On the People and Places page, I displayed a picture of a Mr. Meyer Lansky shaking hands with some Wurlitzer representatives. His company, Manhattan-Simplex Distributing had just been named an authorized distributor for Wurlitzer. I had no confirmation however on whether or not this was the famous gangster Meyer Lansky. I corresponded with a gangster aficionado who looked at the photo, but he could not say for sure.
As luck would have it, I recently received a note from Max Bernstein, who pointed out that the recent biography on Meyer Lansky, Little Big Man, written by Robert Lacey, documented the fact that Simplex Distributing was in fact his company.
So there you have it - a bona fide documented connection between the mob and the coin industry (albeit a 50 year old connection). The next question is - did Simplex distributing get involved with pinballs? Given the fact that they were in New York, the answer may be no.
Thanks to Max for passing along the information to me. He is interested in gangsters, and also happens to collect juke boxes and owns a couple of pins as well.
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