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History - Factory
History

Company History

Patrick J.Buckley started in 1929 with slot machines. After getting started in much the same way as his competitors it was clear his company was always going to playing catch up to the big boys so he decided to steer his business down a slightly different path. He did this in several ways.

Firstly although he did make his own machines(and very good ones) he cut costs drastically by producing machines that used mechanisms from other companies (notably Mills) in his own cases.

Secondly when he did produce machines he often looked in a different direction from the other firms ,this resulted in some of the most interesting(and collectable) gambling machines ever made. Buckley also made a series of unusual Pin tables,some in the form of gambling machines with a payout.

Thirdly he wasn't shy of overstepping the mark,copying other companies products was common place in the slot industry and Buckley was certainly involved in this. As early as July 1936,just six years after he started up he and his company were in court on patent infringement charges. This was to happen again some years later and run ins with the law seem to have been a large part of the companies demise in the 50's.

Another plus for Buckley was that he was undoubtably a good business man and,unlike some of the bigger firms, he embraced change,modern methods and materials. During WW2 he realised the potential of plastics, and not just in the slot industry and looked to move in that direction. He also employed several selling plans designed to make his machines easier to buy. He also recognised the importance of solidarity amongst the slot makers and was heavily involved in various slot makers associations and in the running of the very important trade shows of the time.He also recognised the importance of international sales and had a large European network of agents by 1939.

This side of his business took a huge hit during the war but just six months after the war ended he was booking one of the first flights to Paris (no mean feat in 1946, Billboard Mag reports that his flight took 22 hours stopping in Newfoundland and Ireland). So important did he feel this trip was he handed over the running of the factory to his managers for almost four months while he visited France,England,Belgium ,Spain and most surprisingly the recently defeated Italy. He wanted to restore his agent network in Europe as well as feel out the potential for future slot sales but never slow to see the advantages of investing in a depressed area he also had plans to build two factories in Europe, a plastics moulding plant and a die cast plant.

Buckley made at least 66 different slot machines and was a manufacturer and distributor of jukebox music systems for businesses. The company's jukebox operations were active from 1939. Buckley had several distributors in various regions around the United States. The jukebox stations were tied into a central system, including jukes, a full line of auxiliary wall and or bar boxes, and speakers.

Buckley was doing well until the US laws restricted slot sales in the US. A major police raid on the factory in 1958 seems to have persuaded Buckley to move out of business.
Factory
Buckley Music System, Inc. Factory Location: 4225 West Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60624

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