Tom Thumb

Fielding Mfg. Co., Jackson, MI, c. 1936, 14 3/4". This is one of the small bar or countertop vendors that became popular in the 1930's because they took up oh-so-little counter space. It's made of sheet metal with a cast aluminum lid. Most of the examples I've seen with original paint have been the drab gray color of the machine on the left above, although I've seen a few original red examples sprinkled into that mix.

According to Silent Salesmen Too, the original Tom Thumb was made by the Walker-Freeman Co. of Jackson, MI starting in 1934. In January 1936 an ad for a new version---the one pictured above---appeared in Automatic Age under the name of the Fielding Mfg. Co.---also of Jackson, MI---and Walker-Freeman ads ceased. The only difference I can discern between the Walker-Freeman and the Fielding versions is the chute, which on the earlier version is long and without a gate and on the later version is shorter and has the gate pictured above.

The later version had 2 styles of globe; the tall style shown above left and the short style above right. Of the 2 styles, the taller one is harder to find and seems to be more desirable.

The feature I like best about this model is the mechanism protruding from the side. Other models, such as the Atlas Bantam and the Rex Convertible, also have this kind of mechanism, but it's less common than other styles and lends diversity to one's collection....and we all know what a fine thing diversity is, don't we?

The examples pictured above are 100% original. The tall-globed machine on the left looks well-loved, while the condition of the short-globed red example is nearly perfect. I believe the red example is the earlier of the 2 because it has a cast iron baseplate, whereas the baseplate on the gray example is aluminum.



©Small Vintage Vending 2003-2009