One of the most popular type of arcade machines were those that gave you something for your money. Card vendors and fortunetellers are good examples of these machines. Every arcade also had to have a metal stamping machine.
The early stamping machines stamped the letters on a metal strip. The stamper was in an oak wood case and on top of a metal pedestal. One of the earliest was the 1901 Roovers Stamper Machines. See Photo
Later models were in more attractive cases and stamped the letters on a round aluminum disk. Each metal disk could be stamped with up to 32 letters for just 5(. Many people would use them as identification tags and attach them to their key chains, luggage, golf bags, dog collars, etc. Others used them to write out love messages to their dates.
The Groetchen Metal Stamper, sat in a solid walnut cabinet, with metal front and steel bottom. The case was finished in hammerloid enamel and chromium. The machine contains six tubes of over 1150 metal disks, thereby permitting sales of $57.50 before the machine had to be refilled.
The player would select the letters, one at a time, pulling down the handle after each selection. An indicator dial shows how many letters have already been stamped and how many more to go.
The machine weighed 152 pounds, was 60" high, and took only 18" x 18" floor space. The metal stamping machines were so sturdy that many of them are still being operated today. The aluminum disks are still available to arcade operators.
Copyright: 2006 Ken Durham.
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