|By Jack Kelly
ST. CHARLES, Ill. —After more than 30 years at the Pheasant Run Resort, the Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine and Juke Box Show will be moving to a new home in the fall. The three-day event, which ended on April 8 was the last one at the old location.
The twice-yearly show will be heading 42 miles north to the Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center in Grayslake, Ill., in the fall. The show&squo;s promoters said they were notified that the ballroom would no longer be available because of a heavy booking of weddings and special events, which markedly shrinks available booth rental spaces.
The Grayslake facility features 62,000 square feet which is bigger than the Pheasant Run location.
Once again, the largest amount of floor space was taken up by Bill Rawski of Zap Props of Chicago, who estimated he offered “a quarter-million dollars of goodies filling 10 booths.”
Many shoppers stopped to gawk at his restored 7-foot-long tin framed Evinrude Outboard Motors neon sign, which could light up your life for $35,000. Those with more subdued interests checked out his 1880-1890s brass and zinc construction eagle with 5-foot wingspan rescued from an Ohio Oddfellows Lodge building priced at $5,500.
Barrington, Ill., dealer Mike Hasanov, of Vintage Coin-op Restorations, spread out across multiple booths to display oversize coin-op machines. They included a pair of rare nickel-operated 5½ foot-long, 48-inch-tall wood and cast-iron 1929-30s arcade machines, which were discovered at the same spot where they had been stored for 89 years. The games were Play Golf, a sports challenge game, and Play the Derby, a horse race theme machine. The pair was priced at $35,000.
Still another horse race machine, this one a 12-by-20-inch glass and wood countertop penny-operated device, was offered by Keith and Tammie Stelter of Buchanan, Mich. “It&squo;s a really fun contraption. It was made by a men&squo;s suspender manufacturing company in Hastings, Mich., during World War II” said Keith and it had a very short production run. It could spin and run races at your place for one penny – plus $3,000. The Stelters are advertising thermometer collectors and offered examples priced from $5 to $500 each.
A stunning hand-carved dark wood and etched glass 5-foot-tall 1942 light-up Wurlitzer Victory jukebox took “one and a half months to restore,” according to dealer Tim Walker of Raymond, Wis., who said it sold at the Chicagoland Show for $6,500. At the same spot, also sold was an all original light-up Wurlitzer Model 600 jukebox, also a 24- selection player, priced at $2,000.
“Most of the stuff is sold, and I took over 20 orders,” said Dan Cooney, Cooney Island, Antiques of Tustin, Calif., looking over an expanse of multiple booths filled with Coca-Cola items. Pristine restored Coke vending machines were priced from $6,500 to $10,000, surrounded by other items with the famous soft drink name.
Slot machine collectors hovered around the booth of Frank Zygmunt Jr., of Westmont, Ill., where his usual selection of dozens of examples were on display, along with other coin-operated machines, priced from $800 to $50,000 each. Many people admired his fancy countertop cast-iron and carved wood Imperial “shock machine” which offered a “treatment” of medicinal help for just one penny. The oddball battery powered device, featuring the illustration of a pretty 1915 maiden&squo;s face under glass on the front was priced at $9,000.
A group of six different 60-inch-tall Watling penny-operated porcelain scales — each with a soda pop flavor name neon sign added to the top were available from Jeff Storck of Round Hill, Va. He said the rectangular glass-faced tin boxes topping the scale heads originally housed printed advertising, but Storck got the idea to replace them with neon signs. He said it took 8 to 10 hours to restore each one and he priced them at $3,950 each.
Otto Dorris drove 12 hours from his home in Bixby, Okla., to show off an oddball 14-inch-tall cast iron Menominee “bankers fan” with vertical blades that directed the flow down to the desk. The contraption could “cool your cash” for $2,800. Still another spinner at the same spot, a 1913 tin spinner sign with oval shaped advertising on both sides and measuring 14-by 16-inches, was priced at $3,500.
Rick and Jaci Englert have visited the Chicagoland show as shoppers 30 times, but in April they returned to set up and sell, traveling 1,800 miles from their home in Spokane, Wash. Rick pointed with pride to a restored penny-operated 1930s Caille trade stimulator with gumball feature and priced at $1,500. At the same spot sat an 18-inch-long pressed steel toy truck advertising Wrigley&squo;s Gum which could sit on the mantel at your place for $900.
As the show ended, Rick said with a smile, “I&squo;ll do it again. I had a great time.”
The upcoming fall show dates are Nov. 16 –18.
For more information call (847) 244-9263 or visit www.chicagolandshow.com.