book was to come

out.  It was published in 1991 and was the first of two books (both

originating in Europe) to be devoted primarily to "pinball art".

This first book on that subject was simply titled "Pinball Art" and

was written by Englishman Keith Temple.


     The book is, of course, chocked fill of pictures (mostly

color) of pinball games and backglasses (some taken from

advertising flyers).  The text also describes the talented artists

whose work has adorned pinball machines for decades.


     Along this same vane, another book on pinball art came out of

Germany.  It was originally published in German as "Flipper

Scheiben" which literally translated to "pinball backglasses" and

was written by Jurgen Lukas and Heribert Eiden (who I had the

pleasure of meeting a few years ago).  It was subsequently

translated into French, and finally into English in 1992.


     The English version ended up being simply titled "Pinball

Machines" and I am told this was because the publisher thought that

"Pinball Backglasses" was too long to fit nicely on the cover.

This book also has many, many, fine color and black and white

pictures of pinball glass, and the text describes the various

artwork themes (divided by categories such as: games, leisure time,

culture, history, etc.) as well as the major artists.


     Finally, a brief word about a special pinball book which

unfortunately is "out of print", but for which a new edition is in

preparation.  The book is called "Pinball Resource" and was

compiled by my good friends Rob Hawkins and Don Mueting.


     This book contains an alphabetical listing of almost all

pinball machines ever made (between 1931 and the present) and

includes the manufacturer, date of manufacture, number of players,

and reference to a series of "notes" providing additional

information on the machines contained in another section of the

book.  There is also a coded column which tells where pictures of

many of the games can be found in books and magazines.


     The "notes" can also lead you (via a database compiled by the

authors) to people who have such things as backglasses, schematics,

flyers, etc. for many of the games.  When this book is updated it

will provide a valuable resource for all pinball collectors.




     As far as books on Arcade Machines are concerned I know of

only one (other than a "general book" to be discussed shortly).  It

is ARCADE 1 by Dick Bueschel and Steve Gronowski published by Coin

Slot books in 1993.  This book is sub-titled "Illustrated

Historical Guide To Arcade Machines - Volume 1".


     This 300 page book contains a huge historical section

(approximately 200 pages) which gives much information on the

history of penny arcades and arcade machines going back to the late

1800's.  Many patent drawings are included, plus photographs of

industry pioneers and arcade locations, and copies of much early

advertising literature.


     The last 100 pages show 100 individual historic machines

covering the period from 1885 to 1983 (the last two games shown are

video games - a "collectable of the future").  Each machine has a

description which gives historical as well as descriptive

information concerning that machine.  A fascinating book indeed for

anyone at all interested in these wonderful amusement devices.




     Finally as to vending machines, there seems to be one

outstanding book on that subject.  It is called "Silent Salesmen

Too" (to "too" being a pun indicating that the author had written

a previous book called "Silent Salesmen") written by the "guru of

early vending machines" Bill Enes and published in 1995.  This book

contains over 300 pages (32 in color) and is virtually an

encyclopedia of early vending machines.


     Over 200 pages show photos of venders (primarily gum, nut, and

candy), six to a page, with a brief description of each.  There is

also a section of around 25 pages showing rare early advertisements

for such machines, and a page listing vending machine patent

numbers cross-referenced to their issue dates. 




     That pretty well covers books dealing with particular types of

coin-op collectables.  But there have also been several books

published which deal with more than one type of coin machine -

"general" coin-op books.  I will talk about three such books which

have appeared in recent years.


     The first of these, "Slot Machines and Coin-Op Games" written

by Bill Kurtz, was published by Chartwell Books and came out in

1991.  This book had chapters on all types of amusement machines

plus slots, with separate chapters on: Arcade Machines, Baseball

Games, Gun Games, Bowling Machines, Pinballs, "One-Armed Bandits",

and "Novelty" Arcade Machines.  It is, I  believe, the only book to

ever cover in any detail Baseball Games, Gun Games, or Bowling

Machines.  A very comprehensive little book.

     Another "general" coin-op book, also by Mr. Kurtz, was

published in 1994 by Schiffer and titled "Arcade Treasures".  This

book was chocked full of great color photos of coin machines.  It's

chapters covered each decade (1930's through 1990's) plus "early

games" (pre 1930).  There was also separate chapters on foreign

games and on "related collectables" (schematics, flyers,

promotional items, etc.).


