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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Blue bell slot machine


Blue bell
Blue bell  
Blue bell
Blue bell  
QUESTION: Hi I was wondering if my blue bell slot machine is original ?
First most I have seen say mills blue bell on the nameplate(mine just says blue bell)
I don't believe the reel strips are original as they don't look like an older mills high top I have .
The mech unit in the machine is pristine and looks completely original.
Tha serial number in the base is 582394. Very clean almost too clean which is my concern. It does have wear to it though. Bought from someone who said their father bought it in 1949 and it just sat mostly.
The wood sides are one piece and are not glued together like the Jewell bell I have?
The paint looks original but I have a concern as the inner bonnet and behind the escalator are all blue too?
Just trying to figure out what I have here.
I can send more photos if you like?

ANSWER: Hi Criss,

Nice machine! Very nice.... Yes, I would say it is all original, paint looks right and also the later high tops did use a full sheet of wood on the sides and a lot of them were then painted or covered in formica or something like that. My serial number list or study shows your serial number fitting right in with high tops made in 1948. This could explain it's good condition as the federal Johnson Act went in place in 1950-51 which put an end to transporting illegal gambling devices "slot machines" across state lines. Which was the start of the end of an err for slot machines. At that point and time when a state would outlaw slot machines the operators could not just move them to another state any longer as they did before. So then to get rid of them they went into rivers, lakes, wells, and land fills or went into false walls or hiding as yours must have. The Johnson act is still in place today and that is why you hear of registering with the department of Justice and receiving back a D.O.J. letter of registration. This letter will allow you to transport gambling machine from one legal state to another, across state lines without violating Federal Law.
Thank You
Rodger Knutson    

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Reel strip
Reel strip  
QUESTION: Thank you so much . I really appreciate your knowledge and help . I was comparing this blue bell to my jewel bell and it just looked too nice I was beginning to think it was fake . May I ask why all other blue bells say mills blue bell on the nameplate and mine just says blue bell? Also the reel strips don't look old like my jewel bell and have a different design(they say copyrighted / printed in USA ) but my other high top says mills novelty and has the more traditional design?
Do you have a number so I can call you to get some parts for other machines I'm restoring?
I'm new to these so pardon all the questions , I love these things!
Thank you !!

Hi Chris,

Yes, they do in in your blood and fast! I am addicted to them and have been right from the first time I seen one and it was for sale at that time back in 1969. It took every penny that I could come up with but I was able to buy that machine and I still have it! A 50 cent Mills black cherry, and I bought it with out reel strips on it. It was illegal here then but I didn't care, I had to have it anyway, and own it any way I could. I have had hundreds of machines pass through my hands since then and repaired hundreds more. I still love the heck out of them even after all this. You might want to join our forum, there is a link on our web site or use this for a direct link:;ww

If you join you will get free access to slot parts manuals that you can download for free and order parts from the people that make or have them. You can also write me at: and I'll be happy to give you my phone number, I just don't want to post it all over the internet by adding it here.

As for your reels strips, I can't see them in the photos but it could be possible that they could be reproductions but your machine sounds to be in such good condition and if it hasn't been restored, I would not think someone would just change them as that is not all that easy to do. Being one of the later Mills high top machines, there were changes made. Same with your polished bar, I have seen them both ways, with and without the Mills logo/name on them.

Thanks again and your going to have a great time and a lot of fun being involved with these wonderful Art Americana relics from a time long ago.

Thank You
Rodger Knutson  

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Rodger Knutson


I am an expert on old coin operated machines, slot machines, trade stimulator's, jukeboxes, old arcade machines, etc. I have been identifying these for people who respond to my web site listed below, for a few years now. In almost all cases I am able to tell them about their old coin operated machines, the year, the value, and other general information about their machines. I do not know much about soda vending machines, coin banks, or scales, but I will try to help you with these if I can. Please email photo's to: My web site is at:


I bought my first slot machine, a .50 Cent Mills Black Cherry in 1969 and have been hooked from that time, I still have that Slot machine! Before that I found a open barrel full of old scraped jukebox wall boxes behind a restaurant, I wanted them all but never took a one of them. Anything that took a coin drove me nuts!

C.O.C.A. and other slot and coin operated machine groups, associations, groups, and clubs.

Many, the Coinslot magazine, always juken, Coin Slot Journal, Slot Box Collector, and others that I don’t remember at this time.

Graduated from Ballard High School in 1969, went to Edison Technical Collage for a couple of years taking welding and metal fabrication, tig, mig, heliarc, also arc and gas welding and fabrication. Then Apprenticed under a slot machine technician who worked in the slot machine industry Reno Nevada, and set up bar poker progressive machines in the casino's, and repaired machine and did the repairs on slot machine circuit boards there. He also was involved in the 2 hand dealer's market and bought and sold machines at the casinos auctions for the secondary market, which includes selling used machine overseas. I learned a ton from this man; he always had the correct answers and took the time to teach me the business. My interest and knowledge in other and older coin operated machine is for the most part, self-taught. It's been my passion from back in 1968 and before, my thirst for knowledge about these machines has kept me more interested over the years, and keeps me searching for more information even today. I have meet and talked to book authors on these machines, attended hundreds of coin operated shows and auctions, and I stay with that to this very day.

Awards and Honors
Take a look at my allexperts rating, and my guest book, links to these are at Also you can check my 100 percent rating on ebay, as I have been there with ebay from their day one, I am user coinslots at ebay. My other awards come from the very people that I deal with, I always make them happy, no matter what it takes, but they always are happy anyway as the countless thank you letters testify to me, so I know I am doing right, and the best I can. I have found so many hard to find parts for people, I hunt them down and don't stop until I find what is needed to get that customers machine running again and back to life, that is my main goal.

Past/Present Clients
Client privacy prevents this answer, as some are VIP and famous and I will not betray the trust.

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