Monday, May 17, 2010
Speaking of museums of niche interest, while I was connecting at SFO twice last month or saw I beheld the tools of early automated illegal gambling - aka slot machines.
Let me say I detest casinos. They suck. Name anything about them, it sucks even if it's like, say R.E.M. playing the Borgata - they then suck, and so on....
But these early gambling appliances were fascinating- ingenious in their configuration, metalcraft, and design. And next time I'm back on the left coast (which is quite often now) I'm goin' to Big Joe Welch's American Antique Slot Machine Museum, in San Bruno, where 90% of these came from and somewhat fittingly, does not have a website.
Artist Josh Ellingson has taken quite a few better photos than I of some of the machines, mainly because I used my cell phone, so tough.
I was particularly worked up about the art on the punch boards - a form of gambling apparently still in use legally in Washington State in the form of "Pull Tabs"