     The most recent "general" coin-op book came out in 1995 and

was written by none other than Dick Bueschel.  It is titled

"Collector's Guide to Vintage Coin Machines" and was also published

by Schiffer.  The book has separate chapters on Slot Machines,

Jukeboxes, Pinballs, Arcade Games, Trade Stimulators, Vending

Machines, and Scales, as well as one on "building a collection" of



     Each chapter gives a brief history of the particular type of

machine and contains a multitude of color pictures of the machines

with a brief description of each.  This book, in my personal

opinion, is probably the best ever covering many of the popular

forms of coin-op collectables.





     Since the 1970's there have been several magazines published

which dealt specifically with collecting coin machines and that

covered more than one type of machine.  Others have dealt with a

specific type of machine, such as pinballs or jukeboxes.  In

addition, articles have appeared in other general collectables or

hobby magazines on the subject of collecting coin-ops.


     The first of the general coin-op collectors magazines was COIN

SLOT.  It started as a small thin issue in the early 1970's and has

grown into a full size, slick paper, magazine today.  During it's

lifetime it was published by several different publishers and is

currently in the hands of Hoflin Publishing of Wheat Ridge,



     The COIN SLOT has articles dealing with most forms of coin-op

collectables, including slot machines, pinballs (your's truly is

now their primary author on that subject), trade simulators, and

vending machines, and is a valuable source of information for coin-

op collectors.


     Another general coin-op collectors magazine is CLASSIC

AMUSEMENTS.  This fine "slick paper" bi-monthly is published by

Peter Movsesian of Fountain Valley, California, and is edited by

who else but Dick Bueschel.  The magazine covers all forms of coin-

op collectables.


     Among it's many features is a column called "Fabulous Finds"

where in each issue a different collector describes a rare coin

machine he has discovered, telling how he found it.  The magazine

also has a special "theme" for each issue (such as Restorations,

etc.) with most of the feature articles in that issue conforming in

some way to that theme.


     As a sidelight, COIN-OP CLASSICS began publication shortly

after the demise of another similar magazine, CLASSIC AMUSEMENTS,

published for a few years by Eric Hatchell.  That magazine was the

only coin-op publication to include color photography with some of

it's articles as well as in some of it's advertising.


     The high cost of doing this was responsible for it going

under, but it sure was nice while it lasted.  Maybe someday in the

future this idea can be economically achieved as most coin-ops are

indeed colorful devices.


NOTE: The most recent issue of COIN-OP CLASSICS included a few

color illustrations in it's feature article - could this be a hint

of "things to come"?


     A second contemporary general coin-op magazine is GAMEROOM

published in Mt. Tabor, Indiana.  This "non-slick" paper magazine

does boast a very attractive full-color cover each month.  If you

are looking for a large amount of coin-op advertising (both

classified and display) where almost everybody in coin-ops

advertize, this is your baby as approximately 70 percent of it's

pages are advertising.


     In addition, there are four or five articles in each issue

covering a wide variety of coin-op topics from mechanical music, to

vending, to jukeboxes, and almost always at least one article on



     And, of course, there is always COIN DROP INTERNATIONAL.  But

since you are now reading that fine publication I'm sure you

already know about it's contents.


     Before leaving the subject of general coin-op magazines, a

brief word about one foreign language publication (in fact, it is

the only magazine ever to publish any of my articles translated

into a foreign language).  It is called PIJAMA (which is a French

acronym for the subject of early coin-ops) and is published by a

young Frenchman Yves Erard of Rennes, France.


     The magazine is bi-monthly and has articles, etc. covering

many forms of coin-ops and collecting.  So if you read French (or

know of a good translator) this publication might be "right up your



     As far as specialty coin-op magazines are concerned, the only

ones I am aware of deal with either pinballs or jukeboxes.  Let's

take pinball magazine first.


     At the present time (except for one British publication) there

is only one magazine entirely devoted to pinball.  That fine

publication is called "PinGame Journal" and is published "casually

monthly" by Jim Schelberg of Farmington Hills, Michigan.


