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The Penny Arcade

 The Coin Operated machine Information Site




                                  The Imperator Project





                                                          

            This very sad looking slot-machine was made in Germany in 1957 by Tho.Bergman & co.


It is a floor standing machine called The Imperator, and as you can see it has been stored 
outside under a plastic sheet for quite some time and although it is mechanicaly complete 
it has suffered some water dammage to the lower part of the cabinet.
When this machine was offered to me by a fellow collector I could not resist
the challange trying to get it working and restoring it back to its former glory, as I
progress with the restoration I will add more photos and text to this page.

 

 





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As you can see from the above photos most of the repair work to the main cabinet
has now been done. I had to fit a new plywood bottom and also replace some of the 
lower veneer, I have retained as much of the original as possible, the cabinet has
been given four coats of wax so far.

 




 

                                                          New Lamps For Old

 

As I was working my way through the mass of switches and wiring of this machine 
I found that time had taken its toll on some of the lamp holders and 
the multipoint plugs and sockets. Some of the brass sockets had broken away from 
the bakelite mount, it took me several days to fix them all back in there correct
positions, I also decided to replace and rewire all of the 25 lamp holders due to rust
problems, I managed to find some perfect replacement lamp holders, and I am
happy with the results, and hopefully the machine should be good for another
50 years service. Please see the before and after photos of the main display unit.


                         




 

                                                                 Think of a Number

 

Now we come to the brains of the machine, this consists of 3 uniselector switch units,
and as you can see from the photos each row of numbered lights on the main display
glass has its own uniselector switch unit, this gives a totally random and independent
sequence of lights and payouts each time the machine is set in motion. In addition to
this there are two uniselector override buttons on the front of the machine, They can be
pressed one at a time by the player to stop the light sequence on any one of the top two 
rows, to try and increase the chances of getting a winning sequence.

                            
  




 

                                                                 A Game of two Halves

We have all been there! You have a good-looking machine in your collection and
it is let down by a damaged display glass. This machine came to me with just such a 
problem, the main mirrored display glass was broken in two and the paint was flaking 
off the underside. What to do??? Well first I looked for an off the shelve replacement, 
I soon found I had more chance of winning the Lottery than finding one in good 
condition. The only thing left was to make a new one using the old glass as a 
template, I got a local firm to do a high resolution scan of the old glass, and with 
the aid of my computer and a copy of “The Idiots Guide to Photoshop” I set to cleaning up
the image,I have never done this type of thing before and it took me quite a long time to 
get the image to a point were I was happy with it, if you look at the before and after photos
you can see the results for yourself, I am now working on the best technique for transferring
the image to the new glass, but more of that later.


                




 

                                                                               The End!

 

After a lot of trial and error I have been able to reproduce a replacement 
for the broken display glass, I got a local company to print a copy of my artwork on to 
some clear acetate sheet, this was then placed between two sheets of glass along with a 
backing of mirrored vinyl with holes for the light to shine through, the edges were then 
sealed with clear silicone, the results are quite convincing. If you look at the following two 
photos you can see how the project has turned out. The replacment veneer looks a better 
match in real life,the camera sees the colours in a different way to the eye.
And I am happy with the way it has turned out.