Info on a Mills War Eagle

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Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby hollap43 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:26 am

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Hello all,
After doing some limited research online, I figured I would reach out to the experts here in the forum on some questions I have about a Mills War Eagle 10 cent slot. I've seen tips and tricks about how to determine if this is an original machine or a replica, but am still not 100% sure. Things pointing to a replica: Single cherry payout, paint scheme, and i don't see many 10 cent machines to compare it to. Things pointing to genuine: Metal reels, double bar elevator, Mills sticker has been there for at least 45 years, back cover is not flat, the two nails appear to be present in the front base, and there's a 6 digit serial number on paper attached to the inside.

So my questions would be this:
1. Is this machine original or replica?
2. Is there a way I can tell exactly what year it was manufactured?
3. What is the approximate value of this machine as is? (It works, but doesn't pay out, but I'm working on fixing that)
4. If I wanted to sell this machine, what's the best way to accomplish this?

Thanks in advance for any info you all can provide, it's much appreciated!
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Re: Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby oldslotman » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:55 am

There should be a serial number stamped into the castings in the black strip next to the award card.
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Re: Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby oldslotman » Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:03 am

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In this photo you will see a lever with a red mark on it. On your machine make sure that lever is pointing back. Yours look like it is pushed forward and that will prevent it from paying out. You can then see if your award card is correct. Should not pay on single cherry
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Re: Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby mazzeosa17 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:34 am

I'd think if there's a serial number stamped into the casting, then you probably have an original cabinet/case with a later model (post war) mechanism and award card, because of the single cherry payout. But I suspect it's reproduction castings on an original wooden cabinet with that later model (post war) mechanism.
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Re: Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby nvmos2 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:13 pm

Looks original to me EXCEPT looks like it was refurbished decades ago;
replacement reel strips and award card;
replaced wood base;
replaced mechanism;
paint job.

Possibly revamped by an operator wanting to upgrade to single cherry payout.
Be interesting to know if casting is stamped to match sticker inside.
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Re: Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby oldslotman » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:35 pm

If you look at the picture showing the back of the front castings , you can see two tabs, one on each side , on the bottom of the fronts castings is not being used. This most like indicates repo castings.
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Re: Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby hollap43 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:49 pm

Hey everyone thanks for the great and fast replies! A few things I can add now:

I did get the payout mechanism working again, thanks to oldslotman. Actually there were 2 issues, the lever that oldslotman pointed out above, and a dime was stuck at the slide opening of the payout shoot. So that's working again.

This unit has been with my family unchanged for I know the last 50 years so the information everyone provided seems to make sense.

As far as serial numbers go, I could not find anything on the front of the castings at all. I found a sticker on the reel mechanism base that says "Bell Family Mechanism No." I posted a pick of it below.

On the case, I found numbers stamped on the inside, but all appear to be part numbers, not serial numbers, as all numbers start with MLB followed by a number. See the photos listed below. I found those on the reel mechanism base, the base metal plate in the cabinet, the cover plate next to the Jackpot payout window, and the front casting inside of the coin drop box area.

So it looks like I have a Frankenstein unit here :D Anyone know what the value might be worth for something like this? And how people go about selling old slots like this?

Thanks again!
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Re: Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby flipper77 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:22 am

Where are you located? Flip
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Re: Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby hollap43 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:24 pm

I am in the Milwaukee, WI area.
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Re: Info on a Mills War Eagle

Postby nvmos2 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:16 pm

oldslotman wrote:If you look at the picture showing the back of the front castings , you can see two tabs, one on each side , on the bottom of the fronts castings is not being used. This most like indicates repo castings.


This is interesting; I was tinkering with a Castle Front that I have and thought was all original, but it has the same 2 tabs on the lower front casting and they are unused and not drilled for bolts.

oldslotman is more experienced and knowledgeable than I, but is it possible that Mills varied their work in this detail?
The machine has the MLB part number but underneath it is stamped "HP".
Could that be the initials of an early restorer who reproduced the lower casting (40-50 years ago back when there were at least a few guys who had the integrity to mark reproduced parts)?

Additional info; On my original War Eagle and Roman Head, there is just one tab on handle side of front casting and they have bolts to attach to wood side.
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