Brice Williams, Kokomo, IN, c. 1921, 18 1/2". This is similar to the Master, but based on the patent dates it predates the Master by a couple of years. This has an interesting design. Put a penny in, turn the handle clockwise, and it vends a small portion. Put a nickel in, turn the handle counterclockwise, and a large portion comes out. With most Brice Williams, however, no portion is vended---most examples have frozen mechanisms or parts and don't work. You can't even budge the handle on them!
This example is bare aluminum except for the green porcelain cup. I used to believe that the original color was some shade of green, but I've seen several bare aluminum Brice Williams and now question whether it was also available that way. I've seen a few with original paint, so I do know it was available painted. The castings are not uniformly smooth, so to a route guy the bare aluminum wouldn't have been as attractive as a painted version.
This has a Columbus slug rejector that takes a penny or a nickel. The "Columbus" identification has been ground off the rejector's face. I used to think that a Columbus penny-or-nickel slug rejector was an unusual feature on a Brice Williams, but by now (in 2013) I've seen others as well. In fact, Brice Williams are pretty scarce machines so I'd guess that I've seen fewer than a dozen in 20 years, but three-quarters of the ones I have seen have had this same type of slug rejector (and as an aside, the only place I've seen penny-and-nickel slug rejectors have been on Brice Williams machines). The rest have a straight vertical gooseneck like the one pictured in Silent Salesmen Too. I was told that a vendor added the slug rejectors to his machines, and that makes complete sense to me. Is that's true, it would tell us that most Brice Williams were run on the same route, and would explain why so few seem to still exist. I'm not sure how well the slug rejectors did their job since they took two sizes of coins, but as a collector it's a neat variation.
This example is 100% original except for the decals and the slug rejector, which (as mentioned) is almost certainly a vendor modification. The body may have once been painted but is now bare metal.
©Small Vintage Vending 2003