Unusual Mills Revamp

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Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby rtmccurdy » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:00 pm

Here's an unusual Mills machine located at a flea market in Oronoco, MN. From what I can tell it is an actual Mills offering (has all internal Mills paper tags with a serial number 1385?). Electrified and no payout in money---slides & other parts missing. Award card offers up to 60 free plays (three bars). I wonder what was in the front jackpot area? Almost bought it to part out (back bonnet, top casting, escalator, vendor parts, etc. Quite a nightmare of bulbs, wires and contacts in the back! Has anyone seen a similar machine?? Robert
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Re: Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby Richard13 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:23 pm

Interesting machine lots of good parts there! Uff da ya you should buy it dontchaknow. I used to live in Minnesota and can speak Minnesotan. The snow is gonna be flying soon that would make a good winter project!
Looking for survivor machines especially vendor fronts or original side vendors with or without
a machine. 1920's-30's goosenecks, round escalators. I enjoy hand painting the castings.
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Re: Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby JHSS-1944 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:41 am

Interesting machine. looks to be a late 1940's type conversion , from who = ???? wiring & parts similar to what's found in my 3 console machines.
might be worth keeping as is & restore it a bit, & get it running.
I was offered a Jennings triplex machine, tons of parts missing , And was converted just like this. lots of wires, ect. no pay out slides ect. pay out card on it was gone but, may have been very close to this one.

If you buy it, please document it as you see it now , for us here. Then do what you will with it; back to factory , part it out , what ever.
thank you for posting the photos .
jeff H.
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Re: Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:08 am

Robert:
This was a special order machine from Mills, called a "Cross Diamond". There are 3 or 4 variations.
One model did have an operating twin jackpot, but the one you show here has a lighted panel, of
which the numbered glass is missing. It is quite collectable, as there were not a large number made.
If you decide to get it, (despite the missing parts), I can send you pics of what they look like when
complete.
Bill
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Re: Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby thepennyarcade » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:37 pm

Hi Robert
Several years ago I picked up a Mills Cross Diamond as well.
It too was a non payout machine.
This model was supposedly ordered by the mobster Frank Costello's and used in his establishments.
The original electronic steps and relays were a nightmare so I decided to convert it to a regular payout Mills machine.
If you pick it up PM me and I can send you the conversion pictures and parts I used.
I had to be a bit creative with lighting up some payouts to use the existing belly glass
The 3 Bells of 18 had to be 2+7+9=18
John
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Re: Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:28 pm

thepennyarcade wrote:Hi Robert
Several years ago I picked up a Mills Cross Diamond as well.
It too was a non payout machine.
This model was supposedly ordered by the mobster Frank Costello's and used in his establishments.
The original electronic steps and relays were a nightmare so I decided to convert it to a regular payout Mills machine.
If you pick it up PM me and I can send you the conversion pictures and parts I used.
I had to be a bit creative with lighting up some payouts to use the existing belly glass
The 3 Bells of 18 had to be 2+7+9=18
John


Hi John:
Yes indeed. The Mills 'Cross Diamond' was a special-order by Frank Costello. As to how many were ordered, I have no idea.
I would also think that Frank only ordered the mechanical models, with the jackpots, and later on, either Mills made another
batch of electronic versions, or some operator started doing conversions. I can imagine, how many of the electronic-nightmare
versions were trashed, because of problems. Also not sure of how many straight mechanical models were produced. All I know
is, that I have seen only a dozen or less, in all the years, so production couldn't have been much at all.
It is nice to see, that you have converted yours to work properly, which is helping to save the history of a very scarce model.
Hopefully Robert will take-on the one above, and save it as well, as I would hate to see it parted-out.
Bill
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Re: Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby kentdun » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:19 pm

Here is the fully mechanical cross diamond. I found it at a local moving sale. Didn't know the history of the machine when I bought it, I wanted it because it was a vendor machine.
I read a biography of Frank Costello. Aka Uncle Frank. Aka The Prime Minister. If I recall correctly he was making 10 grand a week on his slots. That's a lot of nickels. Paid of the police to leave the machines alone. When Laguardia was elected mayor he forced Costello out of New York. I don't know if any slots were seized and destroyed, but a number of them made their way to New Orleans. Costello did some time. Started early robbing people in a gang. Eventually a major mob figure in New York See mugshot attached. Survived a gunshot to his head too.

My machine looks as it was never painted. Either does the one originally posted. I've seen pictures of painted macine especially. I would think Millis would have painted them . Any opinions on this?

The Government Auction seller on ebay has one , but like many of their items it has been resisted many times, etc even after selling.
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Re: Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby rtmccurdy » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:55 am

Wow...great information as usual. I passed on the machine so perhaps another forum member got a bargain!! Thanks!
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Re: Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby Anglobritish » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:40 am

Mills Special Triangle Mint Co-2.jpg
002.jpg
Award Card for The Vending Machine Co.jpg
Award Card for The Vending Machine Co.jpg (2.87 KiB) Viewed 1180 times
Find attached the original model that was made for Costello's company in New York, in 1940. (When Frank Costello got shot at his West Side apartment in New York in the 1950's,, he was returning from having dinner with one of his partners in the slot machine and Jukebox business, Al and Rose Miniachi-Paramount Vending now run by Al Miniachi Jr in Fort Lauderdale FL.) by the early 1950's the Mob in New York had moved into the up and coming Jukebox business, Frank Costello's partner in these ventures was Leyer Lansky, who was President of Manhattan Vending, they were also distributors for Wurlitzer jukeboxes, this venture was fronted by Sandy Moore and my ex partner David "Gabe" Forman) also the electronic version that was developed for Joe Calcutt of The Vending Machine Company of North Caraliner, one of Mills biggest distributors, and produced their own mints and reel strips (See attached the VEMCO-Mints logo that replaced the Bell-Fruit logo on the reel strips).

Freddy Bailey
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Re: Unusual Mills Revamp

Postby kentdun » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:38 am

I forgot to mention that my machine had a bug on it block one of the jackpots.
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