Yu-Chu Gumball

Yu-Chu Co., c. 1925, 12 3/4". This is a cute little model that I never paid much attention to until I bought the machine pictured above left. I don't know why I wasn't more interested before or why this one converted me, except that this one has an original decal. The one on the right I got later, after I knew I liked 'em, and is the same model as the machine on the left but has a different decal and the great crusty patina.

The body and mechanism are made of pot metal, and the globe is just a 3 quart jar. I know the size without measuring because some globes have "3 QT" embossed boldly on the side. They may have held pickles before being drafted to hold gumballs, but I'd bet they've held only gumballs since then. Other jars globes are also correct, especially the jar globe with rounded corners that's pictured in Silent Salesmen Too page 202.

Like the earlier cast iron Coin Gum/Yu-Chu Forex (which has a real globe, not just a jar---or maybe it's a fishbowl), the globe is held on by a hortizontal bar that screws in at two points from the underside and holds the globe pressed to the upper section of the base. The baseplate is steel and has a tab lock. The machine has no markings to indicate a manufacturer or date.

Another body style exists that's shorter. That style looks exactly like those above except that it's missing the section below the exit spout. In fact, it's the same body style as the Coin Gum/Yu-Chu Forex, except that it's made of pot metal instead of cast iron. I've checked with some Yu-Chu-knowledgeable friends to see if there's any difference in the mechanisms, and the answer is "no." I'll speculate that one style is earlier than the other, and if so then I don't know which came first but I'd speculate that the shorter style did since the earlier Coin Gum/Yu-Chu Forex also has the short body style.

Since these are made of pot metal, Yu-Chu's often don't work. The mechanism and/or body may be cracked or warped, and if that's the case it'll never work well again. Pass on that one (unless I'm the one selling it to you) and wait for another. They're not rare, so you'll get another chance.

The examples pictured above are 100% original. I seldom see a Yu-Chu with an original decal, but both of these are blessed with one.



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