About Stained Glass & Antique Slot Machines
Coin-operated machines are a part of American history, beginning in the late 19th century, and flourishing in the early part of the 20th, until they became illegal in the 1950's. We find many of our machines in places where they have been locked up since then. Some of them were kept in operation by attached "vendors" that rewarded customers with mints, candy, or cigarettes in return for their coins, thus skirting the law. Today, it varies from state to state as to whether or not they are legal. Check your laws here. Here in Michigan, you may possess any machine that is at least 25 years old, strictly for your own use.
I began collecting and refurbishing the old machines in the mid-1990's, and have become an expert in both their lore and the mechanical aspects since then. Darwin's is the largest vintage slot machine dealer in the state of Michigan. You can trust our work as well as our word.
Original and authentically restored machines are difficult to find, and the buyer should beware of "remanufactured" machines and reproductions. Darwin's has close to 50 machines in stock at any given time, some completely original, some restored, some partially restored.
Each customer has his or her own preference, and we try to cater to every one. We are now shipping all over the country, and occasionally outside the country, specializing in Mills and Jennings machines. They were the workhorse of their day, and are the most reliable, in my opinion. We also handle Watling, Pace, and Caille machines.
Another interesting facet of our business is collecting and selling antique floor safes. Besides meeting a demand for them, they make great stands for the slots!
I inherited a fascination with mechanical things from my grandfather, the late Roy Darwin, who was involved in player pianos, model airplanes, and antique restoration, as well as stained glass. After twenty-five years as owner of Darwin's Stained Glass, I began tinkering with old slot machines in my spare time, and another business was born. Every day is a challenge and a pleasure meeting new clients from all walks of life.
Collectors are rapidly buying up these machines. We can supply you with a working piece of our great American history, an investment quality heirloom to pass down to future generations.
Our machines are original, not "remanufactured" or reproduction machines. We try to leave these vintage slots in original condition whenever possible, using genuine salvaged parts. We do not plate them in chrome or nickel; they are generally polished aluminum and painted as they appeared in their heyday.
We stock machines ranging from 100% original needing nothing to machines which have been cleaned, lubed and repainted to fully restored originals.
I've been in the stained glass business since 1973, having learned from my grandfather, the late Roy Darwin of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a teenager. After 20 years working 7 days a week on custom stained glass, I started to burn out. I was encouraged to get a hobby, which turned out to be slot machines, and that in turn has become a second business.
My grandfather was always tinkering and collecting. A tool and die tradesman, he also dealt successfully in player pianos, model airplanes, and antiques. I recently learned that he had 3 Mills slot machines in his basement that he had restored back in the 1950's, when he was about the age I am now. So I guess it's just in my blood.
We can usually ship anywhere in the 48 contiguous states, in a shipping drum, fully insured for $135.00-$200.00 depending on zip code.
Please call 734-475-9730 or e-mail us with questions and we will reply.
Thanks for looking!