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Author Topic: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please  (Read 2654 times)

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Offline Fiddlehead

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School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« on: November 13, 2022, 02:09:45 PM »
Greetings all,

I've recently come into a pair of Mills slots. I'd like folks' opinion on both. Any info is welcome - authenticity, value, date of manufacture, the works.

They are a 25 cent Castle Front and a 5 Cent Black Cherry.  This post is about the Black Cherry.

Did not find a serial number, either on the case, wood or sticker anywhere. Appears to have been painted (powder coated?), had the cherries repainted, and has a replacement award plate/bib. I believe the lock and key have been replaced, and it appears to have a replacement cash box. The machine works just fine.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!



Offline shortrackskater

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Re: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2022, 06:02:22 PM »
The case and mechanism appear original to me. Great that it all works too. How much did you pay for this one?
And, again... hopefully member 63mini will chime in soon.

There's another website called "coinopcollectorforum.com" that deals exclusively with mechanical slots. Join that one! There's a lot of information already posted there. But there are a few of us highly intelligent guys here that love the old mechanical slots too!  :rotfl:
Consider becoming a regular contributing member, which helps pay costs to keep this site up and running so you can keep your machine up and running :)

Offline 63mini

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Re: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2022, 09:34:38 AM »
Fiddlehead,

  It doesn't appear that you need much schooling on these.  You seem to already know pretty much about these.  Yes, the award bib has been replaced with a reproduction and you would be missing a cast cherry that would go just above the jackpot window.  That cherry is slightly different than the other four.  The jackpot one can be identified as it had some spaces between the stem and cherries.

  From your photos I can see you are also missing a couple of small parts (which are no big deal).  One is the drill plate on one side and the wooden partition between the cash box (which is a repro).  These were probably removed at some point when someone did a cabinet repair and/or painted the castings in the wrinkle finish black.

 As for the paint that is up to you.  Personally, I do not like the wrinkle finish.  In my environment it is a major dust magnet and is too hard to clean.  I like the original hammered finish silver on those.

  If the game plays and plays you may just enjoy it for a while and decide what you really want to do with it.  They look like a nice find.

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Re: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2022, 10:12:08 AM »
Once again a nice find. they got it backwards though, the cabinet was originally painted gloss black and the plates should be be hammered metal silver. Also i would try to get  an original  front bib if possible, the repros just don,t do it justice. overall nice machine, enjoy ! The wizard.

Offline Fiddlehead

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Re: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2022, 02:52:19 PM »
As promised here are the lock & keys, along with the original lock which I found tucked nicely inside the cashbox.  Does anyone make keys to fit these old Mills locks? 

I'm still trying to decide what to do with these two machines.  They came from a close family friend.  She's in her 80's, and these belonged to her late husband. She doesn't know much about them or where he got them.

I'm either going to sell these for her, or keep one/both and buy it/them from her.  If I do decide to sell one or both, I need to decide whether to paint the 25c, or replace the award bib on the 5c.

Please keep the suggestions coming! I'm especially interested in what folks think these would bring, as I want to make sure she gets fair value.

Offline shortrackskater

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Re: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2022, 05:09:53 PM »
Ed might be able to make the key for that. Ed???
If not, Dave Berten, in NY IL, can do it. He's had health issues but he's back in business. It's well worth the money. If you do sell, you have to find a REAL collector who will know the added value of that original lock. Great you found it! That's a rare thing that the old lock was kept.  :yes:
« Last Edit: November 20, 2022, 10:12:18 AM by shortrackskater »
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Offline 63mini

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Re: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2022, 06:25:33 PM »
 shortrackskater,

  I could re-key it but, I do not have any surplus keys to use.  Also, Dave Berten is in IL.  :yes:

 Fiddlehead,

  You can find spare keys on eBay.  Finding one with the same # would be short of a miracle.  You can purchase a non-matching key and disassemble lock and file down the pins to work with the replacement key.  There are a couple videos on YouTube that show you what you would need to do.

 ***Here is the link to the video. 

« Last Edit: November 20, 2022, 10:13:42 AM by shortrackskater »

Offline Fiddlehead

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Re: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2022, 09:23:18 AM »
Thanks for the link to the video.  Good info here!  It's good to know rekeying is possible whether I do it or leave it for the next owner.

How do I ensure my friend gets fair value for these?  She's a close family friend and I would never take advantage of her.


Offline shortrackskater

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Re: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2022, 10:02:23 AM »
Slot machine values can be quite variable. It depends on a number of things such as location, scarcity, how bad someone wants it (if you had it in a auction, as an example.)
For antiques, location isn't quite the value-determining factor as it is for "newer" (EM, or MPU based) machines.
And, slot ownership legality varies state to state. It appears you're in Maine? Is that where the friend is as well?
Maine is cool! They allow any age machine to be privately owned.  :applause:
But in some cases, they can be harder to sell if they're in a non-legal state such as South Carolina or Tennessee. Bad bad states!  :no:
The machines you have aren't really rare, so to speak.  I'd think the Castle Front might be worth more than the Black Cherry but maybe Ed will chime in on this. Most machines like those I've seen sell in the range of $1500 - $2600, but there are determining factors like I mentioned above, along with how original the restoration is: original key/lock, cashbox, back cover, cash box cover etc.
You can look on eBay, Craigslist, offer up, etc frequently and see what other people are asking. But remember, someone on eBay might be asking $3000 for a Black Cherry but it doesn't mean he'll get that!
Hope this helps a little.
Consider becoming a regular contributing member, which helps pay costs to keep this site up and running so you can keep your machine up and running :)

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Re: School me on this Mills Black Cherry please
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2022, 01:37:56 PM »
 Fiddlehead,

  As shortrackskater has mentioned there are quite a few variables to consider.  If you are just looking for $ numbers, the best I can do is give you a window.  I feel that the Black Cherry could fetch between $600-$900.  The Castle Front could be $100-$200 more as they are a more desirable machine.  It all really depends on what someone would really pay and what they want to do with them.  They both could use some $ to bring them up to the next level.
 

 

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