Bell-Fruit Games Ltd

Started by Figleaf, November 13, 2011, 09:09:02 PM

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bhx7

#60
So I have been steadily collating the Bell Fruit tokens with 57 types at the moment.
Here are a few of my latest ones. All are different. Could anyone give me the Hayes number for the B in circle brass variety. I think I must be looking straight past it in the books.

Thanks
Brian

Quick Edit for clarity; Note the 2 "E" types in brass, Hayes has the initial one as 49.26, both vertical and horizontal lines to "G" both sides. However, the one I have labelled 49.26V on the reverse the back of the central "E" points to "H" of NOTTINGHAM on all the others it points to "G". I have the same feature on the cu-ni types as well. Not sure if this has been noted but I haven't seen it.

bhx7


Figleaf

The font on the second E token looks smaller and bolder to me. This is clearest in the Ltd. part, where all the elements have grown together, but in general, there is less space between all letters in order to make them fit the circle.

The letters remind me of Swedish entertainment tokens, but it is of course also possible that the Swedish park bosses took the idea from Bell Fruit. The company seems to have had a presence in Sweden.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

FosseWay

Yes, as discussed further up the thread, the Bell-Fruit tokens with denomination 50 were intended for the Scandinavian market as 50 öre/øre. Since many of the lettered tokens are of the same size, they may well have been used here as well.

However, they are something of an outlier in terms of Scandinavian machine tokens (this may be deliberate). Most Endast för förströelse amusement machine tokens in Sweden are roughly 23-25 mm (24.3 mm if made by Sporrong). The common Danish equivalents recall the size (and often the hole) of the postwar 25 øre coin, again 23-ish mm.

I suspect any similarity in font is coincidental. Token use for one-armed bandits and similar machines was already well engrained in Scandinavia before Bell-Fruit was founded (1963 I think Malcolm said way back at the start of this thread).

africancoins

Brian,
     I have a pair for Hayes-49.26 as per the pair you show above for Hayes-49.27. I just have one piece for Hayes-49.27.

The type Hayes-49.18 is an "Alloy" type according to Hayes. The piece you show for Hayes-49.18 above is actually Brass so it is not Hayes-49.18. Some of the pieces listed for this issuer as "Alloy" are Copper-Nickel and some are Nickel-plated-Brass or similar.

The type with a "B" in a circle on each side is not listed in the book or the supplements by Hayes, therefore it was a good find.

Thanks Mr Paul Baker

bhx7

Quote from: africancoins on January 16, 2023, 08:52:32 PMThe type Hayes-49.18 is an "Alloy" type according to Hayes. The piece you show for Hayes-49.18 above is actually Brass so it is not Hayes-49.18. Some of the pieces listed for this issuer as "Alloy" are Copper-Nickel and some are Nickel-plated-Brass or similar.

The type with a "B" in a circle on each side is not listed in the book or the supplements by Hayes, therefore it was a good find.

Thanks Paul, I had totally missed that the C in circle was brass, I mean I knew - but it didn't register. Can't find this one anywhere yet, so undocumented. As for the brass B in circle I did notice I couldn't find it in Hayes or in Malcolms Supplement X, but I did find it on Machinetokens.com as Bell03-150 entered by Henk.

I am going through all my Bell Fruit tokens and rescanning them so they are all uniform. Starting to see other differences as I am going.

Thanks
Brian

andyg

#66
Back in 2013 Malcolm [malj1] bought a collection of Machine Tokens - ex-Dudley Deaver,  DNW would not ship overseas as they claimed the lot was too large.  It actually just needed repackaging - so I arrange a courier to collect it.  In amongst the many machine tokens were 13 folders of "rubbings" and lots of bits of information.  I scanned the documentation and emailed it to Malcolm as I thought it too good for it to go missing in the post,  thanks to the good people at Microsoft keeping a copy of the emails I sent all these years I still have them...
Much of this information (as far as I am aware) never made it to Mals site.

Malcolm wrote the following at the time;
QuoteI now realise there is information I should have given you regarding the contents. Two people had started this project back around 1978 [David Sealy and P. Wood]  with a request in coins & medals and they started publishing items in TCS bulletin around the same time. At the the third installment this Dudley Deaver arrived on the scene and seems to have taken over; with his supplements to the catalogue added in that section. One section contained images [this I don't have] so this would be the reason for the photos you mention. I have obtained a lot of the back copies but am missing quite a few. The scan of these pages can be seen here [a zip file] in my Dropbox of those parts that I do have. So these three people with help from other members compiled what you have.

