Pack-It Shop

Venitor Corp., Detroit, MI, c. 1930's, 17 1/2". I love art deco, but I hadn't looked twice at the picture of this model in Silent Salesmen Too and couldn't understand why anyone else would. I found out later---first from Bill Enes and then from the machine's owner---that it looks even worse live than it does in the book. Hard to believe, but the picture in the book is the enhanced version.

Then one day at the Chicagoland show I was walking by a table and there sat this one. My heart fluttered and then calmed as I saw that no one else was around. Unfortunately, that included the dealer, who was out getting another load from his truck. So I waited, trying to appear nonchalant, but wishing this guy would get back to his booth before the line started forming behind me, which I knew would happen Any Minute if he didn't get back here right NOW! So I waited, and when he got back he named a price that was fair, but which I'd been hoping would be lower. I hemmed and hawed a bit---this was long ago, when I was younger and more foolish and didn't realize that you can't do that without some risk---and then realized that some guys were hovering around the edges of the dealer's booth, waiting for me to Make the Wrong Move. But I didn't; I paid the gentlemen, talked to him for awhile, and then walked away with my prize.

Part of my problem that day, and the reason for my hemming and hawing, was that by the time I saw this I'd spent all the money I'd brought to spend that weekend. However, I had an Emergency Stash tucked away in my Emergency Stash Pocket (you've got one of those, don't you?), and loathe as I was to get into it, I was more loathe to walk away without the machine. I made the smart move that day, which I've been known to not do other days.

This machine is considered rare. I've seen a couple of others, but only one of them had its original paint and an intact globe. The others were repainted or had air-conditioned globes. The machine is made of tin, I think, and has the very thick, elaborate globe that you can see above. The lid doesn't lock, which I've always found strange, but instead it screws down by the large knob on top of the lid.

This example is 100% original.



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