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harry_p
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Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby harry_p » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:54 pm

Hi all, I know very little about slot machines but have come into possession of one.

From quite a lot of looking around the net, looking at lots and lots of photos I have decided it's definitely a Mills machine, however it doesn't match any I have found through my searches.

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The main casing matches the operator bell, however the window in the middle looks like the one found on the Mills poinsettia machine.

I'm assuming by the hand written scorecard not the regular rectangular operator bell type that it's some sort of aftermarket modification rather than a factory version.

Also the colour, would it originally have been polished and decorated or did they do more plain colour scheme versions for different markets?

I know nothing about it other than it has been sat in a summerhouse my entire life ( 40 odd years ) and probably several decades before that!

Many thanks to anyone who can provide any information on it.

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treefrog
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Location: Suffolk

Re: Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby treefrog » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:43 pm

Hello and welcome,

Not an expert on 20’s or 30’s bandit, but my first reaction was that this was a Firmans conversion, who often took old Mills machines making up new items from old castings and even making their own castings and jackpots. As you say looks like a Poinsettia top and Operator Bell lower with a add-on jackpot screwed in the middle.

If you look at below thread on Firmans you will see the variety they produced, also below picture of one close with screwed in jackpot top right.

Also is the machine in some kind of console cabinet, which looks bigger than the machine. Machines shipped to U.K. were often painted single colours by the operators from the polished and painted panels of original.

Firmans
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D97BB144-3C6E-496D-85A4-64C6C066537C.jpeg (51.58 KiB) Viewed 1242 times

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coppinpr
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Re: Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby coppinpr » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:02 pm

Would make a nice project. Do you think the console ever reached all the way to the floor or has it always been counter-top style?

harry_p
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Re: Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby harry_p » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:11 pm

Many thanks for your replies.

I'm quite mechanically minded, and having read various threads on here including the one linked above I am certainly tempted to try and return it to decent working condition.

Mechanically it all seems to be there so hopefully a thorough clean up would make a big difference.

The machine is in a cabinet, I had guessed that this wasn't original to the machine. However it seems nicely made specifically for the machine, as the standard machine sides and base panel are still attached, with the base recessed flush in the cabinet, rather than just being sat on top of something generic.

It's floor standing with the top of the machine approx 5ft tall.

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ddstoys
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Re: Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby ddstoys » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:45 pm

Don’t know much about them but I do know it’s beautiful keep us posted with your restoration

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coppinpr
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Re: Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby coppinpr » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:04 am

Could we see a few more photos? Full length, from the side, inside, please. :cool:

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gameswat
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Re: Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby gameswat » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:10 am

I imagine this is a mid to late 1920s Operator Bell. Slightly earlier models had an open award card but also a square slug checking window under the coin entry. Later they used an oval slug checking window like yours and a divided score card. They probably just cut out that score card division when they added the jackpot. The Poinsettia used the same top casting later on so they often get confused with the earlier Operator Bell versions.
operator bell square.jpg
operator bell oval.jpg

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gameswat
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Re: Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby gameswat » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:31 am

Ah, I just noticed the two cast bars between the reels, so then the top casting probably is from a Poinsettia after all! :o

harry_p
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Re: Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby harry_p » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:17 pm

Must admit, I hadn't noticed that difference between cases before. Good spot, I was just focusing on the decoration.

I've not yet brought it home so will take some more photos when I'm next there.

harry_p
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Re: Unusual 1920s Mills machine

Postby harry_p » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:54 pm

Couple of pictures. I took a tape measure in with me but forgot to take any measurements. It's a comfortable height for me to play on and I'm 6ft tall.

Excuse the state of it and the mess surrounding it!

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Lock mechanism is still there, but no key, so just the later add on lock bar.

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All the mechanism looks to be there, I've got things to click, whirr and spin, but obviously there's quite a lot of light corrosion and some of the small mattress style springs have seen better days.

Looks like a mouse had made a nest in the bottom compartment as I had to clear out a lot of leaves and straw. Only thing missing seems to be a money box / draw.
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