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One of the more attractive three cigarette reel trade stimulators was the Cent A Smoke, made by the Daval Manufacturing Company in 1935. It was introduced as the smaller variation of Daval's high successful five reel Chicago Club House. The Cent A Smoke uses many of the design features of the Club House. In fact, the side castings and the operating handle are the exact same castings that were used on the Club House.

A big 1( is cast into the machine right under the coin slot because the Cent A Smoke was designed for only a 1( play unlike many other trade stimulators which would accept a nickel, dime or quarter. The player could also get a gumball after each play by pressing the gumball button. The words "Push for Gum" are also cast into the metal. Many Collectors having the instructions cast into the metal. Most other machines feature a gumball window and assure the player knows what to do.

Just like the Club House, the Cent A Smoke came with a coin divider mechanism and an elevated cash box base. This feature was used to split the coins between the owner of the machine and the operator at the location where the machine was placed. Out of every four coins played, thowner would get one coin which fell into the cash box that only the owner could open. The operator would have the key to the second cash box. This two cash box feature was designed to assure that the owner of the machine got his fair share of the profits.

Another variation utilized a coin counter that was attached to the back door which registered each time the machine was played. The back door of this model was designed so that there was a small door on the regular back door. The operator kept the key to the small door so that he could empty the machine.

The owner kept the key to the large door so that the operator could not try to adjust the counter. The owner and operator negotiated what shares of the money each would get and the counter kept them honest.

When the Cent A Smoke was first introduced, it apparently came with three different marques. One was Spin A Pack, the other was Win A Smoke and the one that was most used was Cent A Smoke. It is possible that Daval tried the three different marques to see which one would attract the most players and then kept the one that did the best.


Copyright: 2006 Ken Durham.





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Ken Durham
3000 Galloway Ridge, C-306
Pittsboro NC 27312
For Orders Only: 202-213-1585
All others, please email: durham@GameRoomAntiques.com