Simpson Vendor

R. D. Simpson Co., Columbus, OH, c. 1930, 14" (left example, with larger globe). This model is a 1 cent vendor made of nickel- or chrome-plated cast iron or brass. Visible variations involve the coin slot, base, gate, baseplate, and finish. You can see some of these variations in Silent Salesmen Too, page 174, on the two machines pictured in the bottom row, left side. The most common variation involves the base and baseplate. The bases on the machines pictured above have different contours along the bottom, and the base on the right is indented behind and below the gate while the base on the left is not. The baseplate on the left machine is secured to a center rod with a wing nut under the baseplate, and the wing nut is kept from turning by a small padlock that goes through a raised hole near the wing nut. You can see the set-up here. The machine on the right has a slot in back through which fits a loop attached to the baseplate, and a lock passes through the loop and secures the baseplate to the base. That one you can see here (along with a reflection of the tripod holding the camera that took the picture, unnoticed by the photographer at the time---I'd fire that guy if he didn't work for free). About three-quarters of the Simpson Vendors I've seen have the base shown on the right. Most have the triangular coin slot pictured above, but I've seen at least one with the same coin entry present on most Derby Confection Vendors. I've also seen at least one with the same pull-down gate present on the Simpson Aristocrat.

An invisible variation is the material from which the base, lid, and gate are made. I used to think they were all made of cast iron until a bare-finish brass Aristocrat I bought prompted me to walk around testing my Simpsons with a magnet. What I found surprised me---a healthy fraction did not attract the magnet, and I can assure you that those machines weren't made of aluminum. I've since paid more attention and decided that a good number of Simpson Vendors, Well Here We Ares, and Aristocrats are made of brass, not cast iron.

Most examples of this model are chrome- or nickel-plated, although I presume from the middle machine on page 174 that some are painted. Nickel-plated examples are probably earlier than chrome examples since chrome-plating came into vogue later. This model is correct with 2 sizes of globe, with the larger globe being more common.

The machines pictured above are 100% original. The machine on the left is chrome-plated cast iron and has a large globe. The machine on the right is nickel-plated brass and has the smaller globe (with, by the way, has a great decal not often seen).

Many thanks to Shawn Flock for his critical review and content suggestions.



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