Shaffer Distributing’s Legacy

In 1929 Estel Shaffer, “Pop”, a pharmacist with a drug store Columbus, OH was approached by an operator to take an amusement game for a penny a play. After three months, Pop noticed that the machine earned great income. He decided to try his luck by operating the games himself. Within a couple weeks, Pop purchased a few games and was earning himself an extra income. The coin machine collection bug “bit him” and not too long afterward, he sold the drug store and went into operating amusement games full time, opening the Shaffer Coin Machine Co. in a store on First Ave., Columbus, OH not far from the current headquarters.

Pop’s son, Ed joined the family business and purchased several other amusement products to accompany the previous games. These purchases soon made enough money to grow the route. In the 30’s, a factory in Youngstown, Ohio, introduced a mechanical pinball game called Whiffleboard, a unity which operated on a nickel. Despite operating games during the depression, many people found happiness while playing Whiffleboard which contributed to the games and route to succeed.

As the family business continued to grow, Estel changed the company name to Shaffer Music Co. around 1935 when he began to set a heavy number of jukeboxes. In recognition of Shaffer’s growing scope in machine marketing, Shaffer Music Co. was renamed Shaffer Distributing Company.


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