COVINGTON, Ky. — Monarch Coin & Security, one of the oldest companies serving the self-service laundry industry and still family-owned and -operated, marks its 120th year of service in 2023.
Monarch specializes in replacement coin boxes, coin/token slides, locks/keys and other accessories. It offers full body guards and coin box guards for security, coin/token-operated bathroom door locks, and coin/token-operated meters for showers, lights and other applications.
According to a history posted on its website, the business originally called Monarch Tool and Manufacturing Company was founded in 1903 and incorporated in 1905. Louis Hall and Walter Boer were the original partners.
When the company was founded, few places had electricity. Home appliances were nonexistent, and clothes washing was done with a tub, washboard and mangle. Automobiles were rare, and most people still traveled by horse. It was late in 1903 when the Wright brothers flew the first airplane.
While Monarch was involved in the production of many different parts, from marine engines to specialty valves and parts for appliances and automobiles, it’s always been involved in producing coin mechanisms. Those with a slide were a part of its line from the earliest days. Early player pianos used its coin boxes and timers as well as the player bar. Later, jukeboxes used Monarch coin devices and stampings for internal mechanisms, and pool tables have long used the company’s mechanisms as well.
In the early 1940s, Mitchell Hall bought the company from his father and his father’s partner, Lindel Myers. Soon, he began working with Ed Heath, who established Heath Sales of Macon, Georgia, to market Monarch products to manufacturers. For the next 35 years, this arrangement built on a handshake and mutual respect saw Monarch grow and become an innovator in coin mechanisms.
Mitchell Hall accumulated a number of patents for features and variations involving coin mechanisms and other products.
Monarch says the birth of coin-operated laundry equipment actually began much earlier than is usually recognized; pilot projects using coin mechanisms and timers installed in the skirts of wringer-type washers began as early as 1936 but were put on hold for the retooling of America for World War II. Monarch was involved in producing parts for munitions, and other materiel for the war effort.
Following the war, Monarch was ready to serve with its Model 444 Single Coin Mechanism. That product is still available today, although it’s mostly used for tokens and tokettes. Monarch estimates more than 10 million units have been produced over the decades.
In the late 1950s, Monarch introduced the Model 1000, which accepted two coins. The 444 and 1000 models were the “workhorses for the coin laundry industry for many years,” the company says. With the radical inflation of the 1970s, it was time to introduce the Vertical Eight Coin mechanism. The rise of the vertical multi-coin acceptors—Monarch also offers 15- and 16-coin models now—eventually led to production of the 1000 being discontinued.
When Mitchell Hall died in 2001, his daughter Stephanie managed the day-to-day operations. Today, her daughter, Danielle, is the fourth generation of the Hall family to oversee the company.
Monarch Coin & Security has weathered many storms in its long history. Through it all, its commitment to customer service has never wavered, and today the company says it promises to work with its customer to find the products that best serve their needs.
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