     Each issue contains many fine articles on pinball (both old

and the latest releases).  There is also a very good "letters to

the editor" section (one of my favorite sections of any magazine),

as well as many classified ads.  For pinball fans this is "the



     As far as Jukebox publications are concerned, I believe at

present there are only two.  One of those is JUKEBOX COLLECTOR

published monthly by Rick Botts of Des Moines, Iowa.  It has

articles on collectable jukeboxes as well as many classified ads.


     The other current jukebox publication is a tabloid format

paper called ALWAYS JUKEIN' published by Mike and Sally Bauta of

Seattle, Washington.  In addition to jukebox articles and much

advertising it has a good "tech info" section providing jukebox

restorers, etc. with much valuable information.





     As the popularity of collecting coin operated devices

increases "shows" featuring coin-ops also have increased.  One of

the first shows to feature coin machines was the "Fun Fair" started

by coin machine publisher Dan Mead in the Southern California area.



     The first Fun Fair occurred in the Fall of 1979 at the Great

Western Exhibit Center in East Los Angeles.  The next year this

then annual event was moved to the Pasadena Exhibit Center in

Pasadena, California where it was held for several years.  Later it

became a semi-annual event and was held alternately in Long Beach

and Anaheim, California.  It has now returned to Pasadena.


     The Fun Fairs feature displays by many of the major dealers in

antique coin machines from around the country, plus many smaller

Los Angeles area dealers in coin-ops and other "fun type" antique



     Probably the biggest general coin-op show today is the semi-

annual "CHICAGOLAND" show held in the Chicago area put on by R & S

Enterprises, Inc.  An ad for a recent show indicates that the show

includes: slots, jukes, arcade machines, gas pumps, neon, saloon

items, vending machines, country store items, scales, movie items,

coke items, etc.  For many, many coin-op collectors all around the

country this is "the big one".


     Another great general coin-op show is, of course, the semi-

annual COIN-OP SUPER SHOW AND SALE put on by none other than the

publishers of COIN DROP INTERNATIONAL.  The first show was held in

1992 at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds, but has since moved to

my personal favorite show site, the Pasadena Exhibit Center.


     The SUPER SHOW (which is held in both the Spring and Fall)

features a wide variety of coin-ops, with emphasis on slots and

jukes, but also contains many of the same collectable items as

"CHICAGOLAND".  I have personally attended all but one or two of

these shows, but that was only because I was taking my annual

vacation in Reno at the time of those shows.


     In addition to these two shows, there are also several other

general coin-op or "gameroom" shows held in various cities across

the country.  General shows of this type are held in such cities

as: Atlanta, Orlando, Dallas, Portland, Boston, and even

Hackensack, New Jersey.


     As for "specialty" coin-op shows (those which feature one

particular type of coin machine) I only am aware of shows devoted

specifically to pinball.  As far as pinball shows are concerned, at

one time there was only one, but now they seem to be springing up

all over the country.


     The first ever pinball show was held in the Fall of 1985.  The

idea for the show came from a club of Ohio pinball enthusiasts,

three of which (Rob Berk, Mike Pacak, and Bill Kurtz) decided to

try to produce a national show.  They had no idea how many would

attend, but they took a risk they wouldn't "lose their shirts".


     Well, Pinball Expo '85 (as they chose to call their show) was

a success, partly because they had the cooperation of the pinball

manufacturers in Chicago - the location where they chose to stage

the event.  When you read this the eleventh show (Pinball Expo '95)

will have already occurred and I would like to tell you that I have

been lucky enough to be able to attend every one!


     Each Expo featured several seminars (put on by industry people

- both "old timers" and those of the current era - or collectors)

each providing interesting information or sometimes just plain fun.

There was also a large Exhibit Hall where hundreds of pinball

machines (both "classic" and the latest models displayed by the

manufacturers) were on display and/or for sale, plus many dealers

selling parts, literature, etc.


     Their was always an annual banquet featuring a guest speaker

(usually from the industry - past or present) during which awards

were always presented to people participating in the show.  Each

Expo also featured a pinball tournament where the good players

competed, the grand prize being a brand new pinball machine worth

several thousand dollars!  All in all the Pinball Expos are always

the yearly highlight of many, many pinball collectors around the

country and in other parts of the world as well.


