Penny-in-the-Slot Automata and the Working Model

Hardback
Here, at last, is the first comprehensive guide to those ingenious amusements which have delighted visitors to the seaside, fairground or exhibition for over a century. The book features many of the unusual coin-operated models and tableaux built to entertain the public from the 1860s to the 1970s. The models are based on a variety of themes including haunted houses and churchyards (made for a time when people were more superstitious), drunkard scenes (to warn against the perils of heavy drinking), executions (when capital punishment was commonplace) plus laughing clowns, sailors, puppet-shows and miniature locomotives to name but a few. There are also chapters devoted to American machines (such as fortune-tellers and vendors) and mechanical music - the precursor to the modern jukebox. With over 200 colour illustrations, including many of the rarest surviving examples, plus a price guide, this unique book will be a comprehensive source of reference for automata and working-model enthusiasts, as well as collectors of penny-in-the-slot machines, mechanical music, toys and miniatures. The author has had several articles about penny-in-the-slot automata printed in the Antique Amusement Magazine and is currently in the process of establishing a dedicated working model exhibition in the North-West of England.