by Russ Jensen



     Since I had to miss the Spring 1995 edition of Bill and

Roseanna Harris' COIN-OP SUPER SHOW due to a vacation conflict, I

vowed I would not miss the Fail SUPER SHOW.  So about a month

before I made arrangements with my good friend jukebox and pinball

collector Ron Tyler to go together since I no longer drive.


     This show was to feature a special event, the display of the

first 3-reel payout slot machine, the famous Fey LIBERTY BELL.  I

myself had seen that machine several times in the past during

vacation visits to the Liberty Bell Saloon in Reno, Nevada - the

LIBERTY BELL's regular home.


     Also this year I decided to see if I could meet my old friend

from Junior High School, Don Stocker, who I had not seen in 44

years!  Over a year ago I located Don's phone number via a computer

database which contains all listed phone numbers in the country

with the help of pinball fan Gary Marshall in Mississippi.  I had

talked to Don once awhile back and he lived in Pasadena, the city

where the show was held (and also the city where we had attended

school together.)


     About a week prior to the show I called Don to see if he could

possibly meet me at the show.  He told me then that he had a

previous commitment that weekend and couldn't come to the show.

Well, the night before the show he called and said he would be able

to meet me after all, so we made plans to contact each other at the



     On the morning of the show, Saturday September 23, my friend

Ron and I drove to the show  site arriving at just about the time

the doors were to open.  We both took advantage of the show's

"senior discount" and entered the show room.  The Fey LIBERTY BELL

was clearly visible when you entered the hall.


     Upon entering I first went to Roseanna Harris' booth and told

her that my old friend would contact her when he arrived so she

could point me out to him (we weren't sure we could recognize each

other after all those years).  I then started up the first aisle to

see what was there, noticing that there were no pingames in that



     When I had almost reached the end of the next aisle I heard my

name paged on the P.A. system, telling me to come to Roseanna's

booth.  As I started walking toward it I recognized my old friend

Don.  We greeted each other and then started back at the first

aisle together so Don could see what was there.  My other friend

Ron had previously taken off on his own, especially looking at the

jukebox items at the show of which there were many.


     As Don and I were perusing the aisles looking at the various

items on display, Roseanna announced the first door prize winner of

the day.  I was surprised to hear that the winner got to actually

play the almost 100 year old Fey LIBERTY BELL.  By the time I got

back to where that machine was located, however, he had already

inserted a nickel and pulled the handle, so I didn't get to see

that special event.


     As far as pinballs were concerned there were not a great

number at eh show (approximately 16 by my count), being far

outnumbered by slots and jukes.  There were two dealers (Herb

Silvers' Fabulous Fantasies and Pat Sheehy's P. and S. Amusements)

which each had a few pins, plus a few other dealers who each had a

single pin in their booths.


     As far as the various decades were concerned, there were 4

pins from the 1930's, one from the 1940's (well, maybe not exactly

a pin - but more about that later), one from the 1950's, none at

all from the 1960's.  From the 1970's there was one electro-

mechanical pin and 3 solid-state machines.  The more modern solid-

state pins shown included 2 from the 1980's and 4 from the current



     The two earliest pins at the show were the earliest popular

pins of two of the major manufacturers.  BALLYHOO was the pin which

started the Bally company in 1932 and the one at the show was in

excellent condition.  There was also a BAFFLE BALL from the same

year, the first successful pingame from D. Gottlieb and Co., which

was also in very nice shape.  Two "pioneer pingames" indeed!


     There were also two other small 1930's pins there.  The

earliest of these was called THE MIDGET put out in 1932 by an

outfit called E. E. Junior Manufacturing Co.  The later of the

1930's pins shown was a little game called BULLET put out by the

Pierce Tool and Manufacturing Co. in 1935.  Even though made in

that year it was very similar in size and appearance to much

earlier pingames.


     The only 1940's vintage pin-like game at the show was a small

counter-top game called WHIZZ put out by Genco Manufacturing in

1946.  While not really a pingame in the true sense of the word,

WHIZZ had some similarities and is quite an interesting little



     It has an upright playfield (vaguely resembling the Japanese

Pachinko machines) and utilizes 10 ceramic balls a little smaller

than the steel balls used in most pingames.  The player launches

each ball upward, by use of a lever on the cabinet, the ball then

falling down the field, deflected in it's path by various steel

pins mounted thereon.

     At the bottom of the field are nine troughs into which all 10

balls eventually land; each capable of holding one or two balls.

The object of the game is to get balls in as many consecutive

troughs (starting with the center trough, and either going to the

left or right) without leaving any empty troughs in between.


     If the player succeeded in getting a ball into the center

trough he would score 1000 points (lighted up in numbers at the top

of the glass.  Each additional consecutive trough (either to the

left or right) would score an additional 1000 points.  Each 1000

points represented one "free game", although I'm sure that in many

locations the player was "paid off" in coins by the location.


