Harper Vending Machines

American, British, French or German? We want to know about it.
User avatar
coppinpr
Posts: 4325
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:01 pm
Location: Lewes, East Sussex
Contact:

Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by coppinpr »

The early and late address were both upper class residential areas (as they still are today) at the times mentioned, in fact "Adelaide house" is the only one of the original houses still standing in Ashurst Walk. The late address shows Percy to have been somewhat successful, the Downs Rd address was very much in the "stock broker belt" then and most houses there would fetch £2 million plus today.
The Crystal palace connection would also make sense as the factory site and the Ward Percy stood for at election are close to the football ground.
User avatar
bob
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:06 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by bob »

A couple of Harper floor standing 4 column cigarette vending machines found their way to Australia. I don't know if any were operated here to vend cigarettes though, as I saw these for sale at antique dealers many years ago. I think that the antique dealers bought them in the UK to sell here in their shops to collectors. This would seem to be substantiated by the original British advertising still on the bottom of the machines. The "Stepney Garage" machine has the running perforated advertising band at the top.
Attachments
Harper 4 Column with moving band cigarette vending machine169.jpg
Harper 4 Column Cigarette Machine167.jpg
User avatar
pennymachines
Site Admin
Posts: 5419
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 12:12 am
Location: The Black Country

Re: Harper Vending Machines

Post by pennymachines »

In my quest to find something more about Percy Stephen Harper and his company, such as a photograph of the gentleman, I was able to more or less confirm that he was the same Percy Harper who chaired Crystal Palace football club from 1939-1950. Apparently he held one meeting from his Purley Downs Road home in Sanderstead, and appears to have been a controversial, autocratic chairman.
...the chairman Percy Harper was suspended from football for allegedly bringing the game into disrepute after questioning the FA Council's capabilities, as well as those of the Football League's management committee, in an article published in the matchday programme*.

The suspension, along with punishments handed to two other directors, exposed a deep schism in the boardroom with another director, F. Broomfield, publicly contesting Harper's assertion that the club was in deep financial crisis. The chairman's reinstatement upon appeal forced Broomfield and Truett to resign. "I find it impossible to work with the present chairman," said Broomfield, with Harper's autocratic style subsequently drawing criticism from all sides.

Yet with the benefit of hindsight and compared with the humdrum existence which followed throughout the 1950s, they must have seemed exhilarating days. In peacetime Palace first plummeted under Harper's chairmanship and then stagnated under that of David Harris and Arthur Wait. The 1948-49 season was the worst the club had ever endured, with the better players steadily sold off and Jack Butler unable to restore order from the dug-out. The sense that Palace's fans had been offered false hope prevailed, not for the last time. Harper had held court at his home in Sanderstead in the first season after the conflict and pledged that the Glaziers would spend heavily to emerge from the doldrums as genuine challengers. The problem was that Harper, a visionary in some respects, had no means of finding the money he had promised.

In his autobiography Soccer Rebel, Jimmy Guthrie, a former Portsmouth favourite who had arrived as a player-coach in November 1946, wrote: "Harper had big ideas for Palace. He wanted to introduce speedway and greyhound racing at Selhurst, but the local residents petitioned against speedway because of the noise and the Football Association... refused to sanction the presence of greyhounds... He hit the newspaper headlines with stories that Palace would spend a million pounds to get into the First Division, but there was little money put on the line. He thought we should recruit players from amateur clubs, as this would cost only £100 for each player and the club he left. The idea was sound but, again, there was no money. Meanwhile, Harper was selling off our best players."

...Harper prompted yet more confusion by dismissing the manager, Irwin, just hours after spending an apparently pleasant evening in the company of the entire backroom staff at Selhurst Park...
* Supporters who purchased the sheet issued for the game against Luton Town on 30th September 1944 found the whole of the reverse taken up with a statement by chairman Percy Harper. He expressed his views on bringing greyhound racing to Selhurst Park, as well as criticising the entertainment tax the club had to pay. That got him into trouble with the Football League and the FA for considering it was time those incumbent made way for younger men.
In 1949, "after castigating the club's finances at the annual general meeting", Harper accepted an offer of £3,000 from a group of seven wealthy supporters to buy the club, and handed over control in 1950.
The History of Crystal Palace in Words & Pictures
sinah96
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 10:20 am

Harper Cigarette machine

Post by sinah96 »

Topic moved & merged - Site Admin.

