Mills "Front Bell" Slot Machine
- Item No.
16 & 17 3/8 Inches
25 1/8 & 33 1/2 Inches
15 & 17 1/4 Inches
A superb Mills Blue Front Bell, or Castle Front, mechanical 25-cent coin-operated slot machine, built by the leader of the slot machine movement in Chicago and around the world, the Mills Novelty Company of Chicago. Originally introduced in 1933, this machine features a single jackpot window against a vibrant coat-of-arms display. Set upon a charming oak cabinet with a stained-glass front panel and gilt adornments, this slot machine is a fine example of early 20th century gaming. Mills was known for creating striking and colorful cast front slots meant to attract eager players, and the Castle Front was one of Mills' most exceptional designs. This Mills machine is in excellent, refurbished condition. A similar model is pictured in Slot Machines, A Pictorial History of the First 100 Years by Marshall Fey, the definitive resource for vintage slot machines. Circa 1933 Machine: 16" wide x 15" deep x 25 1/8" high Stand: 17 3/8" wide x 17 1/4" deep x 33 1/2" high Mills was the largest and most successful manufacturer of slot machines from the late 1800s through the 1960s, rivaled only by slot machine pioneer Charles Fey. Originally founded in San Francisco, the company took root in Chicago where three generations of Mills' propelled it to the top of the gaming business. Mills introduced many features that have made the slot machines what they are today. A particular feature of note patented by Mills in 1910 is the fruit real strip still in use today. In the earliest machines orange, plum, cherry and lemon corresponded to the flavor of gum dispensed on a win. The concept: everybody wins (something at least)! When each machine was originally introduced by Mills, it was given an official name. However, because of the beautiful designs in the castings and the brilliant colors used to highlight them, the machines became more commonly known by the nicknames given to them by the operators.