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Circa 1930 Jennings "Grandstand" Five-Cent Trade Stimulator
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,972.00
This baseball slot machine features three wheels, each depicting five symbols: glove, bat, ball, catcher's mask, and baseball diamond. The insertion of five cents allows the user one pull on the lever, the goal being to line up three identical symbols in a row. A chart on the front of the machine lists how many points or "runs" are credited for each different match. When a match is hit, a number of tokens (corresponding to the "runs" on the chart) would then be released from the machine. These machines were referred to as "trade stimulators" and were used by store owners to generate revenue for their businesses. They were, in fact, gambling machines, and this example is one of the earliest and most sought-after models. The manner in which the manufacturer, and store owners, circumvented the prohibition against gambling was by allowing the machine to dispense a gum ball (by means of a button on the left) with each pull of the wheel, thus actually giving the user something for his money. What the patrons really wanted, however, was to hit a match on the wheel and receive tokens, which they would later trade in to the store owner for cash (usually under the table). Prized by coin-op collectors as well as baseball collectors, this machine is a classic which can still be enjoyed as intended, and which tells a story of early gambling and commerce. The irony of baseball's longstanding and stormy relationship with gambling provides an additional dimension of interest. Manufactured by O.D. Jennings & Company of Chicago, Illinois. The machine is in perfect working order with the three rare original baseball reels. Some very minor paint chipping is evident. A very attractive and rarely offered example of this early baseball trade stimulator. Metal and glass construction. Dimensions: 11.75 x 8 x 15.75 inches. Excellent condition. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $1,972.00
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