Automatic Pleasures -the History of the Coin Machine by Nicholas Costa. Now re-published in paperback. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all good booksellers.
This book has stood the test of time. Copies of the first edition regularly sell for many times the cover price.
It has been cited in many academic papers and has since become the definitive work on the subject.
It caused embarrassment to the huge American coin machine industry when it was first published in 1988- they were busy celebrating the centenary of the Juke Box in that year as an American invention whereas the book revealed that it was actually an earlier British invention. It awoke huge interest in Japan by giving them long sought the answers as to the origins of the Pachinko machine (which at the time was consuming as much as a quarter of the gross domestic product in Japan). As a direct result of the book a new museum was established in Kobe, Japan, and for a short while the author became a national celebrity there.
The book established many new facts and destroyed many of the myths that had arisen in the gaming industry during the 20th century.
Originally an ancient Greek invention the advent of the coin machine in the 19th century heralded a Victorian revolution which sought to establish a fully automated society. The visionaries of the past are the direct forbears of the all pervasive computer industries -without the gaming and coin machine industries it is doubtful as to whether today’s computer dominated age would have ever happened.
Originally published in 1988. Republished in 1992 and 2013
Full Color on White paper