The Penny Arcade at Buckroe Beach Amusement Park

Train Ticket to Buckroe Buckroe Ride Tickets  ID Medallion made
by my daddy in the Buckroe Arcade prior
to his death in 1960
Back of ID Medallion Fire King Opalescent Caramel Bowls such as these from my collection were frequently given as prizes in Arcade games - Pull the String, Duck Pond, and others.
 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 10/24/03
Thanks, Dave!
 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 03/25/04
WOW!!  Thanks, Dave!
- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 10/28/03 - Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 11/21/03
A 2-3/4" tall vase I won playing Pull the String when I was a little-bitty girl.  I kept it in my bedroom.  When I moved out,
my mama saved it for me for all those years.  I suppose it's a rather worthless piece of junk, but it's priceless to me now.
Rosemary Clooney Tony Curtis Janet Leigh Robert Mitchum Maureen O'Hara Randolph Scott
Autographed Movie Star Cards, such as these, were available at a vending machine within the Penny Arcade.  They were cardboard black and white cards, measuring 3-1/4" by 5-1/4", with blank backs, and were dispensed (I think) at the rate of about eight for 50 cents.
- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 04/11/04 - Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 01/11/06
I'm including image
of a Wooden Nickel sold
at the Buckroe Beach Gift Shop, another variety of a Buckroe Beach Admission Ticket, plus an interesting example of a token for Bay Shore, the Colored Buckroe Beach.
Courtesy of Bob Butler (HHS - '64) of VA - 08/26/04
Thanks, Bob!
  Courtesy of Bob Butler (HHS - '64) of VA - 08/26/04
Thanks, Bob!
  Mutoscope Machine Coin Operated Electric Shock Machine Standard Metal Typer Machine  
  Courtesy of Bob Butler (HHS - '64) of VA - 08/27/04
Thanks, Bob
Courtesy of Bob Butler (HHS - '64) of VA - 08/27/04
Thanks, Bob!
Courtesy of Bob Butler (HHS - '64) of VA - 08/29/04
Thanks, Bob!

Coin Operated Electric Shock Machine

I had a vague 40-year old mental image of that machine in the arcade at Buckroe,
but never dreamed I would see the real deal again. But, there it is, and the story is coming back:

The core players were
Wayne McPhail (’64), Donnie Reed (’65), and myself.
I can recall distinctly that the machine faced the beach, which is to say that your back was to the beach while you “played” it.
Over the course of the early summer, we would stand before this machine, pockets filled with dimes,
and begin to train ourselves for the upcoming prank later in the summer.

At this point in the story it is important to remember that this machine probably weighed about 50 pounds,
mostly owing to some heavy duty transformers inside to get the voltage up and the amperage way down …..
it is amps which kill, not volts, as I later learned in EE.
Anyway, the point is that this thing did not move easily … it did not move at all. Ahhh, but I digress ….

Many of you will recall that you would insert your dime and grab both knobs.
The left knob did not turn; when you turned the right knob clockwise, the voltage would rise proportionately…
the meter and the increasing tingle in your forearms would confirm that.
The idea was to see how high you could drive the voltage before you let go.
The higher the voltage, the greater the tingle. If increased, the tingle would begin to feel like a cramp;
your arm muscles would ache and your brain would tell you to let go, but your arms and hands would not obey,
so you would ease the voltage back down. If I recall, some serious pain would be felt when the meter was at about 50%.

Still, “The Macho Men” would increase the voltage incrementally,
willing themselves not to let go or decrease the voltage.
Every day, the meter would read higher and higher.
Every day, we would insert the dime, grab the knobs and rotate them immediately to a high meter reading.
It was simply a matter of will power … of mind over pain.
At the Olympic level of competition, you would grab the knobs,
rotate the right one as far clockwise as possible, and have a friend drop the dime.
The result was instantaneous high voltage.

Once we had all mastered this lunacy, it was time for the fun to begin.
We recruited a friend who had not previously accompanied us on training sessions,
and visited the Park. After some diversionary tactics … a Roller Coaster ride, the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Round-Up,
vinegar-laced French fries … we ambled over to the Arcade and eventually stopped at this strange red machine.
Feigning curiosity and unfamiliarity, each of us would insert a dime, grab the knobs and turn to full intensity immediately.
Without showing pain, we would comment on what a rush the electric tingle was.
Then it was the turn of the “victim”. Having seen each of us turn up the knobs quickly,
he inserted the dime and did likewise.

As I mentioned earlier, this machine easily weighed in at 50 pounds.
Yet, with forearms outstretched and grabbing only the knobs on the front,
he managed to lift it vertically about a foot before his brain resumed control and realized
what a foolhardy thing it had been duped into doing. The machine returned to earth, he let go,
and began to dance an extremely vigorous version of the The Bird.
Strangely, his math grades improved dramatically over the next semester, and eventually “The Voices” disappeared.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 08/29/04

OHHH!  What NAUGHTY boys you were!!!
I think I'll be okay in a bit, but I'm not sure; I laughed so terribly hard at this one!
Thanks, Dave!

Dave, That is a hilarious story about setting up the victim at the Penny Arcade.
Only a bunch of youthful young men could dream up such a set up.
I bet you all laughed for weeks after that, and perhaps are still laughing.
It sure got me going today. Too much!!!!
Take care,

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 08/29/04

Thanks, Joe!

(This page was created on 08/29/04.)

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