___________________________________________________________________________________________

Specialty No. 2 Perfection

Specialty Mfg. Co., c. 1910's (I think), 13 1/2". Hard to believe this is the same company that made the Krema Match Vendor, but it is. This pair alone shows that Specialty valued diversity long before it became a corporate fad.

This is a 2-column vendor with a beautiful cast front and base. Based on its size, shape, ornate castings, and construction materials, I've always thought of this as a cousin of the Northwestern Sellem, although I don't know which came first. The Perfection held 28 boxes of safety matches, had fire-breathing dragons on the front, and was nickel plated. Like the Sellem, the front plate, base, and lid of the Perfection are made of cast iron, while the sides and back are made of sheet metal. One big difference between the Perfection and the Sellem is that the Sellem dispensed boxes alternatively out of the right and left sides, while the Perfection drops them into the middle of the machine. The smaller base on the Specialty and the lack of a protruding slide makes the Specialty a little sleeker than the Sellem, not that the Sellem is exactly boxy.

According to Silent Salesmen Too, the Perfection No. 1 Advertiser had a placard on the front for advertising, while the Perfection No. 4 had a detachable cigar cutter and a match holder. Bill Enes implies that he didn't have a clue about the Perfection No. 3, and neither do I.

The example above is 100% original except for 2 repairs. One is an ancient patch of some corrosion on the lower left side (as you look at the machine). The other is that one side of the lock has been epoxied into place on the inside of the front plate, which I did when I noticed that one of the 2 rivets holding the lock had broken. The lock still worked and kept the front plate on, but it caused a potential for added stress on the remaining rivet and it seemed like a good idea to prevent that.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

©Small Vintage Vending 2003