Distributeur Automatique

Maker unknown, c. 1940's (est), xx". The name I attached to this isn't very clever---it's French for "automatic distributor"---but it's cast into the front of the machine so it's the most accurate name I could come up with.

This is a S.A.F.D.A. with a different globe---a much different globe. Put a quarter in and pull the lever, and a gumball is dispensed at the same time the 3 reels on the left face of the globe spin around and then stop. I'm sure the machine wasn't made to take quarters, but either the size of the quarter mimics the size of the coin it was designed to take, or it's been altered sometime since its birth.

I liked this machine the instant I saw it sitting on a shelf at the Chicagoland show in 2006, but I didn't see the reels. When I asked the dealer how much the machine was, he stated a number that I thought stretched the top end a bit far. When I questioned the price, he said "it's got everything; it's different, it's original, it vends, and it's got the gambling." Gambling? I went to the machine and looked more closely, and saw the reels as soon as I turned the machine. Ahhhhh, now it made sense! So I bought it before anyone else saw it, and considered myself lucky for being in the right place at the right time.

The base and globe are made of thick cast aluminum. The machine weighs a ton and is top heavy. The long lever looks homemade, but I'm sure it's not. The S.A.F.D.A. has a conventional short aluminum lever cast into the vending wheel, but a customer would have trouble reaching that given the overhang of the globe on this machine. The long lever was a necessary adaptation that I'm sure is original to the machine, but it still looks like it was done later.

This example is 100% original and works well.



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