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Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

Genco Incorporated, a glimpse at the past

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

I love to hunt for the next game, or game project, but sometimes you find other arcade stuff that’s just as fun. I recently picked up a batch of arcade paperwork, and included in the group was a stack of letters from Genco Incorporated. Genco Incorporated, also known as Genco Manufacturing Company, was based in Chicago from 1930 until 1958. They manufactured electro-mechanical games and pre-flipper pinball machines. There isn’t a lot of information available about the company, so its nice to share these pieces of arcade history.

genco incorporated letter

The letters are all typed on quality two-tone printed stationary, with a signature that’s hand signed in ink. The letters pitch a new game to a wholesaler or distributor and have some interesting bits of marketing lingo, such as “Blondie’s the honey that will bring in the money!” Love it. There is even mention of sending game samples! Imagine getting free samples of coin op machinery in the mail, very cool. Prices are listed for the operator, the jobber, and the distributor. Amazing what some of these machines cost back in the 1930’s, sort of expensive when you consider a 1930’s dollar is worth about fourteen dollars in 2017. Most of these were five or ten cent machines, that would take awhile to get a good return on investment.

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The letters aren’t perfect and you can tell that they were typed with different type writers. Addresses, pricing information, and various details were added to the letters, customizing them for each customer. Very different from today’s lightning fast email, cell phones, or slick internet advertising.

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The letters have a certain charm to them and provide an interesting look at the coin operated business in its early days. I will continue to hunt down and post about arcade history, I’ve got a huge backlog of stuff to work through.

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If you happen to come across any good documentation, letters, or any other arcade paper, drop me a line I’d love to hear about it. If you need watermark free images, I can do that too.

genco incorporated letter