In the meantime Ralph Hayes with help from his friend Brian Hennem, who sadly died suddenly, along with a different set of TCS members, had been working away independently to this and he published his book British Machine Tokens in 1986. I don't know what happened but Dudley Deaver and the other two people disappeared from the scene during the gap in TCS bulletins that I have. Sour grapes? Possibly. Anyway this work seems to have been left in limbo since that time and presumably Dudley Deaver has now departed this world. I may be able to read more into it when I have studied the paperwork. No sign of any of the three as members of the TCS since that time and 1984 when I joined. there had been a hiatus since 1978.

Dudley had this to say about the "50" tokens mentioned -

QuoteThere are two types, one brass and one copper-nickel.
Introduced in 1970, made by Bell-Fruit for export in their machines to Sweden.  Face value 50 Ore.  Found in circulation in the UK due to thefts by dock workers of the tokens in transit.


The lettered tokens;
QuoteIntroduced 1966, withdrawn 1968.  Made by Bell-Fruit for their silver tankard fruit machines.  The letters designated various areas of the country and were intended as identification devices much as serial numbers are used as jackpot tokens.  "A" probably stands for the London area, J was the last letter used.  It is not known why H&I were not used.

There were specimens of "A", "C" and "D" in circles - but they didn't have the "B"

The disposal of Malcolms collection is a classic way of how not to do it.
The documentation was lost, the tokens shipped in bulk to an auction house that didn't understand or care what they were and sold them in bulk lots without descriptions.  No doubt they attained a fraction of their true value.
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

bhx7

Quote from: andyg on January 17, 2023, 12:12:33 AMBack in 2013 Malcolm [malj1] bought a collection of Machine Tokens - ex-Dudley Deaver,  DNW would not ship overseas as they claimed the lot was too large.  It actually just needed repackaging - so I arrange a courier to collect it.  In amongst the many machine tokens were 13 folders of "rubbings" and lots of bits of information.  I scanned the documentation and emailed it to Malcolm as I thought it too good for it to go missing in the post,  thanks to the good people at Microsoft keeping a copy of the emails I sent all these years I still have them...

Andy, thank you so much for that amazing info. I would love to see the scans. I find the whole field fascinating. I only wish I had come into the token field much sooner, having previously being an avid pre-decimal coin collector.

Thanks
Brian

bhx7

Quote from: africancoins on January 16, 2023, 08:52:32 PMBrian,
     I have a pair for Hayes-49.26 as per the pair you show above for Hayes-49.27. I just have one piece for Hayes-49.27.

Paul, I have spares of both types of the Hayes - 49.27. Happy to send you the one you don't have.

Thanks
Brian

andyg

Brian - what do you plan to do with your images once scanned?

We have the following -
Item : 3 collectors who collect them and lots of scans of actual tokens.
Item : Scans (rubbings) of the Dudley Deaver Collection and associated info collected at the time the tokens were in use.
Item : Malj1's webpage (we don't have the password to access this so it will disappear sometime if we don't copy it first )
Item : a website where we can create something http://www.worldofcoins.eu/wiki/Index_by_Subject

What I don't have is adequate knowledge of the series to know where to start.
I gather they are listed in Hayes - is it worth using that order?
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

bhx7

Hi Andy

I keep a record of all my collection's and have them broken down into a number of groups, Machine tokens being one, North East Tokens being another and so on. I arrange them with an image, accompanied by diameter/size, thickness, weight and material then any specific features. I break each section down again into family groups; named companies, linked companies, miscellaneous, etc.. Each section normally has a history attached and any extra research I have done.

The images create a major part of my cataloguing process. As for what I do with images after that, I am very happy for them to be shared, as long as a basic attribution is made, like in W.O.T. where I have been happy to allow any of my photo's to be added to the database. I haven't had loads of time so adding to the W.O.T. pages myself hasn't been something I have done.

I have used Mals Machine Tokens reference webpage many times, as a picture speaks a thousand words as they say. It is a massive shame that the webpage cannot be saved. Can the web-host not help?

As for the Bell-Fruit series, it is exceptional for this type of token series. Hayes and Mal noting at least 119 between them. I know of at least another 8 varieties and types on top of that, so obviously others collectors have probably also found others as well.

