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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Mills black cherry 5 cent slot


Mills Slot Machine
Mills Slot Machine  
QUESTION: Hi Rodger,
We are trying to get some information on a slot machine for my father. He has had it in storage since the 50's.
He would like to know what it might be worth today. He remembers the name as Black Cherry? And it was made in either 1946 or 1948. It seems to be in perfect working condition, it looks to be all original and has 2 keys, 1 for the back and 1 for the money box. It also has a custom made black steel base it sits in that has a cool little secret trick in order to remove the machine to get to the money box. It's been fun to play with since  he pulled it out but we want to make sure we are not harming its value whatever that may be.
Thank you very much in advance for your help and information.

Best Regards,

Mills Black Cherry
Mills Black Cherry  
ANSWER: Hi Michelle,

Yes, you are 100 percent correct about it's name and right in there on the date of manufacture. That is one nice all original Mills Black Cherry you have there and it's sitting on a very nice original locking stand. You will not hurt the value at all by playing the machine, in fact they love to be exercised which will keep the parts moving and help keep it loused up inside. The early grease was a wax based grease so it tends to stiffen up over time and playing it will help prevent this to some extent. Mills made a lot of this model and there are a lot of them out there in collectors hands. For running value you can watch ebay by searching for Mills slot machine and yes there is a category for those listed. I'll attach some information about this slot machine here but the information is old and includes value. Even that the value information is old it is still is in the low ballpark but might be a little Low as I would say your machine is worth in the 1,000.00 to 1,250.00 range and add about 300.00 to 350.00 for the stand and you have a total value of around 1,600.00 or in that area anyway. The locking stand has a value on it's own also of around 200.00 to 400.00 all by it's self. Especially if you have the key for it as most of them for sale now days don't have a original lock or key to them, and few others don't have the original locking bar on back either. VERY NICE machine and thank you for providing a photo of it.

Thank You
Rodger Knutson

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for the speedy and informative reply. I guess my next question would be about maintenance. We do not have a manual for it, where would be the best place to find it. My father stated that we should not use any kind of oil on it as it may interfere with the mechanism working properly. Will the manual help us with information on how to clean it and keep it up or is there another guide for that I should buy? Thanks again in advance for your help, we are looking forward to your answer. Oh and it has been a blast this past weekend with friends and family over getting to play with it.

Hi Michelle,

There are a couple small manuals on this page at the top:

These two manuals show a Mills High Top that looks much different then yours but everything inside is almost the same, there could be an added part here or a different part there but Mills mechanisms are for the most part all the same, and this goes for the coin escalator and the jackpot also. Machines look different on the outside but inside there almost exactly the same. These two manuals are small and don't offer the help that your looking for, there good manuals, and show parts and part numbers but not a lot on repair or oil and grease location information. But, I do have the perfect manual for you and it is just not posted to the web site yet. It's over 100 pages and maybe close to 200 pages of photo's and information and everything that you want to know about a Mills machine. With this manual you could take the whole machine apart and put it back together again, tons of photo's, and it's the best of the best. If you want to write me at: and ask about the mills picture guide I'll help you in getting this book. As for oil, I like what is called the ZOOM Spout oiler, it is a small jug with a long spout that you can pull out and allows you to put one drop in a area you could not get to otherwise. It's a fine turbine oil and has no or very little smell. Do a goggle search for Zoom Spout oil and I am sure you will find what it looks like or here:

I also use a synthetic super lube grease that is expensive but has been working very good on my rebuilds and I am very happy with it.

After all these years of searching for different products to use, these two are the ones that I use now and have been useing for some time now.

Thank You and looking forward to you email about the Mills book.

Rodger Knutson

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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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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