Mills Extraordinary production years?

Have a generic question? Post it here.

If you have a question regarding a specific slot machine or trade stimulator please post it in either the Slot or Trade Stimulator area.

Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby kxh121 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:27 am

Does anyone know the years Mills produced the Extraordinary? I believe it was first introduced at the 1933 Chicago Worlds fair and the info I am looking for also includes when each denomination was introduced. I am interested in US market only 5c, 10c, 25c, and 50c. Thanks in advance!

Ken
User avatar
kxh121
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:15 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby JPCass » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:35 pm

kxh121 wrote:Does anyone know the years Mills produced the Extraordinary? I believe it was first introduced at the 1933 Chicago Worlds fair and the info I am looking for also includes when each denomination was introduced. I am interested in US market only 5c, 10c, 25c, and 50c. Thanks in advance!

Ken


The Extraordinary was the first slot to really catch my eye, because of its art deco architectural style, and it's always been the one that interested me most. The first one that I bought and restored as a teenager, got away from me, but a few years ago I found a very early one that mostly just needed its exterior restored after 2 or 3 later paint jobs, which I'm finally getting to after overhauling the mechanism and escalator.

I have seen both 1933 and 1934 cited as the year the machine was introduced. The Chicago World's Fair was originally scheduled for 1933, but due to its popularity continued on to 1934. As far as I can tell, none of the vending machine companies had booths at the World's Fair, much less slot manufacturers, so my guess is that the machine was an informal tie-in to the Fair.

The Slot Machines of Yesteryear series, in the Mills of the Thirties volume, documents when several different versions appeared in Mills corporate publications. In 1933, they show earlier Silent Bells available in 5c, 10c and 25c. The introduction of the Extraordinary is dated to 1934.

The Extraordinary that I'm currently restoring has original World's Fair specific fortune/joke gold award reel strips (the horizontal, not diagonal, type). They are marked "CC314-1A 1-23-34", "CC314-2-G-2 8-28-34 5M", and "CC314-3-G-3 8-24-34 5M", suggesting that Mills was producing World's Fair specific items at the beginning of 1934.

I have, or have seen, a set of small color promo sheets that Mills produced for different versions of the Extraordinary, I assume when they were first produced:

* Extraordinary Silent Bell

* Extraordinary Silent Golden Bell (with Gold Award)

* Extraordinary Silent Golden Side Vender (with GA and 3 star side vender)
"Made in 5c, 10c and 25c play. The side vender style is very popular with the present day operators. Comes and Regular and Mystery payout style."

That's the only reference I've ever seen to a mystery version of the Extraordinary.

So it would seem that all denominations except 50c were available from the beginning, whether that was 1934, or possibly 1933. I believe there was some discussion a while back about 50c models, and that they were rare, but I can't immediately find it.
Restored Mills 5c Extraordinary "barn find", long gone - now restoring 1934 5c Extraordinary Gold Award with original World's Fair reel strips
Restoring early Mills 5c Firebird (large coin view window)
About to take on a Mills 5c Vest Pocket
JPCass
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:36 pm
Location: Rutland, VT (formerly Denver, CO)

Re: Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby rtmccurdy » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:40 am

Exellent info! It would be great to have the World's Fair strips reproduced. In the past I had a large collection of fair memorabilia (my mother went to the fair in 1934 as a 10 year old and that piqued my interest in it) and in 100's of pamphlets & paper items there was no direct reference to Mills slot machines. All of the Extradordinary slots I have restored/sold have been 3/5 "mystery" pay. The Vendor Front seems to be less common (I'm bringing an unrestored one to the Chgo. Show in November w. diagonal fortune strips). I've found that collectors either love the deco design or hate it.
rtmccurdy
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:59 am
Location: White, South Dakota

Re: Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby kxh121 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:03 am

JPCass,
Thanks for the good information!!! It is very helpful and I also have a "soft spot" for the Mills Extraordinary. I currently own 3 restored models; 2ea of the 5c models and 1ea 50c model. One of the 5c and the 50c Extraordinary are console models. I am in the middle of searching for a 25c model and at a later date I will try and complete the series with a 10c Extraordinary.