     Years ago I repaired one of these games for a friend of mine.

After fixing it I began playing it and became "hooked" and played

it for hours on end.  WHIZZ is a very hard game to beat!  A few

years later Genco produced a series of larger games using the same

general principle.


     The only 1950's pin at the show was a restored Gottlieb ROCKET

SHIP from 1958.  This game had been skillfully restored by Herb

Silvers and had a quite high asking price.  The only other electro-

mechanical pin at the show was from the 1970's.  It was Bally's

HOKUS POKUS from 1975.


     The following is a chronological listing of the pingames I saw

at the show:


GAME                     MANUFACTURER        YEAR      PRICE


BAFFLE BALL              GOTTLIEB            1932       525

BALLYHOO                 BALLY               1932       550

THE MIDGET               E.E. JR. MFG.       1932       575

BULLET                   PIERCE TOOL         1935       595

WHIZZ  (Upright)         GENCO               1946       450

ROCKET SHIP              GOTTLIEB            1958      2000

HOKUS POKUS              BALLY               1975       800

HOT TIP                  WILLIAMS            1977       450

POWER PLAY               BALLY               1977       450

XENON                    BALLY               1979       995

CYBERNAUT                BALLY               1985       795

PINBOT                   WILLIAMS            1986       850

HARLEY DAVIDSON          BALLY               1991      2395

TERMINATOR II            WILLIAMS            1991      2495

FLINTSTONES (THE)        WILLIAMS            1994      3600

THEATER OF MAGIC         BALLY               1995      3600


     Now a little more about the extremely rare Fey LIBERTY BELL

slot machine at the show.  It is one of only four (I believe) known

to exist and one of the two owned by Marshall Fey, the grandson of

it's inventor Charles Fey.  Marshall was kind enough to bring this

extremely rare machine to the show for all to see.

     Also on display in Marshall's booth (which was also manned by

his son) was the first one-dollar play gambling machine (also

created by his grandfather) and the Mills LIBERTY BELL slot, the

idea and name of which was "stolen" by Mills from Charles Fey.  At

one point in the show I noticed that Marshall had even opened up

his LIBERTY BELL to show it's construction, but again by the time

I got over to it it was "buttoned up" again.


     Incidentally, by the time you read this one of the other Fey

LIBERTY BELLs (from the collection of long-time Philadelphia coin

machine operator Stan Harris) will have been sold at auction in

Illinois.  When Marshall was asked what he thought it might bring

he said he really had no idea, but the talk he had heard indicated

that the selling price might be in the 150-200 Thousand dollar



UPDATE:   On November 15, 1995 the Fey LIBERTY BELL was sold to a

Midwest collector for a bid of $130,000!  With auctions fees, etc.

he actually had to pay just under 150 thousand; the highest price,

by the way, ever paid for any coin machine!.


     All during my visit to the show I roamed around with my friend

Don looking at different interesting things on display as well as

listing the pingames which were there and taking some photos.  I

also visited with other old friends who were at the show, for one

talking with my friend Sam Harvey about our upcoming visit to

Pinball Expo '95 the next month (more about that in the next COIN

SLOT).  The friend I had come with, Ron, spent much of his time

negotiating with a couple dealers on a Wurlitzer electric neon



     At one point during the show my old friend Don and I sat down

over a soft drink and reminisced about our Junior High School

friendship.  We both remembered the day, while hiking in the hills,

that we wandered into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory site only to be

escorted out in a jeep by an armed guard.


     While Don and I were visiting I heard Roseanna announce

another interesting door prize.  This time it was a copy of a book

to be released in November by Roseanna's company, Royal Bell Ltd.

When I heard her announce the name of the book I was really

surprised.  It was LEMONS, CHERRIES, AND BELL FRUIT GUM a history

of the slot machine industry by Dick Bueschel.


     The reason I was so surprised was because I had first heard of

that book in an advertisement in a book catalog sometime back

around 1972!  The ad said that the book was "coming soon". In a

recent conversation with Dick I found out that he had actually been

working on the book since 1967!  Well, it's finally coming out and

I can hardly wait for it as it will give the history of the slot

machine industry right up into the 1990's.


     Later, Don, my friend Ron, and I had dinner at the nearby

Holiday Inn restaurant.  After dinner we returned to the show for

about an hour and did some last minute looking around.  My friend

Ron ended up buying one of the Wurlitzer clocks he had been eyeing

and carried it out to the car when we left.


     All in all, it was a very nice show and had a wide variety of

coin-ops and other nice collectables.  I will probably be able to

attend the next SUPER SHOW which is scheduled for March 1st through

3rd, 1996 (before my usual vacation time).


     After leaving the hall I said goodbye to my Junior High buddy

Don, inviting him to come visit me and my wife at our home.  After

that Ron and I drove back home, ending a very enjoyable "coin-op