O.D. Jennings and Co., Chicago, IL, c. 1926. This is a "target game" that Jennings called "The Target." Quite creative, dontcha think? Target games were common in the 1920's and 30's, and many manufacturers got into the game. Jennings and Mills were 2 of the biggest. Cases could be wood, aluminum, or cast iron, and the graphics differed between manufacturers. Overall, the differences between games was usually minor.
The basic layout of all target games was similar---put a penny into the coin slot and then hit the coin into the playing field. The playing field contained pins that knocked the coin around until it fell into one of the slots on the bottom. Your prize was determined by which slot it fell into, with the center giving the smallest prize---often times just gum---and prizes getting progressively better as slots approached the sides. Hit the far right slot and you'd win a Brand New Car! No, I'm kidding about that, but from the picture above it looks like you might win a nickel! It's surprising how tough it is to get the penny into one of those side slots---it's like the center slot is attached to a powerful vaccuum that just sucks the coin toward it. I wonder how much R&D went into finding just the right pin configuration to minimize the payout.
The example above is made of cast aluminum and is 100% original except for perhaps touch-up to the paint on the front panel. It looks original to me but an expert in these said he thought it'd been touched up at some point in its life. The paper label on the right is in mint condition, and the playing field has all its pins. I imagine that's not always the case.
©Small Vintage Vending 2003-2009