Register to attend our live meetings.

Main Menu

Sparks Amusements.

Started by bagerap, October 31, 2012, 01:10:02 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I've not seen this obverse before.
Brass. 23 mm, 3.9 gr.


I think I have that one... and the other day I got the one with 5 (smaller) stars. Not too easy to find though.

Thanks Mr Paul Baker


A prize token from a Sparks machine, one star denoting one pack of cigarettes; that with 5 stars - for five packs of cigarettes. Cigarettes could not be mentioned in the UK but the US types had the cigarette reverse.

Probably issued from a Sparks machine.

This machine reads 'Samson Sparks Baby'
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


Thanks Malcolm. I don't remember this type of machine, any idea of the date?


This is basically a Groetchen Tool & Mfg Co 'Ginger' slot machine type trade stimulator originating in the USA, dating from the mid - late 1930's. These machines were used where real gambling slot machines were against the law. They got around the law by only giving out a token if you lined up 3 matching reels which then got you a free packet of cigarettes or a drink at the bar. this one is badged as a 'Samson Sparks Baby' By the mid 1930's Samson had become a huge company but they suffered a blow when the UK outlawed gambling machines. In 1937 Jack Holloway died and his eldest son took over the running of the company quickly becoming the importer of Groetchen Tool & Mfg Co machines to the UK. This would seem to be the approximate date of this rebadged machine - tying in with the change of the gambling laws in the UK and gaining the distribution of Groetchen machines.
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


One I got today. I initially thought it was a Samson Novelty Piece.

Hayes 354.1
Dia: 22.7mm
Thk: 1.2mm