Coin-Op Floor Model Miniature Pool Table
A rare 10 pocket coin operated miniature pool table c1930's by "Alamo Novelty Co." with 2 cue sticks, in good condition - 41"" x 24"" x 33"" tall.
Overall it's in very good condition for it's age and designed use in a prohibition era Texas pool hall - it's in original un-restored condition (except for the felt which is new), but with that said, it's in great shape and working order. No major dings in the wood, just some surface scratches and marks in the finish. The mechanics of the table are in working order (balls go where they should, and the return works perfectly). The coin op mechanism is complete, but has been set to allow the table to work without having to insert a coin. I've looked over it for a short while, but have not spent the time yet to figure out how to return it to "coin op mode" but the mechanism is fairly simple, so I should be able to figure it out. It's actually handy to have it the way it is though. I do play it, and it's actually fun to play! The balls, being as small as they are, still play very well (good wight and action on them) and the felt surface is brand new. Plus I actually like the 10 ball, 10 pocket game. It has a good "game" flow for this size a table - just be careful not to hit the balls as you would a full size one!
These small portable tables were built to skirt around gaming laws in the 1930's when pool was outlawed during prohibition. Apparently, by adding the coin-operated component (and I guess by miniaturizing the table, as well as changing the number of balls and pockets), they were able to work around the prohibition laws of the time (pool was outlawed in some states like Texas during this era). Many pool halls were closed because they kinda went against the grain with the drinking & gambling that was done around the pool table. But the laws in Texas and another states were written such that miniature, COIN OPERATED pool tables got around the law. They were all the rage for several years in the early to mid 1930s. They apparently died out very quickly beginning around 1936 or so. At the peak there were about 15 manufacturers of mini coin op pool tables 1930-1939.
Alamo Novelty Co Inc was incorporated on Tuesday, December 09, 1930 in the State of TX
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