Amusement Machines (Paperback)

By Lynn F. Pearson

Shire Publications, 9780747801795, 32pp.

Publication Date: April 20, 2010



Penny slot machines are evocative of seaside holidays and Edwardian amusements, although most have now disappeared from the pier arcades into museums or private collections. They were jolly, colorful and inventive examples of craftsmanship and specifically designed to entertain, amuse - and part customers from their money. Gambling machines, which appeared later, introduced Art Deco styling and raised both the stakes and the prizes; pinball machines were ablaze with decoration.

This book tells the story of amusement machines, from the first mutoscopes showing 'What the Butler Saw' and working models raising specters in the 'Haunted House', to fruit and pinball machines. In between came the vast range of wall machines, which used to line the amusement arcades, many based on the principles of metal balls dropping into winning cups, and of sporting games, from table football to golf machines. The author describes and illustrates the development of amusement machines and lists places where they may be seen today.

About the Author

Lynn F. Pearson is an architectural historian and photographer specializing in research on unheralded structures from seaside architecture to multi-storey car parks and mausoleums. She has published fourteen books including three in the Shire Library series.