Simpson "Well, Here We Are"

R. D. Simpson Co., Columbus, OH, c. 1927, 13". I've always liked the look of this model. The contours give it great style, although the name of the model is terminally goofy and I'm always embarassed to write it or say it even though I had nothing to do with its genesis.

According to Silent Salesmen Too the machine is made of cast iron, plated with copper, and then plated again with chrome. I think that's only half the story. As described for the Simpson Vendor and Aristocrat, I'm convinced that many of these are also made of nickel- or chrome-plated brass. I used to think these Simpson models 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 were not 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. Silent Salesmen Too also says the Well Here We Are was nickel-plated---and some are---but the one above is chromed. That probably signifies a later vintage, since chrome-plating generally came into vogue later.

This model is correct with two sizes of globe; the smaller one pictured above, and a larger one. I think the smaller globe looks better on this model, but your opinion may differ. You're wrong if it does, but I can't help that.

The most significant variation I've seen of this model, aside from cast iron versus brass, is the base and baseplate. The machine above has a two-piece base that separates along the horizontal line just below the chute flap. The line you see there could be a molded seam, but it's not; it's the interface between two pieces. The bottom part of this has the baseplate molded into it, so everything from that seam down (and under) is one piece. The variation of this is a one-piece base with a separate, conventional flat baseplate that forms the floor of the coin compartment, but does not also form the lower part of the machine's sides. If I remember correctly, that model also has a molded seam that circumscribes the base below the chute flap, but it doesn't separate.

A dedicated stand was made by or for Simpson, which was correct for this model and may also have been correct for similar models like the Aristocrat and the Simpson Vendor. You can see a picture of one here with two "Well Here We Are" machines on it. I know of only 3 of these stands, plus one like it that's narrower and holds just a single machine, and was lucky enough to get one from a friend who had 2 of them. Nice guy, that friend; he knew I'd been lusting over it for several years, and remembered the thin sheen of drool I'd left on his floor in front of this display. I guess that's one way to make a lasting impression, but may not always be the impression I want to leave. I don't think I've ever seen this stand in a Simpson ad, and it's not stamped with anything that even suggests a Simpson connection, but collectors associate it quite closely with the Simpson brand so I'm assuming (until and unless I learn otherwise) that Simpson is the only brand of machine that should go on it.

An interesting note on the stand and machines on it: The friend I bought this package from had bought it on ebay from a non-collector. The machines have identical styling and patina, and undoubtedly have been together since their first days on route---probably on this very stand. It's nice to get a great machine or package like this, but to get one that you know (or believe strongly) has been together since the machine's very first days is special. On those machines, if any fiddle-futzing was done it was done by the vendor eons ago, and not by Collector Joe last February in his garage because he wanted to swap the globe and baseplate with the ones on the machine he bought in an antique store 3 years ago while driving through Missouri.

The example is pictured above is 100% original, as are the 2 pictured on the stand in the link.

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



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