1941 Scientific Batting Practice
This classic machine was purchased off of ebay....it originally came out of Nelson Ledges Arcade in Ohio. As can be seen from the picture below, the machine had been used for a long time and needed some tlc.
Although most of machine was intact when purchased, it was showing its' age of 65+ years and needed a complete restoration. I was sure that under the many layers of paint and neglect was a beautiful arcade game waiting to be enjoyed again.
An area that concerned me was that only the feet of the catcher and batter could be seen at home plate. I was sure that these figures would be all but impossible to find. To my surprise, upon disassembling the back scoring section, I found both players hiding out in the ball returns.
As can be seen from the picture of the scoring section, paint was enthusiastically applied over the years. Not only were the natural wooden sides of the score box painted, part of the printed scoring galleries were inadvertently messed up with paint.
The rest of the machine was disassembled to allow for the restoration to begin. Interesting to note the size of the fuses in these old games.
The playfield as removed from the game. Once the men were removed, the original cork playing field was revealed. Also, under the ramp holder on the pitching mound, the original orange infield color could be seen. To my delight, the original ball field with bases and foul ball lines were revealed after the paint was stripped from the playing field. Quite a difference in contrast between the last coat of paint and the original colors.
The outside of the box had many layers of paint...the last being a bright yellow. As the various layers of paint were removed, the original design could be seen. The last picture in this series is another example of a scientific batting practice machine. The paint scheme is similar to the machine being restored except that where there is red on the side, on the machine being restored it was replaced with blue. The front of the machine still had a red door.
The marquee, like the rest of the machine, had multiple layers of different color paint on it. The original red was revealed once completely stripped.
After reuniting the catcher and the batter to their appropriate feet, the players were primered. The players were then painted to reflect the motif of the day.
The bleachers, score board and the surrounding areas were refurbished as original. The playing field including the ball diamond were painted the original color. The bases and foul lines were added, along with the ramp mount on the pitcher mound.
The completed infield was inserted into the case. The bat and batting mechanism were also installed.
The glass was installed on the one side, along with the appropriate moldings. The ball ramp and the players were installed to test out the mechanics.
The front door and lock have been added. Shatter proof glass will be added on the front to prevent accidents from the little users. The marquee glass should be back in place in short order.
Although I was happy to see that the original legs were still intact with the machine, they were in sad shape. As can be seen from the first picture on the top of this page, additional struts and braces were added for rigidity. It seems that whenever the legs became loose or wobbly, nails, screws, and metal braces were added (see pictures below). Also, it was discovered that the original legs were painted red (which I will return them too once they are refurbished).
New legs have been made from ash and cabinet grade plywood. A template was created from the original set to insure that the replicated set matched the originals. At this point, holes have to be drilled in the plywood of each leg set so they can be attached to the case. Metal cleats also have to be installed on the bottom of each leg.. I made an extra set of legs for this machine if anyone needs a set. The new legs can be seem with one of the originals in the background.