View Full Version : bead chain drive

12-29-2008, 12:12 AM
Bead chain is good for something besides securing a bathtub drain plug. Here's one use, at the Musée Mécanique at San Francisco's Pier 44. Loading must be light, of course. I've never seen bead chain in any other size.


12-29-2008, 01:47 AM
I've never seen bead chain in any other size.

Not even on a key chain fob?


12-29-2008, 02:01 AM
Not even on a key chain fob?


Thanks, I admit to being jewelry (and funky key chain) challenged.

12-29-2008, 04:45 AM
At the local hardware store they have it in a variety of sizes up to the largest which has about 3/8" balls.

Ian B
12-29-2008, 06:15 AM
Hell, I used to *love* those grabs when I was a kid! Clever mechanisms - they'd pick a prize up, and just manage to drop it before it reached the delivery chute and my grubby paws.

It looks as if the "prizes" now are as lousy as they were 45 years ago, but at least the mothers are cuter...


John Stevenson
12-29-2008, 06:37 AM
I an certain these things are built with a short chain in that as the grab scopes round to the shute the chain is on it's limit and releases the grab so it drops the toy short of the shute.

Always meant to ask one of the showmen if this was true but always forgot.

When I was younger I spent a fair bit of time going round fairgrounds looking after generating sets, I used to take our kids with me when they were young and they were well looked after.

At one site at Sherwood Forest which is a permanent summer site the showman who ran this site Alf Turvill was a friend.
When we rolled up to repair something he would go in the caravan and come out with two big bags of money and give one to each of the kids. All small change for the slot boxes, probably equal to a weeks wages at that time.
The kids would disappear and that was it for hours, when they came back they would have no money, they always put it all back in the machines.

One thing thought it cured them of slot boxes :D they can just walk past them now.

My daughter remembers those days very well, riding all day for free as the stallholders all knew them and they couldn't get lost or get into trouble.

We still have the local fair come to town 3 times a year, 2 are on the local park and one in mid November is in the centre of town, they close the centre for 3 days whilst this is on. It's called a charter fair and dates back to 1252. The charters cannot be revoked as they were issued by Royal decree, many towns still have them, some have moved them out of town because of the size of them nowadays.
Nottingham's Goose fair where the livestock was driven to the fair and sold was in the centre of town up until just after WWII but the charter was altered to hold it on a big park just outside where it is still held to this day.