William Michael Co., Indianapolis, IN, c. 1930, 11 1/2". This model seems to have become more appreciated in recent years. It's a compact cast iron machine usually found with a tapered globe as shown above left, and sometimes---rarely---with the mushroom globe shown above right. The National Gum is almost identical to this model except that it sports a round globe. The similarity between them leads many to think that the National Novelty Co. made both.
This model came with a straight penny mechanism and a profit-sharing 1-2-3 mechanism. The example above left is the 1-2-3 version; the one on the right is a straight penny version. I've never paid much attention to which version a machine was when I saw one for sale, but was once told by a knowledgable collector that the 1-2-3 is considerably more scarce than the straight penny version and that he's seen only one for sale in the past dozen years. The decal on this is one that I've never seen before and gives detailed instructions not usually found on old machines. I myself personally have never seen another one for sale, but unless a machine has a 1-2-3 decal on it, most people would see one and think it's a straight penny version.
Unlike a nuance buried deep in the mechanism, there's no overlooking the determining feature of the other machine. The mushroom-shaped globe is original and is quite scarce. I've seen fewer than a handful in person, and I'd guess that fewer than a dozen exist. It's embossed WM MICHAEL & CO, INDIANAPOLIS IND on the bottom part, which I tried (with only minor success) to capture closer-up here. I bought the 1-2-3 machine while living in California, and its geographical source never struck me until I moved to Indianapolis in 2000. One day I was contemplating this machine from a distance, wondering if the time had come to part with it, but when I approached it to look more closely I saw the front tag and decided I had to keep it since it was now a local product. That happened before the value of this model shot up, so I'm glad I did. By the time I had the chance to buy the machine above right, I knew it was a local product so didn't have to wonder what to do.
The above examples are 100% original except for one rubber foot on the 1-2-3 machine.
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