B Firman & Co.

Somebody knows... Maybe you?
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treefrog
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Re: Firman bandit identified

Post by treefrog »

Thanks for sharing Coin-op.....yell Mills and nice to see original tin strips...

It is a Marmite machine and this model is the most grotesque of the Firmans range a real shocker of mixed styles.....I guess you will either love or hate it.......I am trying hard to love it 😍 and it would grow on me more so than their other ranges. I assume a dummy jackpot as we know they made their own large capacity version.

Most Firmans kept the original styling from the 20’s and 30’s machines with subtle changes, but also with garish paint jobs like seen Egyptian Bell and others, this one definitely pushed the boat out !OMFG!
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badpenny
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Re: Firman bandit identified

Post by badpenny »

Thanks for the photos Coin-op.

We ought to do a page of known Firman conversions, I'd never seen that one before. How many others are there out there.
As TF says
dummy bank
dummy skill buttons
false windows suggesting Gold Award but not fitted
Looks to have 20 symbols on a 10 stop.

All lashed together in the finest British Arcade fiddling manner.

BP
pennymachines
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Re: Firman bandit identified

Post by pennymachines »

badpenny wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:51 pm We ought to do a page of known Firman conversions...
I've merged this recent topic with the existing Firman topic which already contains several such conversions (including another example of the above bandit).
pedroofn19
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Re: Firmans

Post by pedroofn19 »

I've got this Firmans. I don't know if anyone has seen it before.
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jeff
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Re: Firmans

Post by jeff »


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In 1973, when I was 8 years old, I can remember my father taking me to Curtis Street to the engineering factory at the very bottom end of the street. Directly opposite on the other side of the road was another building owned by the factory also, used as offices.
My father being a Mr Paul John Dunkley.

My father used to go round to help Bert as he was semi retired at the time. This would be before 1973, as my father and mother were the Directors of the business at this time.
Everything was belt driven at this time. Upon entry to the factory loomed the smell of oil in the air. It was very old, as you can imagine. To the right upon entry was a small narrow long room where coffee and tea facilities were. To the left a little further on was an old wooden staircase that led up to the floor above, a little like a store room. There were boxes of one armed bandit reels and coin slider mechanisms is all I can remember finding up there.
My father brought home a grabber arcade machine one Christmas.

I never met Mr Firman himself, only Mrs Firman that I used to do the gardening for at the weekends. She was such a lovely, sweet lady. Tea break would consist of fine bone China cups and biscuits.

When Bert Firman passed away my father inherited 49% of the business and Mrs Firman retained 51%. The company was now steadily growing into a machine shop. During the time of the demolition era, B. Firman & Co had now moved to 122a Wilford Grove, The Meadows.

Mrs Firman passed away leaving the remaining 51% to my father to successfully run and grow the business with my mother into a general engineering company, until it was dissolved in 1999. There is nothing left unfortunately, except this picture I have inherited from my mother.


Sadly our father passed away at the end of 2017.


Mr Jeffrey Dunkley.
aristomatic
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Re: Firmans

Post by aristomatic »

Thx for sharing that info Jeffrey, much appreciated
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badpenny
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Re: Firmans

Post by badpenny »

..... and welcome to the forum.
BP :cool:
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treefrog
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Re: Firmans

Post by treefrog »

Nice story and history Jeff. Thanks for sharing and oh, wouldn’t it have been lovely to have seen those old parts left in the store rooms. :o Funny, over the years when family members of old slot machine companies have shared similar stories on here and how little survived like paperwork and pictures, or any other information about the business. I guess at the time it was not important and assumed to be of no interest to anyone and now all in people’s memories who were around at the time.
jeff
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Re: Firmans

Post by jeff »

Thank you for accepting my request to join this group. I had been meaning to join it for many years. Just to conclude this story, I am the only one in the family with any recollection of Curtis Street, Re: B. Firman.
My late father never discussed his past, so all I can quote is my own experience and knowledge of Firmans.
As far as I can recall, Mr & Mrs FIRMAN had no children and Mrs Firman when she passed left her estate to a cat sanctuary.
When B. Firman moved to 122a Wilford Grove, The Meadows, there was a cabinet in the store room where there was only one flaking one armed bandit machine reel left, but as mentioned, the company was dissolved in 1999.
I left the family business in 1987 at 21 years of age to join the aviation industry, where I remain today.
My mother can recall the only machines that were moved from Curtis Street to Wilford Grove was a Herbert N0. 1, Herbert N0. 4 and a large belt driven pedestal drill.

I have attached photos of the lathes, but these are not the original pictures.

I have obtained some paperwork obtained from my mother of Bert's driving licences dating back 100 years, that I have also attached.

If anyone could post the relevant scripture on here regarding Firmans out of Paul Braithwaite's book, 'ARCADES & SLOT MACHINES', it would be very much appreciated.

I am sorry there is no other relevant pictures and information at this time, but if anything may surface I will not hesitate to post.

Regards Jeff
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pennymachines
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Re: Firmans

Post by pennymachines »

Thank you Jeff for your interesting contribution. We're always delighted to recieve any inside information that can be gleaned from those who have family connections to the old companies. Your comments suggest (as already seemed likely) slot machines were only a sideline at B Firman & Co., which is perhaps why so little is recorded of their activity in this area. They are not included in Nic Costa's in-depth Coin Slot/World's Fair series of company biographies.

Paul Braithwaite tells us that Firman advertised the sale of a range of machines in 1929, "not of their manufacture" with the line, "giving up, must be cleared". The Curtis Street factory you mention was the Clifton Engineering Works, and by 1931 they were (as we know) engaged in fruit machine conversions and rebuilds. Firman was an operator and caterer at Skegness by 1960. Braithwaite also states that the company became S. Firman & Co. (Nottingham) Ltd. on 21.11.57. I suspect this is a typo or misreading of "B. Firman".

The five products he lists are:
Jackpot mechanism (see picture earlier in this topic). Source: Antique Amusement Magazine, issue 25
1931 Racer. Source: World's Fair, 03.10.31
1934 Pushapenny. Source: World's Fair, 03.11.34
1937 All Brit Bell Fruit (also known as the Egyptian Bell or Sphinx). Source: me.
1947 viewer. Source: me.
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