     In 1990, a small group of Arizona pinball collectors (headed

by Bruce Carlton) started a new pinball show called simply "The

Pinball Show".  It was put on in June in the Phoenix suburb of

Scottsdale, Arizona.  The show featured an Exhibit Hall with a

large number of pingames for playing, display, and/or sale, as well

as dealers selling parts, etc..


     The show enlisted the cooperation of one of the Chicago

pinball manufacturers and had a banquet featuring a guest speaker.

Like the Pinball Expo, this show also featured a pinball



     Then in 1994, another Phoenix area collector/operator, Dann

Frank, decided to start his own pinball show held a couple months

earlier at the same site as "The Pinball Show".  Dann's show, in

addition to Exhibit Hall, banquet and regular tournament, featured

some smaller "fun events" in which less experienced players could

participate.  He called his show "Wild West Pinball Fest".


     In 1995 "The Pinball Show" was not held, but the "Wild West

Pinball Fest" held forth for a second successful year, and a third

show is already scheduled for 1996.  It is also rumored that the

original "Pinball Show" may again be held in 1996 - we'll just have

to wait and see!


     Also, about eight years ago a father and son who both

collected pinballs and lived in the Sacramento, California area -

Walt and Jerry Schlinker - decided to have a weekend "pinball

party".  They invited pinball players and collectors they knew in

the Northern California area to their home for a day of pinball



     Their endeavor proved to be a lot of fun so they tried it

again the following year; this time there was a larger attendance.

Well, in another year or so their "annual event" grew too large for

their homes so they decided to rent a small hall.  I don't know the

exact story of this since I had not attended any  "Pinathons" (as

they decided to call their events) until 1995, but that's about how

the story goes, I believe.


     In addition to Pinathon attendees playing pinball for fun, and

visiting with each other, the Schlinkers even had a pinball

tournament with prizes connected with the event.  By 1995 the event

had grown quite a bit and featured two tournaments - one played on

electro-mechanical games (like their first tournaments) and one for

solid-state pin players, each winner winning a pingame of that



     Their have also been several pinball shows springing up in the

East in the past several years.  The longest running of these,

which has been held for the past several years is called the "New

England Pinfest" and is held each Spring in Connecticut.  Two other

"pin-shows", which were started in the past year or so are The "Mid

West Pinfest" held in St. Louis in the early Summer, and "The

Pinball Wizard's Convention - The Replay" held in Pennsylvania in

the Spring.





     There are also many auctions which feature or include coin

operated devices.  Probably the best known of these occurs in Las

Vegas.  This is Roy Arrington's Victorian Casino Antiques Auction.

This is a lavish affair, staged in one of the large Las Vegas

hotel/casinos, where dealers and collectors from all over the world

come to bid on many rare antique coin machines and other antique

items such as  leaded glass, soda fountain items, barber chairs,


     There are also a couple of outfits which hold coin machine

auctions in various cities across the country featuring coin

machines.  One such outfit is U.S. Amusement Auctions.  Although

there are some "antique" machines at these auctions, most of the

items consist of more modern pinballs and video games which

amusement operators are trying to dispose of because they are no

longer making money for them.


     This does not mean that this is not a good auction for

"collectors" as many of the new collectors joining the hobby

collect some of the more modern machines - the "collectables of the

future".  This same outfit, by the way, in the past several years

has been holding an auction in connection with the annual Pinball

Expo previously mentioned.


     Finally, even New York city's prestigious antique auction

gallery Sotherby's sometimes auctions coin-ops as evidenced by

their Smith Collection auction of arcade machines which occurred in

September 1994.


     This wraps up this discussion of the "support system" that has

developed over the years to support the growing interest in

collecting the many forms of coin operated gambling, amusement, and

vending devices.


     As we have seen, books and magazines have been published to

provide historical information, news, and advertising.  Shows,

dealers, and auctions have become prevalent providing sources of

supply.  Although fairly rare, some organizations have also formed

enabling collectors to meet and discuss their common interests.

All these have combined to provide support and aid to the

fascinating hobby of collecting coin operated machines.