I think one of the neat things about
Raymond’s site that makes it so interesting is the personal twist
where the detailed coin-op history stands along side
some wonderful history of Galveston Texas where he grew up, so you get a
little more flavor of the times having these two interests framed together
as they are.
teen years here in Galveston the town was wide open.
There were slot machines in virtually all businesses from mom-and-pop
stores, restaurants, drive-ins, pool halls, taverns--everywhere. The
pinball games were the one-ball horserace themed machines like my
Grandstand which paid automatically.
up in this environment, playing them was what many people did. My
high school gang sort of got hooked and stayed broke because of them.
was curious as to how they worked. So, later in life when I could
afford a toy or two, I bought some to satisfy my curiosity.
came out of the Navy in '57 I put a few arcade machines on the beachfront
at a kiddieland. The machines were
destroyed in a storm, but I still had to pay for them. I was
fascinated with a machine that would work for me while I slept!
interested in some of the carnival games that were used at the kiddieland and ran a few myself as a part time job (I
worked regularly for the Santa Fe Railway). Thus the interest in H C Evans
catalogs that I publish on my site.
Thanks for your inquiry.
Answering your email brought back some pleasant memories.
Not too many days after this, Ray wrote to me again and
shared these next too emails with me. I love these, this: Apparently his
site is so precise in detail and history, that a family member of a former
H.C. Evans manager reached out to him thinking he must have worked there
Your posting on the internet about H C Evans is very accurate and has
my family curious because we have a relationship with Evans,
You must be related to the family or had someone in your family that
worked there? My name is Ray (Bud) Giegerich. My
father-in-law was general manager of H C Evans for many years until he
passed away in 1954. “Uncle” Dick Hood along with his
wife, Bess, were the owners. My father-in-law was Rex
Shriver and I married his daughter, Lois in 1949. Dick Hood’s
daughter Esther, and only surviving child, and I are still in contact
with each other.
Now about your question regarding a photograph of a mechanism or
anything about the product....I am sorry, but I can’t be of any
help. As mentioned in the story the plant closed in 1954 or 55.
The last president was their son, Dick Hood, Esther’s
brother. He too has passed on.
I would like
very much to learn who you are so I can tell Esther and her daughter,
Patricia, about your interest and who you are. I am sure they would enjoy
I hope to hear from you.
Thank you for writing.
No, I am not related to, nor have I ever known anyone who worked at
My hometown of Galveston was open gambling in the
40’s and early 50’s which were my teen years. Slot
machines were everywhere, and one of the most popular machine in numbers
was the Evans Bangtails Winter Book. This was followed by Bally one
ball pins and console machines, and in rural areas the mechanical Mills
machines were exhibited. I loved playing these machines.
I had a fascination with coin machines. I always liked the idea
of a machine working and earning while its owner was asleep!
Galveston began closing down beginning in 1951. The automatic
payout machines disappeared and the Bally bingo pins were introduced as
My Navy years of 1953-1957 took me to Japan where I was
a court reporter for General Courts Martial. I found in the evidence
files of cases tried before I got there a series of catalogs from the K C
Card Co and O C Novelty Co, sellers of marked cards and
Home from the Navy I met the owner of an amusement park, Luke
Jones. He had a copy of a catalog from the Evans Park and Carnival
Device Corporation. I asked Luke about the various games ane how they worked. I bought a Bee Hive and ran
that through the summer part time (I worked regularly for Santa Fe
Railroad). Later I bought a razzle from Evans. Thus was my
introduction to Evans.
I always wanted a Evans horserace machine. I was curious as to
how they worked. When the internet expanded I finally found
one. Later I added a few other machines that I played as a youth,
again with curiosity of how they operated, the odds, etc.
I cobbled together my web site as an information place for others who
may be interested in old slot machines or who may have an interest in
outdoor amusements. The information I aggregated about Evans comes
from various books I have on slot machines such as those authored by Bueschel and Fey. Many photos of machines I took
from eBay auctions over several years.
Evidently others are interested in Evans also. The Wikipedia
not my authorship although they refer to my website several times.
Again, thank you for writing. I would appreciate corrections if
anything I have written is incorrect. Also, if you have any stories
about the company, I would be pleased to have them to post on my web
site. I have inquiries about these machines and products from all
over the world.
Ray Watts – Galveston, TX
What more needs to be said`…Ray is an historian,
sharing his passion`
Bingo Picture Gallery
Cheat at Bingo
his Graphics, Flyers, and Goodies
Check out the name of the URL
22, 2011 at 11:01 AM
Galveston’s best days we had the one-ball horse themed marble tables
together with slots
description. The most popular
slot machine were the Evans Bangtails Winter Book horserace
machines. Bally was well represented with
Triple Bell, Draw Bell and Deluxe Draw Bell. Mills and
mechanical slots were prolific.
There were some Buckley horserace machines, but Evans predominated.
machines were everywhere from the taverns and clubs to news
stands, drug stores, corner grocery stores,
and cafes. Any business
referring to the years 1949-1951 when I was in high school
could go into some of the places were the machines were exhibited.
was closed down in 1951. The
slots disappeared. There was an
attempt to keep
the marble tables operating by modifying them with a control box. There was no coin
you purchased games from the proprietor and cashed in games similar to
proprietor then cancelled the games on the control box. The games I saw modified this
older 4-coil multipliers rather than the later tables like Bally
that time Bally Bright Lights was introduced; I got to play on the first
the era. I remember how noisy
Bright Lights was. Six cards
with all balls played and
search relays chattering madly.
It was a common courtesy to tilt the machine when
it so patrols would not have to wait until the timer tilted it.
get to see United’s roulette type machines, but they were boring,
out of the country 1953-1955 and when I came back on leave from the Navy
Big Time. I really liked that
machine. United machines were
compete with bally early on for my interest.
tour of duty in Japan I came back to the Bally Big Show. The bingos persisted
into the ‘60s.