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Florida’s Best Newspaper for Antiques & Collectibles

                      AUGUST 2016 • Volume 29 No. 11     

By: Roy Nuhn

Whether you collect postcards or memorabilia of the

silent screen era, the name Exhibit Supply Company is

familiar. Located in Chicago, the firm began business in

1901 manufacturing gambling machines for the burgeoning

amusement park industry.

It was the failure to compete successfully in the marketing

of various gambling devices for the arcades that caused the

Exhibit company to concentrate their efforts on game and

vending specialities. Their fame today rests upon both the

“Iron Claw,” forerunner of many similar digger types, and

their card machines.                                                               "Dynamite," Universal studios dog star featured on this
                                                                                     1930s-1940s era sepia postcard (Exhibit Supply Co.')
                                             They also sold an
                                                                   included “Your Fortune,” women in bathing suits or other
                                             extremely popular     states of modest undress, military aircraft and, most of all,
                                                                   portraits of Hollywood’s stars and scenes from their movies.
                                             series of “peep
                                                                    Vending machine cards distributed from 1918 to the very
                                             show” viewers,        early 1930s usually had a postcard back, in deference to
                                                                   the picture postcard fad than still lingering. However, those
                                             improved successors   published for the next 40 years, by far the largest majority,
                                                                   had blank backs. Such cards also used a much heavier stock
                                             of Edison’s           than commonly associated with souvenir cards in general,
                                                                   being of a thin cardboard composition necessary to facilitate
                                             kinetoscope.          usage in vending machines.

                                             However, it is         The earliest machines, which began proliferating in huge
                                                                   numbers after the end of World War I in 1918, stood
                                             with their card       around 1 1/2 to 2 feet high and were mounted so as to be
                                                                   waist high to child-sized customers.
                                             machines that
                                                                    Each machine had two separate coin slides, one for each
                                             our interest rests.   pile of cards contained inside. Advertising on such machines
                                                                   featured one of the cards available and announced: “Film
                                             ESCO, as they are     Celebrities. 64 different photo post card,” or “Beautiful Surf
                                                                   Queens. Mack Sennett Girls. 64 Pretty Poses.”
                                             commonly called,
                                                                                                                        Continued on Page 8
                                             produced more

                                             of these than the

                                             entire competition

                                             combined. All

                                             together, they sold

                                             60 different models,

                                             keeping them filled

                                             with more than

Part of highly collecting playing card set,  3,500 different
blank back. Published by Exhibit in 1928.    cards. Subjects

PUBLIC AUCTION            Voted “Florida’s Best Auction”                                2154 U.S.
                                                                                        HWY. 301
EVERY WEDNESDAY                                                                     Zephyrhills, FL
  APPROX 1:00 P.M.
Antiques, Collectibles
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