Following a lengthy illness, noted coin machine historian Richard M.
"Dick" Bueschel, 71, passed away at his home in suburban Chicago on
April 19, 1998. Having forged a successful career as a top advertising
executive in the 1960s and 1970s, Mr. Bueschel made his mark in the
coin-op field by authoring dozens of books on slot machines, pinballs,
jukeboxes, trade stimulators and arcade games.
Dick Bueschel served in the U.S. 9th Air Force from 1945 to 1946. His
military service led not only to a degree in American History and
Government from Illinois College in 1951 (on the G.I. Bill), but also
to a series of books on aviation. Among the subjects he covered were
airplanes in Japanese naval service during W.W.II, as well as his first
work to be translated into four languages, "Communist Chinese
But it was his vast knowledge of coin-operated machines that brought
Dick Bueschel to the attention of that industry. Throughout his career
he filled the position of either columnist or editor with a number of
different trade journals and hobby magazines, often writing articles
for several publications simultaneously. His most recent post was as
managing editor of "Coin Drop International", a bimonthly magazine
aimed at the coin-op collector.
Among his best-known works are "Collectors Guide to Vintage Coin
Machines" (Schiffer Publishing Co.) and two volumes in an
encyclopedia-of-pinball series, "Pinball 1" and "Pinball 2" (Salvable
Amusements). His history of slot machines published in 1995, "Lemons,
Cherries and Bell-Fruit-Gum" (Royal Bell Books), was the culmination of
more than twenty years of research and has become the definitive book
in that field.
Dick Bustle's gentlemanly approach to writing and his colloquial
expressiveness on a wide variety of coin-op subjects helped humanize
the otherwise cold world of manufactured goods; his writing spoke often
of the special relationship between machines and popular domestic
culture. At the time of his death Mr. Bueschel was at work on a
history of coin-operated music machines, entitled "Let The Other Guy
Play It". This project will be completed by his daughter, Stacey
Bueschel McDonnell, and published by Royal Bell Books later this year.
Mr. Bueschel leaves behind his wife Helen, daughters Stacey and Megan
Convey Bueschel, sister Margaret Bueschel Johnson, and eight devoted
nieces and nephews. Services were held at Lauterberg-Oehler Funeral
Home in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and interment took place near his
vacation home at Stony Lake, Michigan. A memorial service is scheduled
for early July, and further details will be made public as they become
For additional information please contact Rosanna Harris, publisher of
"Coin Drop International", at (303) 431-9266.
[ Dick Bueschel's articles and letters for MMD were always enthusiastic
[ and full of good information. His first articles were in Digests
[ 970107 as 970114 (as Richard M. Bueschel), and thereafter they can
[ be found in the MMD Archives under Dick Bueschel. We'll miss him.
[ -- Robbie