Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

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Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby jsin » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:24 pm

Just wanted to get some feedback on local machine. Does this appear to be authentic or reproduction? Any noticeable miss matching parts or missing parts if authentic. Seller says make offer , mechanism will cycle but reels don't always spin. Any input greatly appreciated. I am thinking it may be a reproduction , but not sure.
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby JHSS-1944 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:06 pm

Hello; been some debate on whether the castings have ever been reproduced later on. I don't believe so. was super popular at the time & when mills could no longer make the casting in aluminum ,for many reasons, they had another company in Chicago make them for them but, were in cast iron =1944 /1945.
a fast look ; the reel strips are silver "1947" type , should be white. the reel disks them selves have been totally reworked = one can see all the winning holes on disk 1 filled in & no doubt other holes were made for "other wins". fast look = a few minor parts missing. really comes down to the price. in 25 cent play is nice, most common is 5 cent.
how good does the chrome plating look overall ? ; that's the biggest factor.
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby jsin » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:12 pm

Talked to seller again today , says 800 for machine and stand. Gonna try and check it out tmrw.
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby oldslotman » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:59 pm

Stripped down mech, wrong handle and wrong award card. Mech looks to new for a machine that old.
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:20 am

As common as this Mills model is, the case may or may not be reproduction. You really have to see it in person to determine.
The mechanism is definitely a Hodge-Podge of original and recast parts, with some common parts missing. The reel discs have
been plugged, and who knows what else has been tampered with. The price is fair, if it were all original, but I would not want
the headaches of making it right. Stay far away, if you can. There are plenty of good original machines to be had. Especially
these HalfTop series of "Diamond", "Black Cherry", and "Golden Falls". It is also best to focus more on a Nickel play, as most of
the reproductions were done in Quarter.
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:29 am

jsin:
Something else I also forgot to mention, being as you are new to the hobby, and may have not done a lot
of research as yet...........Stay away from any machine that is a "Golden Nugget" model, as 99.9% of them
being offered anywhere, are Complete FAKES. Hate to see our newbies getting burned. [-X
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby norabt » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:48 am

If you buy it I will trade you the handle on the machine for the correct handle. Tom - [651] 738-1305
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby jsin » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:57 pm

Thank you for all that replied. After reading some articles online and information gathered here , I agree not a good buy ..alot of red flags waving. Now I did see online some good pointers about determining if it's a reproduction machine. But didn't see all that much about the case (casting) itself.. for example the diamond front . How would one determine if it's a original Mills or a reproduction or a recast I think it may be called. I thought I did read some where some diamond fronts that we're authentic and correct era didn't have serial numbers. ( Or am I wrong ? ) So I guess my question would be what to look for on the diamond front case (casting) to determine authentic if no serial number stamped in casting? , Thanks.
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:01 pm

To determine if a machine has reproduction castings, you really have to see it in person, and know what to look for.
Mainly the imperfections on the inside of the castings. No one takes the time to clean all that up. Pictures will not
show you squat, especially if the machine has a new paint-job. The only way to tell on many of the repro castings,
on the outside, is the absence of a serial number. Original numbers usually do not show up in the new castings, and
no one has been in the habit of stamping new numbers in place. At least, not that I know of. Also, many reproduction
models, have brand new cases, that are built slightly under-size, to accommodate the shrinkage of the new recasts.
The people that build these repros, usually do not spend the time to build-up the original castings, to allow for the
shrinkage, or make new patterns.
Another thing you will occasionally see, is a machine with a brand new mechanism. There were some machines that
have been built NEW, from the ground up, because they had the tooling to do so. One example was Royal Bell, out of
Colorado, that was building Brand New "War Eagle" models. They were not trying to pass them off as originals, but
were advertising them as the New "Golden Eagle". The castings were painted all gold, not the typical yellow, black,
and red color scheme. The big problem with some of those now, is that people have repainted them in the original
colors, and are passing them off as original. The Greed never ends. Just as the case with all the Fake "Golden Maggots".
So goes the Latin phrase, "Caveat Emptor".
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby greenman77 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:09 pm

I am in the process of restoring an original "Chrome Bell" and I can give you a few pointers about this machine. If it is of a later production run that used the cast iron castings there will not be a serial number stamped on the casting. The serial number is stamped on the wooden base in the back. The serial of the one I am working on is 455195. The silver reel strips are actually correct for the period if it is a iron casting introduced in 1945/46. A machine produced a year later with silver reel strips actually goes nice with all the chrome and metallic red. The other note is that all the machines sold as "Chrome Bells" have the hardened steel lining and are "bronzed" as per the Mill's advertising brochures. It is actually a heavy copper /bronze metallic paint that is applied to all the wood except bottom of base and also applied to the back door in lieu of the normal flat black wrinkled paint. The diamond shaped studs that Mills glowingly describe as having a permanent red finish are in fact iron that is copper plated and then painted with a red tinted lacquer that is really quite pretty. The machine I am working on is from a DAV clubs meeting area and has been in storage since the late fifties. It had a windfall in silver quarters with the latest dated 1956. The reel strips are per factory install as only the initial pinpoint compressions are in the rims with no evidence of having ever been un-crimped and put back with needle nosed pliers. I almost forgot to mention a few things to verify for original... the reel bundle has all the tin colored a light copper/bronze color to keep with the overall theme. This is easily seen on the rims of the reels and finally the award bib is silver in color, actually a light plating of nickel over brass. Mills really did their best to really make this a bit of a showpiece machine. I have seen old advertising listing it for $315 while other machines were selling for less than $100. Not quite as showy as some club consoles but carefully restoring this original is a labor of love.
The whole look and feel of the machine is far different than the slew of "Diamond Fronts" in varied paint schemes.
I really love the history of what we collect.
Last edited by greenman77 on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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