THE 400 COLLECTIBLE
Four Hundred SlotsCan you imagine 400 slot machines in your house, 400
different slots. That's a lot of slot machines. Well you can have them all
on your bookcase. Many of us forget, or take for granted, the mammoth job
Dick Bueschell did for us all in the late 1970's and early 80's when he
published his four volume encyclopedic Illustrated Guides to 100
Collectibles Slot Machines.
Many of you have these books in your library and
probably have forgotten all the good information you have at your
fingertips. Those of you who don't have all 4 volumes, read on, because in
this book review I'll give you a brief glimpse of what's in each volume.
Each of Dick's books features a page on each of the 100 most popular
collectible machines. Most of us use Dick's books to look up a particular
slot machine, and find out a little more background information, but there
is much more in each of these 4 volumes.
Volume 1 gives us a glimpse of what
coin machine collecting was like in the 1970's when our hobby was born. It
tells us who were the major players (you'll recognize many of the names),
how Dick Bueschel became a coin machine historian, how people reacted to
his book in 1978, and what led to it being reissued in the late 1980's.
This volume also discusses how the first article on slot machines, that
appeared in 1979 in a major consumer magazine, was conceived and written..
That article which represents the first public recognition of collecting
slots is reprinted in its entirety.
Volume 1 also has an article on How to
Get Your Machines in Working condition, and, finally, the most attractive
part of this book is a 16 page color insert showing us what colors the
different Mills Silent Slot Machines were painted. Volume 1 sounds as
though it has everything you want. Well, don't stop reading, we have three
Volume 2 is for all of us who take collecting slot machines
for granted. Since slots are legal in almost every state, many new
collectors believe that was always the case. Not so, in the middle 1970's.
Collector's had to fight the system to make slots legal.
Volume 2 provides
us that exciting history, how the pioneers of our hobby struggled against
the police, the courts, and the state legislators to get the laws changed
state by state. It also provides us advice for how one goes about changing
the laws in our state. Many of us still need this advice in order to change
the laws in those states that haven't updated its laws. Most collectors
believe the 25 year law is the best, but many states still restrict
collecting to pre1941 or pre1952 machines.
Volume 3 answers the questions
every collector wants to know: How rare is my machine? How many were
manufactured? Who made them? How many are still around? How many unknown
machines are still out there? Dick Bueschel answers these questions with
his extensive analysis of serial numbers.
In this volume Dick takes us
through his analysis and concludes that there were over 3000 different
automatic payout slot machines made over the last 100 years. (Does that
mean that Dick will have to come out with 26 more 100 Collectible Slot
Books?) Dick then reveals how he calculated how many machines each
manufacturer produced with numbers for many of the models we collect. If
you want to collect slots, then the information in Volume 3 will be
Volume 4 , once again discusses and pictures 100 more slots. One
of the most eye catching features of this volume is a 16 page, 4 color
reprint of the 1901 Albert Pick & Co. catalog featuring all the floor model
color wheel slots and counter cast iron trade stimulators that were popular
in that era.
Dick also provides an extensive discussion of collecting slot
machine paper collectibles: trade flyers, catalogues, advertising, trade
publications, and photos. It describes what's out there, what's in them and
how you go about collecting them. It even provides you a list of the 25
most desirable slot paper items and their estimated value.
Even though I 've
read these 4 volumes two or three times over the years, I'm always
surprised at how much I learn when I reread them. Like a good encycopedic
reference work, they'll never be out of date. Volume 1, was updated several years ago
These books are out of print, but you may find one by going to the: Out of Print Slot Machine Books web page
Copyright: 1996, Ken Durham
Slot Machines For Sale
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