|By Jack Kelly
“This sunny weather is perfect,” said one dealer with a smile as he carted sale items into the Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center in Grayslake, Ill.
Good weather all three days greeted visitors from all over the U.S and multiple foreign countries who assembled for the semi-annual Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine and Jukebox Show on March 29-31. During recent previous shows weather conditions for a comparison, were “a mixed bag of good and bad and sometimes downright miserable,” according to one veteran dealer.
“I’ve been here 63 shows in a row, never missed one,” said John Pappa of the National Jukebox Exchange in Mayfield, N.Y. Although the dealer sets up to sell, he buys too, and quickly purchased “a very difficult to find all-original 1946 Wurlitzer 1080 jukebox” before the show “from a guy in a van parked next to me who had it laying on its side.” Although Pappa valued the 78 rpm record playing machine at $6,500, he chuckled and said it was “too nice to sell – I’m taking it home with me.” One jukebox Papa did offer for sale was a 1958 Seeburg model 162 that could play 80 45rpm records at your place for $4,000.
Once again, the largest display of the show was hosted by Bill Rawski, Zap Props of Chicago, sprawled more than 10 booths with coin-operated and vintage advertising items. Coke collectors stopped to gawk at his mint condition 7-foot-long die-cut 1950-60s cardboard foot-tall Coca-Cola “festoon.” The rarely seen piece illustrating Coke and vintage auto themes could hang at your place for $4,500. Toy collectors checked out his mint condition painted tin 1920s Gilbert Erector Set advertising display with die-cut windows displaying four different items from the famous toymaker. It could sit on your shelf for $6,000.
Rawski also announced he was exploring the idea of forming a “Coin Op & Advertising Dealer Association” to promote the hobby, and invites interested people to contact him via cell phone at 773-848-0120 for more information.
Frank Zygmunt Jr. of Westmond, Ill., filled several booths with vintage slot machines including a fancy mammoth upright 1910 wood and cast-iron Caillie Black Cat slot machine upright payout slot, with music box, for $90,000 — but Zygmunt called attention to a lesser priced machine. “I’ve seen most every slot machine over the years, but never this one” he said, pointing to a quarter play double Mills Bonus High Top slot that he called “ultra rare,” with a relatively modest price tag of $8,000.
Several tables and shelves of gambling and vending machines filled the booth of Jan Pursell of Herrin, Ill. Drawing lots of attention was an early 1900s cast-iron and wood countertop Mills Brownie slot featuring the famous Cox Brownie on the front, and a price tag of $4,000. Sitting nearby at the same price was a Royal Ace classic round globe cast iron base vender that Pursell called “only one of six known.”
“This one was featured in the 1950s movie, ’Quicksand’” said dealer Alex Warschaw pointing to a 5-foot-tall coin operated metal stand-on foot massage machine that he said could give you a treatment for a nickel — plus purchase price of $1,500. The Phoenix Ariz., dealer hung a “sold” sign on a countertop cast iron Bat-A-Penny top coin operated baseball machine tagged at $3,000.
Another coin operated baseball machine, this one an action filled 1972 Williams Line Drive pinball machine, gained lots of attention in the booth of Paul Reno, Home Game Room Supply, Franksville, Wis. Priced at $2,695, it was just one of the packed booth of pinball machines priced from $1,200 to $5,600 each, with “another 30-40 back at the shop,” according to Reno.
His wife Carrie, a special education teacher, took time away from the classroom to assist at the Chicagoland Show.
Life size re-created coin op arcade machines filled the booth of Bob Sossa of North Olmstead, Ohio. Many folks stopped to gawk at his 8-foot-tall oak and cast-iron penny operated Humpty Dumpty with cone shaped hat, priced at $4,500. Sossa estimated it took about 50 hours to create the device. Others checked out his standup tin nickel operated grip tester, which could test your strength at home for $850.
Glossy original vintage rec room machines that were restored to what some folks called “like new condition” were featured at the booth of Rod and Janet Heuerman of Fun-Tronics, Teutopolis, Ill. An ice chest type floor model 1940s Royal Crown Cola cooler could keep your beverages chilled for a cool $4,800. And snacks could be served at your home from a 10-cent coin operated floor model dome top 1950s T & C Co. old fashioned popcorn stand, priced at $3,400. For a more moderate wallet the couple had items priced at $125 and up.
Several dozen popcorn items were featured by Marque Popcorn Co. of Rockford, Ill. Joe Verace and Christine Schneider showed off poster-size framed copies of famous popcorn box advertising they termed “home décor wall art,” priced from $85 to $175 each. The couple also pointed with pride to their re-created 1910 era brand new 62-inch-tall powder coated metal and glass fully operational “Mr Delish” popcorn maker priced at $1,750. The couple said a buyer could take it home from the show, or they could ship the machine anywhere in the country for $145.
Vintage toy collectors were drawn to the booth of Keith Miller of New Franklin, Ohio who offered select goodies. “I love my toys,” said the dealer pointing to a 1934 Daisy Buck Rogers 10-long-pistol with holster that he said was “the first space toy made” ready to draw and shoot anywhere for $400. Other shoppers checked out his 1954 Nichols Toy Co., 30-inch-long cast metal and plastic Fury 500 cap-shooting machine gun — yours for $500.
The Chicagoland show usually hosts many offbeat items, and this show was no exception. Samples included a stunning condion1920s woman’s life-size wax head with real stitched-in-hair and glass eyes, thought to have been used in a stand-up fortune telling machine, priced at $2,000.
“She has thicker hair than I do,” joked dealer Jo Addie, Somewhere In Time Antiques of La Grange Park, Ill. At the same spot, jewelry collectors could checked out hundreds of 1920s Deco/Nouveau Czech items ready to wear home for $135 to $465 each.
As in years past, chatter from the crowd came in many languages as foreign buyers converged on the show to purchase items to take home. One of the largest contingents was a group of six from San Pedro, Brazil who said they purchased jukeboxes and advertising signs that are popular items back home.
Shoppers who entered the show during dealer set-up on Friday paid $50 admission for a full three-day pass, while more frugal visitors paid $7 for a single daily admission, or $11 for a two-day pass on Saturday and Sunday.
The fall Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine & Jukebox Show will again be held at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center, Grayslake Ill., Nov. 15,16 and 17.
Dealers can get information from co-promoter Bob Traynoff at 1-847-244-9263. Show information is available from co-promoter Kevin Greco at 1-815-353-1593 and at www.chicagolandshow.com.