As for order, I have ordered mine in Letters first A-J, then denomination lowest to highest, then specials such as Jackpots, etc. I try to keep away from complex systems, although I do still use Hayes numbers as a reference, where applicable. The guys from Machinetokens.com have done a good job of trying to simplify the numbering. But like Hayes and most numbering systems, new finds are given numbers out of sequence. Its always going to be hard.

I am happy to share any of my images to any database you would like. The more we get the information out there and openly catalogue, the greater the shared knowledge, not just for now but for collectors who come after us. Also at the moment these tokens are very underated, but they do give a good look into the way machines have evolved and also social trends, both good and bad. As a local historian the use of tokens to show a small glimpse of our social and economic history over the past 100 years is invaluable. This is the reason I started The North East Token Project, although an a much broader scale than machine tokens and taking on much great social and local historic themes.

I find research and learning about the hobby to be extremely rewarding and I am always trying to increase my knowledge. The great thing about all forms of numismatic's, you can always learn something new. Always the Student...

Thanks
Brian

FosseWay

I don't have as many Bell tokens as either Malcolm did or Brian seems to, but even with a small collection there seems to be quite a good chance of finding new variants. I'm happy to pitch in all my scans to whatever project comes of this. The same goes for any other tokens we want to give the same treatment to.

It's quite hard to know how to start cataloguing a series like this. I can't remember how Hayes does it, but simply the fact that Hayes (and Malcolm's supplements) already exists is as good a reason to use that as a starting point. For my own collection, I tend to sort machine tokens by the following order of criteria:

1. Issuer (alphabetical by surname or first significant word)
2. Denomination in money (lowest to highest, £sd before decimal)
3. Other "denominations" (like the Bell lettered tokens; I use the same system for co-op tokens and similar, and "Bread" comes here)
4. Others (alphabetical by some form of notable word, like "Jackpot" or "Prize", and then by size, smallest to largest, for otherwise similar tokens)

Obviously there's quite a lot of room for more than one interpretation of the right order here, especially in the last category.

As to saving Malcolm's work on his website, the quick and dirty thing to do is screengrab everything so at least we have a record. It would take longer to cut and paste text and save each picture, but this is also doable. I'm less sure of the ethics/legality of doing either.

Figleaf

As you may know, I am Dutch. The Dutch are known for being blunt, crude, boorish, direct and in-your-face all at the same time, so I have an excuse for this post. Here is what andyg would have written if he had been Dutch, rather than British:

Hey Brian, I smell an opportunity. How about setting up a WoT section on UK entertainment tokens. I know my way around the Wikipedia software, you have plenty of pictures and good background information. I can set it up for you if you are willing to fill it in. You can count on my help and support and as a bonus,

I also have good extra information from Malcolm for you. Can you help with some scans from Hayes, so I can think of a good structure for the section? Your suggestions are of course also welcome.

So let's just start this, shall we?

 :)  >:D  ;)

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

bhx7

Quote from: Figleaf on January 18, 2023, 02:43:27 PMAs you may know, I am Dutch. The Dutch are known for being blunt, crude, boorish, direct and in-your-face all at the same time, so I have an excuse for this post. Here is what andyg would have written if he had been Dutch, rather than British:

Hey Brian, I smell an opportunity. How about setting up a WoT section on UK entertainment tokens. I know my way around the Wikipedia software, you have plenty of pictures and good background information. I can set it up for you if you are willing to fill it in. You can count on my help and support and as a bonus,

I also have good extra information from Malcolm for you. Can you help with some scans from Hayes, so I can think of a good structure for the section? Your suggestions are of course also welcome.

So let's just start this, shall we?

 :)  >:D  ;)

Peter

Hi Peter, very used to the Dutch ways. My father lived and worked in Holland for 17 years. I have a lot on but can try and see what I can do. I will scan the relevant pages. Send me your email via PM and will get those to you ASAP. I will keep scanning all my tokens and start getting them ready to go.

I can't promise how and when I will be able to do it but happy to give it a go when I can. ;)

Brian

Figleaf

Thank you Brian! You are now officially a hero of WoC. @andyg: your move.

 :rock:

I am elegantly and according to plan passing you on to andyg, who is the real mover and shaker behind the scenes of WoT. I am dead certain you two can work wonders in your sleep.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.