Ticket Machine thumbnail 1
Ticket Machine thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Ticket Machine

ca.1902 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This machine was made to issue two differently-shaped zinc or aluminium tickets or tokens for patrons of the Pit and the Stalls at London's Alhambra Theatre in Leicester Square. The tokens, and possibly the machine, were made by the firm Accurate Check Taker Limited, which operated in Covent Garden and Soho from 1902 until 1944.

Tokens waiting to be issued were stacked on the vertical metal columns. When people paid for admission, the handle was turned corresponding to the relevant token, shaped differently for Pit or Stalls. The token was dispensed into a receptacle at the base of the unit, and the 'Vernon Revolution Counter' (patented 1893) at the base of each stack recorded the numbers issued. As they took their seats, patrons returned their tokens to ushers who collected them on a rod or string before returning them to the box office where the amount issued could be cross-checked with the mechanical counter on the machine.


Object details

Category
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Ticket Machine
  • Ticket Machine
Materials and techniques
Wood and brass
Brief description
Ticket machine used at the Alhambra Theatre, Leicester Square, featuring the 'Vernon Revolution Counter'. Possibly made by The Accurate Check Taker Ltd. Wood and brass, c.1902.
Physical description
S.145-1988:
Machine for issuing tickets and tokens, constructed on an oak base with metal compartments, brass cylinders and flaps, one market PIT (left) and STALLS (right). A wire cage sits above the centre of the device; handles on each side of the unit move brass plates at the lack of the unit. The left handle is complete while the right hand handle lacks its wooden knob

S.145A-1988:
Three metal prongs or columns attached by wing nuts to a metal base, for retaining stacks of tickets for the Alhambra ticket machine. With 95 metal quatrefoil tickets on the prongs.
Dimensions
  • Of base depth: 11.1cm
  • Of base width: 22.5cm
  • Height of prongs height: 29.0cm
  • Length of ticket length: 5.0cm
  • Width of ticket width: 5.0cm
Marks and inscriptions
  • ALHAMBRA THEATRE
  • ALHAMBRA THEATRE
Credit line
Given by the British Theatre Museum Association
Object history
Given to the British Theatre Association by the Science Museum, via G.B.L. Wilson, in November 1959.
Production
The Accurate Check Taker Ltd. made tokens that were issued by these machines and operated from 28-29, Southampton Street, Strand, 1902-1917; 17-21, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden 1908-1930, and then 94, Wardour Street from 1931 until about 1944.
Summary
This machine was made to issue two differently-shaped zinc or aluminium tickets or tokens for patrons of the Pit and the Stalls at London's Alhambra Theatre in Leicester Square. The tokens, and possibly the machine, were made by the firm Accurate Check Taker Limited, which operated in Covent Garden and Soho from 1902 until 1944.

Tokens waiting to be issued were stacked on the vertical metal columns. When people paid for admission, the handle was turned corresponding to the relevant token, shaped differently for Pit or Stalls. The token was dispensed into a receptacle at the base of the unit, and the 'Vernon Revolution Counter' (patented 1893) at the base of each stack recorded the numbers issued. As they took their seats, patrons returned their tokens to ushers who collected them on a rod or string before returning them to the box office where the amount issued could be cross-checked with the mechanical counter on the machine.
Other number
1959/W/28 - BTMA accession number
Collection
Accession number
S.145&A-1988

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Record createdJune 21, 2006
Record URL
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