Bingo Pinballs

Created on 05-30-2015 _ Last update 10-08-2016



Now this is interesting, how does this all work`


Dennis noticed something very interesting about the Score Cards on the Bally machines and he is

asking for our help understanding this mystery/history:


From: pinbase@

To: bingopinballs@

Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 12:36 PM

Subject: Bally bingo instruction cards


Hi Danny, Attached is a scan of the backside of a few Big Wheel and Magic Ring instruction cards that have a

manufacture date and hand stamped serial number. I have also found this on some other instruction/score cards

for other bingos. At first I thought the numbers indicated a game but there is no way that Bally built over 300 bingos

in one day! Phil Hooper thinks it indicates the day the cards were printed but what would be the point? And a serial number?


Any ideas` …Have you seen this before?






Hi Danny, Thanks for getting back to me. I have the reverse printing on old game cards and N.O.S. cards. All with hand stamped serial numbers. The earliest cards with reverse printing that I have found were the original cards that came with my Bounty. So I'm thinking maybe it has something to do with new federal regulations that came along with the Eastland bill.I agree that way too many playfields and cabinets don't match to be the result of operators swapping them. Jay Stafford is also asking around so maybe someone will come up with something. I will keep going through my paper stash and see how many I can come up with. Has anyone tried placing ads in Chicago Craigslist or other places to try to track down former Bally bingo line workers and other employees. Should be a fair amount of them still alive. I'll bet there is someone out there that could answer a lot of questions.


How do the Bounty cards with reverse printing line up with the Bounty's cabinet serial numbers?


The serial number on my Bounty is B-869 with a build date stamp of 10-31-63. Two of the instruction cards are dated July 30, 1963 and have serial numbers 528 and 569. The other card is dated Aug. 15. 1963 and has the number 653.


just so "I am sure which score cards you are referring to" _ please send me another picture, showing the front side of the 3 cards – Thxs


Attached is a scan of the front side of the Magic Ring and Big Wheel cards.


I will send a scan of both sides of the Bounty cards in a few minutes.




img212 img213


Hi Again.


Interesting. Can-Can was built in '61 and these N.O.S. cards are from '64. With almost consecutive serial numbers.


The serial numbers must be for the cards themselves.


Finding more and I am making a list.  Dennis


img214  img215


It just keeps getting stranger.


I am looking at the cards alphabetically and came across these cards a few games after Can-Can.


The dates on the Circus Queen cards are the same as the Can-Can cards and they have some of the missing serial numbers from the Can-Can set!


The Circus Queen cards have thumb tack holes so they were likely used in a game.


img216  img217





Jul 18, 2014



I do not have cards for every bingo so there are likely more of these cards out there somewhere. The oldest dated set I have is for Bounty. 1963.The oldest GAME with a set is Can-Can from 1961. The cards are dated 1964.Newest cards are for Safari and are dated 1970.


Beauty Beach

Big Wheel



Circus Queen


Magic Ring





Ok, I think that is all of the emails we sent back-and-forth _ So, any ideas?


OK, now that is a lot to digest!


…but Keith has a few thoughts that make sense,



From: Keith Nickalo <keithnickalo>

To: Danny Leach <bingopinballs>

Sent: Friday, June 19, 2015 8:42 PM

Subject: SI cards


Hi Danny.


This may just be a quality control/productions control issue.


Printing in color wasn't as easy then back then. It was a process. Time consuming and expensive. Done mostly by hand.

(Similar to silk screening T-shirts.) Colors were added one at a time. Once it was complete, the cards needed plasticized

to protect the image.  Generic term for all this....Screen printing.


I've never taken part in any screen printing myself but as a machinist I have come across the machinery used in

the process. I can easily image a process like this....


.1 - The cards original go through a typical offset printing device where large rolls of card stock go through a machine just like a newspaper uses. 


.2 - The back of the cards get printed and a serial number gets stamped.  It looks like it's by hand but it's a counting stamp.


.3 - The cards are "sheeted" out into a manageable size. Say two feet by three feet. Each sheet probably has thirty or so cards.

Probably all with the same serial number.


.4 - The sheets go into the screening process. Once color is screened. The sheet is removed and hung to dry.


.5 - Once dry the sheets are pulled down and stacked for the next color.


.6 - Once all the colors are done, the sheets are put through a cutter to reduce them to individual cards.


.7 - The individual cards roll down a line, get sprayed with a clear plastic coat and then roll through a "Toaster" to dry them.

The heat also makes the coating nice and uniform.


Using an offset printer to put the info on the back ensures that everyone knows what the card is suppose to be when it's done. 

Serial numbers allow the productions managers to track their inventory, know who worked on what, how much each person is getting done. On and on.


I bet these cards were not that cheap back in the day. Similar to the #47 bulbs, much cheaper today than they were back then. 

Not even taking into consideration inflation.


Notice the "shadowbox" lettering on the bounty score cards?  It has a black background and the letters are in "White".

The letters aren't printed at all.  The letters are screened in the process and the ink is put on the rest of that block.


Looks like they screened red, black yellow and orange on Bounty. Four colors while Can Can had Red, Black, Blue, Green, Yellow and Gray.

That's a lot of trips through the screener.  I watched an episode of "Dirty Jobs with Mike Row" and they talked a lot about it.


This whole theory could be dead wrong in its entirety though.  I don't know...


Talk to you later.  Bingo on brother.






I like your response here Keith`


Very well thought out and presented!


I am going to share this with Dennis and Joe and get their comments too,


Thank you,


I hope this finds you and your family all well,






From: Keith Nickalo <keithnickalo>

To: Danny Leach <bingopinballs>

Sent: Friday, June 19, 2015 10:34 PM

Subject: Re: SI cards


I actually watched that episode of Mike Rowe again myself.  They called it Lithography.  (i thought a lithograph had something to do with stone.)


One of the things I thought was interesting was the guy in charge said if you had a 95% accuracy rating and ran 100 posters through the machine where each poster had eight colors, (each poster goes through the machine eight times) In the end you would have screwed up 40 of the posters. Not a lot of room for mistakes in the lithography game is there.  A five percent failure rate multiplies to a forty percent failure.  Ugh!






















…Sorry I kind of lost track of this thread,


…If you have any comments please write in – Thank you!