In regards to further information: I am trying to narrow down the date for the production of 50c model and I have seen only 2 examples of the 50c denomination (one of which I have, picture enclosed).

Thanks again for the info.

v/r
Ken
Attachments
Mills Extraordinary-003.JPG
User avatar
kxh121
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:15 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby kxh121 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:04 am

2nd picture of the 50c Mills Extraordinary Console.
Attachments
Mills Extraordinary-004.JPG
User avatar
kxh121
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:15 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby rtmccurdy » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:01 am

Nice machine! Searching the Serial Number Database I noticed that no 50-cent Extraordinary Slots were listed. There was a 1d (English penny---same size as a US 50-cent piece) listed so I wonder if the English machines were converted by collectors in the late 70's, early 80's. Will check my collection of Coin Slot Magazine for ads or other information. Perhaps someone with access to 1940's operator "sell-off" ads will chime in eventually.
rtmccurdy
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:59 am
Location: White, South Dakota

Re: Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby JPCass » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:42 pm

rtmccurdy wrote:Exellent info! It would be great to have the World's Fair strips reproduced. In the past I had a large collection of fair memorabilia (my mother went to the fair in 1934 as a 10 year old and that piqued my interest in it) and in 100's of pamphlets & paper items there was no direct reference to Mills slot machines. All of the Extradordinary slots I have restored/sold have been 3/5 "mystery" pay. The Vendor Front seems to be less common (I'm bringing an unrestored one to the Chgo. Show in November w. diagonal fortune strips). I've found that collectors either love the deco design or hate it.

One of the questions I've been wondering about, is if I can get the strips reproduced. It looks like only one of the bars on the third reel strip has a reference that is World's Fair specific, so does someone already repro any version of horizontal-style fortune joke reels from that era, that might be a starting point?

My mother loved antique hunting, and found a number of World's Fair items that I still have, to go along with my first machine. I have more recently bought a number of World's Fair brochures, posters, tickets and tokens to get a better idea of exactly the shades of color that were popular at the time, to help me pick the right shades of colors for repainting the Extraordinary and an early-production 1934 Firebird, starting from what I can tell from the remaining traces of original paint on the machine. The blues popular at the time, as seen in the World's Fair materials and as used on the machines, were ones with more of a purple tint, for instance.

Neither of my Extraordinaries have been "mystery," though neither had their original mechanisms.

As I'm going to note in another post, the vender front - which uses a completely different set of front castings - seems to have been introduced in 1935.

The design is the first slot I'm aware of that was pure industrial design, with architectural influences, and a forerunner of the high tops, plus the one that made an elegant machine in the floor console case for clubs. I don't know what's not to like about it, but then again I don't care for all the fanciness of conventional slot machine designs of the period, intended to be eye-catching.

Image
Restored Mills 5c Extraordinary "barn find", long gone - now restoring 1934 5c Extraordinary Gold Award with original World's Fair reel strips
Restoring early Mills 5c Firebird (large coin view window)
About to take on a Mills 5c Vest Pocket
JPCass
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:36 pm
Location: Rutland, VT (formerly Denver, CO)

Re: Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby rtmccurdy » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:06 am

I think I talked to Rick Frink at one time about the horizontal fortune reel strips (for a gold award Castle Front I was working on) but can't recall why they weren't available. I do have a set of originals (CC-314-1A-SG-1 5M) that are in good enough condition to reproduce. I concur on the architectural impact of the fair on design changes in U.S. products and buildings especially in Chicago (lived there for several years). From a design perspective the console Page Boy Extraordinary is a perfect marriage of machine to cabinet.
rtmccurdy
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:59 am
Location: White, South Dakota

Re: Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby JPCass » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:07 pm

kxh121 wrote:JPCass,
Thanks for the good information!!! It is very helpful and I also have a "soft spot" for the Mills Extraordinary. I currently own 3 restored models; 2ea of the 5c models and 1ea 50c model. One of the 5c and the 50c Extraordinary are console models. I am in the middle of searching for a 25c model and at a later date I will try and complete the series with a 10c Extraordinary.

