Early Inventions

  • Automatic Crystal Parlor Fountains
    Based on a pneumatic principle by physicist Heron of Alexandria in AD 62, the Automatic Crystal Fountain combines beauty with captivating geyser-like fountain using no apparent motive power.
  • John Gabel: Immigrant Achieving the American Dream
    John Gabel: His personal account of immigrating to America, overcoming great odds; his role creating the gaming machines that fueled the early growth of the Mills Novelty Company (the Klondyke, Monte Carlo, Kalamazoo and The Owl). Then in 1897 he started his own company, the Automatic Machine & Tool Company, inc. rising to success creating and selling coin-op gambling, music and automatic vending machines.
  • Pelstar, LLC: 91 Years evolution of the Health o meter Doctors beam scale; Rick Crandall, Executive Chairman.
    Pelstar, LLC: 97 Years of evolution from the original invention of the Health o meter™ doctor’s beam scale. In 2016 Pelstar was honored with the Private Company Board of the Year Award, growing at triple the market rate and achieving top market share in the Americas while practicing exceptional Board and Company governance. Rick Crandall, Executive Chairman
  • Cash Register History
    James Ritty invention of the cash register 1878; Incorruptible Cashier; Cash Recording Machine first cash register; National Cash Register Company (NCR) founded by John Patterson, history of marketing; Thomas Watson Sr. fired from NCR, founded IBM based on International Time Recording Company & Computer-Tabulating-Recording; Rick Crandall and Sam Robins authors. Out of print but some available: Purchase at https://www.rickcrandall.net/shop-3/
  • The Caille Silver Cup – A Break from the 3-Reelers
    Created by Charles Fey circa 1907 and followed by Caille in 1911, both seeking a departure from the onslaught of 3-reel slot machines. Fancy graphics and interesting play kept this machine in the lineup for over a decade.
  • The DOMINO – A Blend of European Design and American Taste for Mechanized Entertainment
    The Domino is a payout gambling machine that was invented by an Englishman, based in France, manufactured in Germany and sold mainly for the U.S. market in the 1920’s.
  • Uncle Sam in Machine Art – the Caille Uncle Sam Arcade Strength Tester
    The origins of the famous Uncle Sam national imagery and how it made its way into Arcade machine “art.” The very rare Caille and Howard Uncle Sam coin-operated strength tester machines.
  • Invention in San Francisco: 80 Years before Silicon Valley
    The 1890's: Pioneering risk-takers defined by the California Gold Rush; battle-tested by the 1906 earthquake; Charlie Fey invents the Liberty Bell slot machine creating an industry that persists to this day.
  • Penny Arcade – Mills Arcade
    Caille coin-op machines; player pianos; coin-operated gambling; trade stimulators; Automatic Chime Bells; Toledo Orchestrion; Berliner Multiphone; music boxes;
  • Boyer Coin-Op Museum
    1930’s Alden Scott Boyer created Chicago Coin Club and the Chicago Coin Device Museum; first coin-op machines museum; roll-operated musical instruments; player piano; coin-operated machines; perforated roll music; pneumatic mechanisms; collecting coin-op machines; Svoboda’s Nickelodeon Tavern