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Circa 1963 Exhibit Card Vending Machine
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $470.00
Early 1960s Exhibit card vending machine is designed to dispense one card for two pennies. Produced by the Exhibit Supply Company, the countertop machine (10 x 11.5 x 30.5 inches) includes the colorful top panel marquee that reads "Big League Baseball-Pictures With Individual Records-Get 'Em Here 1 Card 2c." Within the glass-enclosed front panel is a window display featuring six circa 1963 Exhibit cards, which hopefully would entice youngsters to take their chance to try to get their favorite star. The cards featured in the window are Norm Cash, Art Mahaffey, Steve Barber, Ray Herbert, Ron Santo, and Joe Cunningham. While the machine implicitly advertises for the set featuring the Exhibit cards displayed in the window, these machines were intended to be used for many years, and it is likely this machine saw service in prior years as well. This is, however, a particularly interesting machine, as it is a very late model for Exhibit Supply Company machines. This can be seen not just from the cards in the window, and the style of the machine, but also because it is designed to accept two pennies for a single card, as opposed to one penny. Exhibit cards were traditionally sold for one penny each, from vending machines placed at arcades and amusement parks for more than four decades (from 1921 to the early 1960s). When the company fell on hard times in the early 1960s, they tried many strategies to stay afloat, most notably issuing cards in cello packs. Apparently, they also experimented with charging two cents for each card in their vending machines as well. These efforts were not successful, as the decline of the fortunes of the company accelerated, and the traditional Exhibit card sets finally ceased to be issued sometime in the mid 1960s. This machine is one of the last of its kind, a tangible reminder of the last days of The Exhibit Supply Company, one of the greatest, most important, and longest-running issuers of cards in history. The interior of this machine has been stocked with 119 reprint cards (produced in the early 1970s) from the "Baseball's Great Hall of Fame" Exhibit card series. The keys for both the front panel and interior coin receptacle are included with the machine. The cards on display can be changed if desired. The exterior displays heavy wear (commensurate with its age and years of former use) including minor abrasions, scratches and adhesive residue. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $470.00
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