Bingo Pinballs

Raymond Watts – Historian, Player, Friend`



Sometimes the Internet surprises you and it did with my relationship with Raymond. I found his website way back in 2001 or so, it being listed on Phil’s main page. Not long after that, Phil asked if I wanted to be posted on his website too and soon, I was`


Soon after that, Raymond sent me a couple emails - Very Cool`


Raymond is great, he loves coin machines, and he is very friendly`…a genuinely nice man. Visit his website, he has some wonderful knowledge and history to share. A lot of the history stuff you see here, has been influenced by Raymond.

You will also see his postings on the Usernet Group willingly helping others.

Thank you Mr. Watts - I really appreciate your generosity!



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.




In my 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.


Growing 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.


I always 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.


When I 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!


I became 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 himself`





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 knowing.


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 Evans.


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 their replacement.


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 “advantage” dice.


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 article,, is 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`







Raymond’s Bingo Links:


Silver Sails Movie

His Silver Sails

Operator's Price Lists

A United Bingo Picture Gallery

How to Cheat at Bingo

Raymond's Home

His Broadway

Index of his Graphics, Flyers, and Goodies

Price History Link

Bally Bright Lights

Ray's Home Page

Check out the name of the URL



Ray Watts <>


Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Hi Danny -


In Galveston’s best days we had the one-ball horse themed marble tables together with slots

of all 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

Pace mechanical slots were prolific.  There were some Buckley horserace machines, but Evans predominated.

The machines were everywhere from the taverns and clubs to news stands, drug stores, corner grocery stores,

restaurants and cafes.  Any business


I am referring to the years 1949-1951 when I was in high school

and could go into some of the places were the machines were exhibited.


Galveston was closed down in 1951.  The slots disappeared.  There was an attempt to keep

some of the marble tables operating by modifying them with a control box.  There was no coin

entry; you purchased games from the proprietor and cashed in games similar to bingo games.

The proprietor then cancelled the games on the control box.  The games I saw modified this

way were older 4-coil multipliers rather than the later tables like Bally Grandstand.


At about that time Bally Bright Lights was introduced; I got to play on the first bingo that

began the era.  I remember how noisy Bright Lights was.  Six cards with all balls played and

the search relays chattering madly.  It was a common courtesy to tilt the machine when

leaving it so patrols would not have to wait until the timer tilted it.


I did get to see United’s roulette type machines, but they were boring,

boring, boring.


I was out of the country 1953-1955 and when I came back on leave from the Navy

I played Big Time.  I really liked that machine.  United machines were well represented

and did compete with bally early on for my interest.


After a tour of duty in Japan I came back to the Bally Big Show.  The bingos persisted

here into the ‘60s.