Hello

I am a new member on here and I am seeking some advice.

I have a Harper Vending (please see attached photos) and I don't know what to do with it, is it worth restoring or just sell it as it is?

Thanks Mark
Attachments
harper-1a.jpg
harper-2a.jpg
harper-3a.jpg
harper-4a.jpg
User avatar
special when lit
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 4:46 pm
Location: Derby

Re: Harper Cigarette machine

Post by special when lit »

They normally fetch a few hundred quid on ebay.
User avatar
treefrog
Posts: 4064
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Harper Cigarette machine

Post by treefrog »

As with everything, condition and completeness impact value. Your machine is the middle sized 3 column version, so more practical than the larger 4 slot version. It is missing the glass advert below and the clock in the middle as well as glass. The clock can be replaced as the Smiths clock used were also used in mantel clocks and do come up for sale. Other key element is the state of the metal and plate which would cost a fortune to sort if bad, but if it cleans up presentable, then would make all the difference. Artwork a little more tricky to replace, but see below link where these machines have been discussed and you will get an idea of what should be at the bottom.....certainly looks worth saving and down to you if you want to keep and make good.....
User avatar
gameswat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:17 am
Location: perth, australia

Re: Harper Cigarette machine

Post by gameswat »

Sell as is, there are so many parts in that thing and once you start pulling it apart you open a can of corroded worms! Unless you really know what you're doing then best to leave it to someone who does know and has the knowledge and required skills. Sometimes it works out well to mildly clean up pieces like this first to show the good points, but that also can bite you in the arse when things like the plating that is there flakes off and ends up looking worse! Also sucks when you find major flaws you didn't know where there to begin with, because if you're honest then that will have to be pointed out to the buyer. Replating is the killer these days. I pretty much just stay away from buying anything that needs much plating and stick to pieces with a good aged patina that I think look way better anyway.
User avatar
pennymachines
Site Admin
Posts: 5419
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 12:12 am
Location: The Black Country

Re: Harper Cigarette machine

Post by pennymachines »

I don't think I can add much to the advice above. These are eye-catching icons of thirties design, but they're large and weighty, lack utility and are peripheral to amusement machine collectors' interests. For those reasons, their market may lie more with interior designers, looking for a style piece to dress a pub, club, hotel or trendy apartment. Finding such buyers may not be easy. Two fine cigarette vendors went unsold last month in the auction rooms, including a remarkable 6 column Harper vendor with the scrolling advert display and a BMR model.
Attachments
Harper, Est: £400 - 600
Harper, Est: £400 - 600
BMR, Est: £250 - 350
BMR, Est: £250 - 350
13rebel
Posts: 524
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:03 pm

Harper vendor

Post by 13rebel »

Post split, moved & merged - Site Admin.

I thought this looked similar to sweetmeats' flyer.
The photos are of an exhibit in Rustington museum which is in the process of being moved to another building. The machine is made of metal. No other information I'm afraid.
Attachments
fag-machine-rustington-001a.jpg
fag-machine-rustington-002a.jpg
fag-machine-rustington-003a.jpg
fag-machine-rustington-004a.jpg
hibberd
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:33 pm

Harper Automatics De Luxe saleman's mechanism

Post by hibberd »

Topic moved & merged - Site Admin.

Hello there
I own a Harper Automatics De Luxe selector mechanism in a 'leather' carrying case, presumably for demonstration by a salesman. There is a testing slide with various coins to show effective it was.
I was development manager for Dean vending (of KitKat and Beachnut machines) and when they closed nearly 40 years ago? I bought the mechanism in the auction.
Any one with more information or interest I wonder.
Lots of chrome.
Attachments
DSC04925a.jpg
DSC04929a.jpg
DSC04930a.jpg
DSC04931a.jpg
DSC04932a.jpg
DSC04935a.jpg
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests