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Some Interesting Trade Stimulators

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
During my neverending search for Bagatelle images, I sometimes run across some oddities. Just last night a found five Trade Stimulators I'd like to share with y'all. I think I'm fascinated by these gadgets because although I know they were impossible to win at, I probably still would've been suckered in. So here's info on the first, and the image.

1931 Pacific Amusements Malrboro. Pacific Amusements is best know for creating the first Pin game to use electricity, "Contact" in 1933. Before the creation of Contact, Pacific Amusements produced Trade Stimulators for use in bars etc. This is a very rare 1931 Pacific Amusements Marblo trade stimulator. A patron inserts five cents into the coin slot and the coin slides to a window below so that the operator can verify a real coin was used. The patron then push's in the mechanical button attached to the slide and rotates a knob on the right side of the machine and selects a number from 2 to 12. Simultaneously, a small ball is placed on a pedestal which will fall off and indicate a "tilt" of the machine if the patron attempts to move it. When the button is released, the selected number is locked in place and two dice are sent tumbling below the glass. If the dice end up with the number the patron selected, face up, the operator would payout based on a chart printed on the machine.

tiltjlp
 

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tiltjlp

PN co-founder
2nd one

1938 Mills Kounter King. Monty Hall and Let's make a deal, circa 1938! This trade stimulator allows for varying payback odd's depending on how much risk the player is willing to take. A penny is inserted and the handle is pulled, spinning 5 wheels. Shutters cover wheels 3, 4 and 5. Wheel 1 and 2 are exposed and if the numbers match, the player win's a 2 to 1 payback. However, they can now 'go for the curtain' and push a button revealing whats on reel number 3. If it doesn't match, the player loses and the game is over. If it does match, the player can accept a 6 to 1 payback, or risk it all and go for reel number 4! Again, if reel 4 doesn't match, the player loses everything. If it does match, a 20 to 1 payback is offered, or the player can opt to go to reel number 5. If reel number 5 doesn't match, all is lost. If it does match, a whopping 60 to 1 payback has been earned by the brave player. A gumball is dispensed after each play whether the player win's or loses. This game is extremely well built and was very popular.

tiltjlp
 

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tiltjlp

PN co-founder
#3

I suppose Trade Stimulators were the original Loss Leaders. The bar owner figured, and rightly so, that these gizmos somehow spurred the sales of beer and snacks.

1940's Groetchen Imp. This machine is known as a 'trade stimulator' They were similar to slot machines in that they have three spinning reels. However, they have no payout and were thus legal in places where slots were not. This machine has cigarette label symbols on the reels. During play, when three like brans lined up, the customer won their choice of smokes from the operator. In addition, each penny play dispenses a gumball inorder to maintain the illusion of no gambling. Imp has a metal flap which flips over the reels and has a radio dial printed on the other side making the machine look very much like a small radio to unknowing authorities.

tiltjlp
 

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tiltjlp

PN co-founder
Just two left

1940's Penny Drop Game. Coin drop games are very simple. A player drops their coin in a slot where it then falls by gravity down the playfield striking pin's which randomize it's trajectory. If the coin lands in a particular target, the player win's. Otherwise the game simply keeps the coin and the player can try again. In this game, the goal is to get the coin to land in the clowns mouth. If it's a miss, the coin falls into a coin box inside. If it lands in the mouth, it is held in place to show a win until released by a wooden push button on top. These were very popular in bar's where patrons would insert their spare change. Win's were shown to the proprieter who would then payout a win as either a free drink or a cash prize (usually five or ten cents on a penny machine). many variations of coin drops were produced throughout the years including ones that had actual jackpot's which could be made to payout when a coin landed in a target. This one is my favorite.

tiltjlp
 

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tiltjlp

PN co-founder
And finally

1957 Twico dice machine. This trade stimulator accepts a penny, then spin's a turntable tumbling 5 dice with playing card images on them. The resultant poker hand was then paid off appropriately by the operator of the establishment. To keep things looking legal, several 'fortunes' are described on the glass for certain poker hands. In addition, a ball of gum is dispensed after each play.

tiltjlp
 

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