Bingo Pinballs

 This page was created on 8-24-2011 _ Last updated 8-26-2011



Jan 2011 found Roger asking an interesting question about the Light Shields, that Keith was kind enough to help respond to.






Hi Danny.  Hi Roger.  Nice to meet you. 

The light shields.  The  light shields with the Cool architecture are on the newer games.  I'm not 100% sure but I think they (Bally) started using these on Miss America Deluxe.  Phil's playfield photo for MA Deluxe shows them too.

You can get a real good look at the light shields from his photos of Tahiti.  The Tahiti pics are from a "New-In-The-Box" Tahiti that surfaced last summer.

As far as I know Bally changed light shields three times. 

The first was a smaller all white light shield used in Broadway '51 and according to Bingo Joe, the first 50 or so Bright Lights. 

Bally apparently changed over to the standard light shield in the middle of the Bright Lights run.  Bingo Joe had asked me if my Bright Lights had all white shields or not.  He said they used the all white shield on the first 50 or so games.  My machine had no light shields in at all.  Somebody had already taken them. 

I met a guy online out in Ca.  He has bunches and bunches of old pinball stuff.  He sold me some of the all white light shields reportedly out of a Broadway '51. 

The standard size was used for years then they changed over to the slitted style in the 70's.  I'm not sure because I've seen them in games that they shouldn't be in.  My guess is that if you were an operator in say '79 and you ordered new light shields for an old game like a Silver Sails, Bally would send the new slitted ones.  So around here, it isn't that uncommon to see the newer ones in a Surf Club or some other game that you just know didn't come with them originally.

The all white ones are smaller than the standard.  The Standard are smaller than the slitted ones.  If you want to fit a slitted light shield into a game that was made with the standard shield, you have to file off those three little ribs on the bottom so they are flush with the plastic. 

If you want to put some of the old ones in a Dixie...Well I put a little electric tape around the base and trim it up flush with the bottom.

Anyway, I'm really babbling now,  I guess what I'm getting at is that I have tried to figure out when the change was made by checking the size of the light shield hole that is cut into the playfield.  My best guess is MA Deluxe.  I'm working on a MA '75 tonight and can say for sure they originally came with the Standard.  I got two game and one is getting fitted with the slitted shields.

I got a friend who is a motorcycle guy through and through.  He indulges my bingo obsession when he comes to visit.  When I pointed out the ribbed design to him, he instantly said, "They were probably trying to bleed off some heat from the bulb."  He's probably right but with most things on the bingos, it's all a guess.

Some pictures of the three styles. I don't know if the small one was manufactured with that cut in the bottom portion or not.  All eight of mine have them but these are the only ones I have seen.












+ Photos Courtesy Keith Nickalo +


Keith is talking right-to-left, with the small right-most shield being the oldest and then Bally using the tall left-most shield on their last games _ It would be my guess as well, that the taller design with a greater number of flutes (ribs – the slits the guys refer to)  were designed in to dissipate heat and keep the light shield running as cool as possible, extending it’s life – Farther away from the  bulb (taller) and more ribs to shed absorbed heat.


Now I have had Big Time, HiFi, Gay Time, and Surf Club and they all have had the “shorter” – “split-front” shields, but with a painted red top – Which means a 4th shield in mix – Laugh!


It is likely they started painting the tops red for several reasons: To reduce glare on the playfield glass, to reflect more light to the playfield surface, as a warning color that the surface runs hot – etc – An affective color that could be purchased at the time having the necessary high-temperature characteristics needed to perform and last on that very hot surface over extended time.


~ My Surf Club ~


One final note is that Roger may well be right, where he questions “if supply had anything to do with the change-up” he noticed on the last games being produced and I would not at all be surprised. Bally knew the “end-of-days” was coming, well before they shut the doors on Belmont street. If they were making these in-house they could have shut those lines off as part of the ramp down. It would not at all surprise me either, that they were working with Belgium to ramp up new supply lines in Europe and that as this part moved to a new factory, that it was redesigned when they created new molds. If Bally was locally purchasing this part in Chicago and news was out that they were ramping down and orders were dropping off, it is likely their local supply was starting to move on too, dedicating the crews and manufacturing space to other needs or dropping that business all together – All likely scenarios!





~ Thxs Guys ~





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