Created on 07-13-2019
Stories & Memories`one of the sections on my website I really like`
…and, this person “Inverted Sky” is one of the reasons why’
…and obviousily this phrase I so often use can easily be replaced, laugh`
This past week I did a repair trip to northeast Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and back to Colorado. Along the way I worked on pinball machines and jukeboxes. One of my tasks was to repair a Bally bingo machine from the 1950’s.
A bingo machine is shaped like a pinball machine. You shoot a ball up and there are 20+ holes for it to drop into, which lights a light on a bingo card on the backbox. They are basically gambling devices and were probably outlawed in many states. You can increase your payout odds by adding coins, sometimes up until you’ve shot the 3rd or 4th ball. You win credits for getting various things in a row, or 4 corners, etc. The credits can be applied to subsequent games or redeemed for prizes or money.
To quote Russ Jensen, a guy who is very familiar with the operation of these machines, “These games are by far the most complex of any electro-mechanical game ever devised.” After trying to fix one, I’m in total agreement.
The day after I worked it, I was in Cheyenne to work on a jukebox. The guy has an old friend who has a collection of these in his daughter’s basement and he wants to sell the entire lot of 30 to 40 machines.
Just a few of the antique bingo machines stacked in a heap in this basement
The backboxes were stacked along one wall and the playfields and cabinets were stacked separately, 8 to 10 high. It was very difficult to tell what was in the heap and what condition any of it was in. Nothing looked like it was in pristine condition, but the games looked like they could be put together and restored. There were a number of duplicate games; for example I think I counted 5 Beach Clubs.
There were also old slot machines that used lights instead of reels and paid credits instead of coins, a few blackjack video games, and a couple of jukeboxes. There was a fair amount of junk.
Who is this guy – Knows Russ and knows the Bingos`