In regards to further information: I am trying to narrow down the date for the production of 50c model and I have seen only 2 examples of the 50c denomination (one of which I have, picture enclosed).

Thanks again for the info.

v/r
Ken

I'm glad you appreciated that. Here are the rest of the entries from The Slot Machines of Yesteryear series, with my notes in brackets:

MILLS EXTRAORDINARY GOLDEN BELL [5c] - 1934

EXTRAORDINARY VENDER [5c, built-in front vender, skill control] - 1935

MILLS CLUB BELL [floor console model 5c, QT-style handle, eagle plate] - 1938

GOLF BALL VENDER [floor console model 25c, sword-style handle, golfer plate] - 1938

CLUB ROYALE [5c "Page Boy"] - 1946?

MILLS CLUB ROYALE [5c "Page Boy", apparent reduced top profile] - 1947, 1948

I've noted major obvious changes, but not all the minor ones visible - plus there are a few more variations to be seen in other existing machines. The possible reduced top profile in 1947-8 is not as different as what seems to be the export version found in British denominations; as has been discussed before, the 50c machines seen seem to have that latter profile, suggesting they are modified export machines.

Also, the series shows various machines with venders from some point in 1936 through at least 1939, which have what appears to be an OK Vender patent plate below the handle, as seen on the Extraordinary pictured in Fey's book. I've also found painted-over mounting holes for the plate on an Extraordinary that has the slot and holes for a vender, and seen the plate on a similar machine posted here earlier this year.

I was talking with Steve Squires about these machines just a couple of days ago, and he said that early ones shared some parts with late gooseneck and early silent models, such as a thin handle hub.

Here's an original piece of promo that I have, which I believe was produced in Mills' in-house print shop for a regional distributor:

Slot-Extraordinary-300-rs.jpg


What I think is closest to the blue in use by Mills about 1933-4, based on trying to match original paint remnants, is a typical blue of the period tending towards purple (meaning, with more red added), as in this fair poster:

Image
Restored Mills 5c Extraordinary "barn find", long gone - now restoring 1934 5c Extraordinary Gold Award with original World's Fair reel strips
Restoring early Mills 5c Firebird (large coin view window)
About to take on a Mills 5c Vest Pocket
JPCass
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:36 pm
Location: Rutland, VT (formerly Denver, CO)

Re: Mills Extraordinary production years?

Postby clubconsoles » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:19 am

Greetings fellow Extraordinary Fans!

The main appeal for me with this Mills Machine is the strong Art Deco look!
I have a Quarter Console model right here in the UK.
Console models are very rare over here, most are counter tops with totaliser strips!
I heard it came from on of the USAF bases where your boys where staioned durinbg the war?
We have lots of ex USAF airbases where i live and I know a guy whom owns a (shortly to be Airworthy) P-51 Mustang just 20 mins drive from me.

My Extraorinary is a very Early model being serial 342227 which places it 1933.
This is according to Dicks Volumne 3 of the most collectible slots which has an index of serials.
It is also a GA model;
The award card is wrong, being from a hightop.
Also the cabinet is unusual in that it doesnt have the flute work round the base the the US made consoles have.
A bit of an oddball, has to be said, as has the single cheery pay as well?
But looks fantastic so i am happy with it!!
Attachments
WhatsApp Image 2018-09-25 at 10.18.27.jpeg
User avatar
clubconsoles
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 10:15 am
Location: Lowestoft, Suffolk UK

Next

Return to Just Chatting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests