What Is It? May 2019

   Wow! Nothing like having the previous owner of this device send in his guess. Mark Schlesinger of Middletown, New Jersey wrote us, “In response to your May’s What Is It” I not only know what the antique is, I was the second owner of this exact penny arcade machine. I bought it in the early 1970s from the Casino Arcade in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Unfortunately, I sold it 9 years later. This 1 cent (converted to a nickle) “Electric Pen” was made in 1933 by the International Mytoscope Co. in Long Island City, New York. It is a 9 floor model machine — the photo only shows the top half. After inserting a nickle in the coin slide, the lights start flashing and a fountain pen (between the towers) moves back and forth simulating writing a personalized fortune. After about 10 seconds the lights and pen stop and a “fortune” card is dispensed.” Thanks, Mark, for helping us out here. And, thank you for sending us a fortune card that popped out of this very machine. It is fascinating!
   Other correct guessers include: Terry Cook of Fort Morgan, Colorado; Bill McLaren, Anchorage, Alaska; and Elizabeth Puls of Boulder, Colorado who basically identified the machine as a writing device. That works! Thank you for your guesses. You have all won a year’s subscription to the Mountain States Collector.

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