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                                                       The "Allwin" Arcade


In the coin-op world, the term "Allwin" refers to a particular type of slot machine,  like the one pictured above. To learn more about how this type of machine actually works visit our page "see how it works,"the Allwin"

The term "Allwin" (listed as patented in 1913?)derives from the fact that most (but by no means all) of this type of machine have no losing cups that catch the ball, the fact that any ball not falling into one of the cups is an automatic loser seems to have been conveniently ignored.

Although this early type of machine was popular in Europe (especially France, Germany and the UK) from around 1900 these very collectable early machines, which were often very well made with interesting mechanics and beautifully made cases, were a little lacklustre in their visual player appeal. It was the British makers from the mid 40's till the late 60's that developed the allwin into the instantly recognisable, brightly coloured often themed amusement game synonymous with the British seaside resort in the mid 20th cent.

The written history of the Allwin is well documented on other well-respected sites such as  where the famous Bryans machines are discussed at length and the excellent  so here we will concentrate on showing a gallery of allwins, with short remarks starting with the early 20th cent machines and showing their development until their demise in the electronic age.


One of the first, if not the very first Allwin was the "Heureka" made in Germany around 1900, photos of these machines are rare and my thanks to Richard Goddard for this photo



                    These Allwin De Luxe machine were pretty much the standard in the early 20th cent



    Although following the basic design of the early machines this beautifully made "electric Amuser" from around 1915 incorporated two features intended to increase player interest  extra balls added to a win and a sharp electric shock delivered through the brass knobs


      Following the success of the first machines the makers were soon making changes to keep the public interested, one of the first advances was to add more cups in more positions and this became common practice  for pre WW2 machines


                                  Hawtins  "All-Win" mid-1930's Brenner "Ball past the arrow" 1937

  By the eve of the second world war the British Allwin makers were clearly taking the lead in both cabinet design and additional features, the "past the arrow" feature was an attempt to persuade the player to spend another penny.



               Morris  Shefras "Cigaretteo" 1940's                                   Oliver Whales "Victory Ball"  1946

     From 1939 till 1945 the slot makers were for the most part doing war work but as it became clear the war was coming to an end they were quick to prepare to launch machines following the end of hostilities

  After the war there was a huge increase in cigarette smoking (as there had been following WW1) and machines paying one cigarette were a new twist. The Shefras machine above may have been an attempt to avoid gambling laws as it uses two terms often used to convince the authorities the machine was not a gambling machine  "skill" &  "vending machine"



 This rarely seen "coinacig" by Wonders Ltd had the rare option of the player being able to choose his prize, a penny or a cigarette, see it in action.

(this youtube video is one of many excellent slot videos produced by supershotbattymanbor  one of the hobbies most notable enthusiasts.

All these early post-war machines were beginning to show a more colourful outlook and this would become more pronounced over the next few years along with another twist..the theme.


This "fireworks" allwin was made by Stevenson & Lovett in the 1940's and was ahead of its time in two ways, it had a definite "theme" and it was partly electronic.

 By the early 1950's the makers who would become the big names in Allwin machines were really getting geared up as this type of machine became the standard in UK arcades.

                                                                     Bryans of Kegworth    

In 1953 Bryans entered the field with their "5 win" & "Pilwin play". William Bryan had been making unusual and very successful slot machines for 25 years and the 12 or so allwins(including multi-machine units) he produced from 1953 till the late 60's are amongst the most sort after in the slot collectors world. Bryans chose not to go down the theme route (the "pilwin was the closest to a theme) but stuck to the classic style using brightly coloured backgrounds and , sometimes, unusual mechanical features. ALL deserve a photo here.


                                       "FiveWin"                              1953                             "PilwinPlay

  These machines are sometimes found in other makers cases,Bryans sometimes used old allwin cases in the early days from other maker's machines they had taken in part exchange.


                               The "Elevenses" 1955                                   the more advanced "Pilwin 56"


                            The "Gapwin"                                     1956                          The "Uwin"

   Bryans released 3 machines in 56   the unique gapwin & Uwin plus the very                                                                                   traditional style "Tencup"


                                    "3 ball ,7win"                            1961                             "3 ball,9 cup"



 after a 5-year break, 3 new machines    came out in 61 including "Forks"

   These were the last of the true Allwins from Bryans,William Bryan retired in the late 1960's but the company did produce one more allwin style machine, The "double top" two-player allwin in 1970


