Coin operated scales
One of my favorite daily reads (or distractions) is James Lileks' Bleat
Today, he talks in passing about coin-operated scales
, which were on almost every corner in the 1920's and 30's. Plop in a penny and you would get your weight and your fortune.
They fell out of popularity in the 40's and 50's because of cheap bathroom scales and vandalism. Now they're collector's items, but only 5,000 or so of the original 750,000 exist. They were considered junk until the 70's and 80's, so they just got thrown out. Strange how trends work.
I'm trying to think what to compare these to, I guess they're kind of like those penny-flattening machines you see at any tourist location. You know, put in 50 cents and a penny, and you get a penny with a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge or something. But those aren't nearly as popular as the scales were. Is there anything comparable today?