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COIN OPERATED
LOLLIPOP SCALES
BOOK REVIEW


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Whether you own one or a hundred scales or planning to buy one, this book will have everything you need. It has history, photos, patent information, manuals, maintenance tips, repair information and a price guide.

First, let's define what we are talking about. What distinguishes Big Head Lollipop scales from other scales. Dick classifies scales this way:"There are a number of scale classifications, from the early wooden and cast iron boxy scales of the 1880s throught the early 1900s, the "Big Head" scales of the teens through early thirties that replaced them, and finally the much smaller "Personal" scales that allowed only the weigher to see the weight.

Of these three classes the "Big Head" scales are regarded as the most collectible, both for their size and appearance, and for the fact that they conjure up a romantic period in time between World War 1 and the years leading into World War 2."

The history of scales is revealing. For example: "Coin operated scales were the first publicly popular coin controlled machines in the United States, coming over from Great Britain in the spring of 1885 soon after they were invented in the U.K. in the spring of 1884 by Percival Everitt, a London engineer. Everitt was the "Father of British Coin Machines," and as such was also the founder of the American interest in machines of this class as he came to the United to make his fortune with his vending, shocking, strength test and weighing machines.

He launched an industry, and one that would soon surpass that of its sponsoring nation. By the middle 1890s American coin machines had found a world market, all but blotting out their English forebears, with a plethora of American coinop scales leading the pack."The book is filled with historical insights such as the above.

Each of the chapters covering a different manufacturer of lollipop scales provide its own intriguing story and historical antidotes. Later in his introduction, Dick Bueschel effectively explains what he tried to do with this new book. "We are asking a lot from a single volume, seeking to provide historical, maintenance and repair data for almost a hundred Big Head "lollipop" scales made by over twenty manufacturers over a period exceeding half a century.

As might be expected of this highly specialized segment of the coin machine industry during the 60 some years that these scales were produced, each machine line is different. While they may superficially look alike, under their heavily porcelain exteriors beat mixed hearts of brass, nickel plate, castings, springs, rollers and glass, with no two the same.

"One of the frustrating aspects of collecting scales is that there are no manuals for scales produced from 1880 1920. Dick overcame this obstacle by providing the detailed patent drawings that show how the scales were put together. He even provides you the information for ordering your own patents.Last, but not least, the price guide, an invaluable resource if you are thinking of buying or selling a scale.

The Big Head Lollipop Scales book is a 236 page spiral bound book that undoubtedly be part of most collector's coin op book shelf.

This book is out of print.

Copyright: 1996, Ken Durham



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