                                                                                        "Double top" 1970



                                              Oliver Whales of Redcar

 Appearing on the allwin scene early on with a standard style of machine by the mid  1950's Oliver Whales had become, perhaps, the most prolific Allwin maker of all. He produced around 50 different machines all with brightly coloured backflashes and, usually, a definite "theme" These themes ranged from other gambling pass times such as the football pools, horse racing etc to comic characters such as "Chad". He also led the way in allwins that gave a prize rather than coins, popular sweets of the day used on Whales machines included Cadburys, Spangles, Aero, Smarties and many more. Other machines gave a small item in a box such as a key ring, pack of cards etc., and, of course, there were machines that paid out cigarettes. Whales machines were not made to quite the high standard of Bryans and the coloured backflashes particularly have often suffered from the passage of time, the cases are usually very well made and often have a pleasing rounded edge shape. Oliver Whales,  in an attempt to keep costs down, did not go in for complex mechanics and once he perfected a mechanism for a type of machine he stuck to it. Whales machines are always interesting and fun to play. A few can be seen below and over 40 can be seen on our "Oliver Whales Collection" page.


                                              "Chad"                                                                                  "Win a Gift"


                                       " Win a Gum"                                                                                   "Easy Perm"


                        "Win a Choc Bar(Penguin?"                                                                      "U Select It"



  Wondermatics was a small but busy business making allwins from the 50's. The company was run by Jack Glover from his premises in north London.   They were, I think, the only ones to make a giant allwin 24 cup machine. Their machines were well made and are very collectable today. Wonders often tried something new either in ball track .payouts or winning methods and it paid off, their machines were exported to several countries in the 50's and 60's.


                                      The giant "24" cup                                             "Chip or bust" with its unusual playfield



                 The "Boomerang" with its complex ball track             Another Gaint Allwin the 25 cup "Cannonball"

              Wonders are known to have been exported to Australia 

                  perhaps this model had that market in mind 



       The "quick returns" was an attempt to counter                     "win & Place" this machine used the promise of 

       the popular Ruffler & Walker "Many happy returns"         increased future payouts to keep the player playing


   A fuller history of the very successful Parkers Co can be found on our "Parkers collection" page. As far as their allwins go it's fair to say they were the Rolls Royce of the allwin world. The quality of the production was second to none and their art deco style case is a joy to behold. They didn't, for the most part, go in for unusual play features but some of their machines must be the most beautiful of all the allwins and fetch high prices from today's collectors. They did produce their machines in a more standard case but even this was of high quality.


                          "Carousel" is Seen here in both the standard case and the lovely Art Deco style case



                                                "Big Top"                                                                              "Wild west"



                       "Photo finish" in a nice standard case                 The first satellite in space caught the public's attention 

                                                                                                                 and Parkers were quick to capitalise on it

                                                                                  Ruffler & Walker

          R & W were primarily slot machine and Jukebox suppliers ( see our "Ruffler & Walker page)but they also made a very successful range of Allwins many of which were much larger than the standard Allwin, these are usually known as "giant" allwins and in these R&W led the way.


           R&W came up with this very successful type of Allwin which encouraged players to keep playing with the promise of increased future wins. One of their giant size machines it can be found in at least four designs








                 The ever-popular "win a "Penguin"                   another innovative machine was the "Hat Trick" which allowed

                                                                                                          the operator to easily change the payout ratio




                   This four-sided giant allwin console would have caught the eye in any arcade in its day


                                                                                      Morris Shefras

 Like R&W Morris Shefras were based in London and were more involved in slot machine supply and conversion than actually making machines but, also like R&W, they did produce a limited number of                                                                    allwins, some with interesting features



  Chocolate & Cagaretto  well made  cases with improved mechanisms but they lack the excitement of their  Rivals


              "Shares" & "Safari" were more 60's than 50's and indeed "Safari" came out under Philip Shefras name


"Speedway" surprisingly this was the only Allwin themed          The much sort after "Time Limit" in which the player

  on this spectator sport that was bigger than football                        got unlimited plays while the clock ran

                                   in the early 50's




 In many ways, The British Manufacturing Co was the father of the British Allwin. during the 1930's they made a large number of different designs incorporating several new ideas such as auto payouts and may have been the first to use plastic playfields. Although very well made many of the models were made in small numbers and some designs may have disappeared altogether. Unfortunately, the company did not survive the war. Often recognisable by their typically 30's top pediment.



      This rather nice machines name is unknown as yet                    The "Digger" may have been their most popular                                                                                                                                 machine and can be found in several variants 



    This "Wizard" shows just how well these were made                   The strange"Two in one" a single-player game with                                                                                                                                                           two tracks


              Lucky Circle & an unnamed model, two machines using individual cups, something BMCo may have been the                                                                                          first to use