Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

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Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby Thunder Chief » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:29 pm

Can anyone tell me more info on this Thunder Chief.
Is there anywhere I can buy a cash drawer?
Or buy a replacement glass?
Thanks for the help.
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Re: Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby edgeCity » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:17 am

Wow . . . a Thunderchief! I don't believe I have ever seen one in captivity!!

The only reference I have to this machine is an advertisement which I found last year:

Scan_20180329.jpg


The ad mentions a 'Willow Enterprises' in Glen Burnie, MD. Bear in mind that this ad is probably 50 years old.
Nevertheless, if you google "Willow Enterprises Glen Burnie" you'll find a trucking company located down the road with the same telephone number (Willow Enterprises LTD, 325 Roesler Road, Glen Burnie, MD 21060, telephone 410 768-3400)! A dead-end, perhaps, but maybe someone there knows what happened to the 'slot side' of the business.

If you live in the midwest you might consider attending Chicagoland, the semi-annual coin-op show next month in Chicago. You might just find the parts you're looking for!

Welcome to the forum!
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Re: Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby Thunder Chief » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:05 am

Edgecity

Thank you for the helpful advice.
I called the number its a fax line.
Ill try faxing a letter. I cant find anything else on Willow Enterprises in MD. Did you have any other info on that trucking company ill call them?

Any idea what year this was made?
If ya happen to find a cash drawer at the show for this thunderchief ill gladly buy it.

Finding parts for these is like looking for the holy grail.
Im sure someone has a few stacked up somewhere.
Thanks again for all the valuable info
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Re: Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby Thunder Chief » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:16 am

I found a court document where Willow Enterprises were raided by the police in 1980 they seized 158 machines and 10k.
Illegal gaming machines and knock off switches
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Re: Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby Thunder Chief » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:22 am

The willow trucking address is now a HVAC company.
This is like solving a mystery.
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Re: Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby Aristomatic » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:06 pm

Was Glen Burnie a slot business centre?

Believe Ace Company were based there?
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Re: Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby Thunder Chief » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:01 am

I read where Ace novelty and Auto Bell were part of the same company at one point. In that old advertisemant the auto bell hightoo fruit 5 cent machine has Mills wrote on it. Were they connected?

Is there anyone or company out there that specializes in old slot cash drawers?
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Re: Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby Thunder Chief » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:45 am

I found this obituary of the owner of Willow Enterprises
And the search continues.
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Re: Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby edgeCity » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:24 am

Aristomatic wrote:Was Glen Burnie a slot business centre?

Believe Ace Company were based there?


It should be noted that slot machines were legal in four Maryland counties (Anne Arundel, Calvert, St. Mary's, and Charles) until the late Sixties. I highly recommend Richard Bueschel's "Lemons, Cherries, and Bell-Fruit-Gum" as an excellent reference for the study of slot machine history.
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Re: Expert advice please! Thunder Chief restoration.

Postby edgeCity » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:39 am

. . . so Louis Wilner, a law school graduate, started Willow Enterprises, which "sold coin-operated amusement machines" in 1968. Ha! "If ya can't lick 'em, join 'em", I guess! Was there a date with that obituary -- I wonder if he was there when the joint was raided in 1980?
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