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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Mercury cigarette penny slot machine


Hi, I have an old mercury cigarette penny clot machine  and the penny just drops down to the bottom without going through the mechanism, is there any repair guide around that you know of so I can find out why?

I checked and I could find no manuals on repair of slot machines. However, if the coin handling mechanism is anything like the mechanism of a Westminster chime clock, lubrication failure is probably the cause of your problem. The professionals will tell you the only thing you can do is disassemble the mechanism completely, remove all the old gummy oil, reassemble it and re-lubricate it. I hesitate to recommend this procedure unless you are either very familiar with the equipment you are working with or have a repair manual available.

On clocks I have been successful at cleaning them without disassembling the movement completely. I use carburetor cleaner in a spray can. This I think would work on your coin mechanism. Be certain to do this in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors away from ignition sources, as carburetor cleaner is highly flammable. Work the mechanism as well as you can as you spray it to get the oxidized oil out of any pivot points. Then, re-lubricate it with an oil such as sewing machine oil.

Recently, I was given an anniversary clock replica made out of plastic. It operated from a double A battery but would not run. It appeared the movement was glued together and I tried prying it apart with a knife but would have ruined it had I gotten it apart. In desperation, I squirted WD-40 into it and it worked perfectly. I did not charge the owner of the clock for doing this, as I could not guarantee the repair.

There are people who collect slot machines, I understand. You might check with some antique shops in your area and see if they know of anyone that would help you if cleaning and lubrication does not work.  

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Tom Williams


I can answer questions about age, repair procedures on antique radios.


I have been a radio and tv service man. I am an electrical engineer.

Historical radio society.

BEE. Graduated Cleveland State University.

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