History of the Bryans Works

Complete listing of Bryans machines

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The Bryans Penny Arcade by Melvyn Wright

This web site is a tribute to W.E.Bryan, the inventive genius of the British Slot Machine industry.  It contains a complete listing of his machines, along with photographs and information about each machine.  There is also a Collectors' Corner, where Bryans enthusiasts can buy, sell, and swap machines with other collectors.

I am always interested in hearing from fellow Bryans collectors, particularly if you can supply any additional information for these pages, especially photographs.
   


The Bryans Story
The history of
Bryans Automatic Works
Kegworth

     

Latest updates:  9th August
Counter
Site created 4th April 1999
over 17 years old

     

 
W.E.Bryan and his slot machines
William Edward Bryan was born in 1894, and opened up his slot machine factory at Kegworth, Derbyshire (England) in 1920.  He had served his apprenticeship with Rolls Royce and worked as a motor mechanic in his own garage.  The local showmen would bring their slot machines to his garage for him to repair.  He became fascinated by these slot machines, and was convinced that he could design better and more reliable examples.  How right he was!  He soon left the garage trade, and began producing slot machines full-time.

Bryan was a mechanical genius, who invented 48 different amusement machine designs, and patented many improvements to their mechanisms.  Whereas other slot machine manufacturers would simply copy existing ideas, perhaps with different artwork, Bryan would devise totally new and original games.  Even games which outwardly appeared to be similar to standard machines had additional features like replays, multiple-payouts, jackpots and operator customisation.  It seems that no mechanical problem would be too complex for Bryan's inventive mind to solve, and his solutions were often deceptively simple.  Some of his machines were full of a bewildering array of levers, wheels and linkages; but they were always very reliable.  They had to be, otherwise he would have been out of business very quickly.


William Edward Bryan

Bryan officially retired in 1966, but his inventive skills proved impossible to replace, and he continued design work for the factory until 1973.  He died in 1984.  The Bryans Automatic Works still continued to trade in Kegworth up until the year 2000, run by William's son, Jim Bryan.  As well as supplying new machines, they also supplied spare parts and undertook repairs for machine operators and collectors.  The value of Bryans machines, and the interest in them, has risen significantly in the last few years, as slot machine enthusiasts have come to appreciate his fascinating games, and the clever mechanisms behind them.  Read the full story...

       

"Bryans Machines Are So Different"
A Bryans advertising slogan
See Bryan's "Claims to Fame" from his sales leaflets

        Bryans Case Styles
Bryans 'Breezy' Wind Toys
Advertising Leaflets   NEW....

Click for Alphabetical Listing of Machines

Chronological  listing  of  Bryans  Machines

Year

Machine

Type of Game

 

Rarity*
1927 Oddclod Coin projected into a cup Click for more details

6

1930 Clock (6 win) Clock Spinning game Click for more details

1

1933 Waterfall Coin drop game Click for more details

5

1933 Windmill Spinning game Click for more details

5

1933 Trickler Ball catching game Click for more details

4

1933 Pot The Copper Coin rolling game Click for more details

6

1934 Rippler Ball catching game Click for more details

4

1934 Payramid Ball catching game Click for more details

3

1935 Bumper Payout striker Click for more details

6

1935 Six-or-More (Six-O-More) Ball catching game Click for more details

5

1935 Walden Goliath Crane Crane game Click for more details

5

1936 All Square Crane Crane game Click for more details

4

1936 Multi-Sided Crane Multiple cranes game Click for more details

5

19?? All Square Cranes (show) Multiple cranes game no information

5

1936 Nudist Colony Ant peep show! Click for more details

4

19?? Live Peep Show Ant peep show! Click for more details

4

1936 Rockets 3-column ball game Click for more details

4

1937 Ball Sport 2-player ball game Click for more details

6

1937 All Sport 2-player ball game Click for more details

3

1937 Bran Tub Prize grabbing game Click for more details

4

1937 Pendulum Gift vendor? Click for more details

6

1937 Automatic Postcard Vendor Postcard vendor Click for more details

6

1938 Hidden Treasure Swinging pendulums game Click for more details

3

1938 Prize Finder Prize grabbing game Click for more details

6

1939-45   Business suspended due to World War II

1946 Retreeva Ball catching game Click for more details

4

1947 Clock (12 win) Clock spinning game Click for more details

1

1948 Disappearing Disc Magic illusion viewer Click for more details

4

1948 String Cutter Magic illusion viewer Click for more details

4

1948 Magic Spirals (prototype) Magic illusion viewer Click for more details

6

1948 Dye Works Magic illusion viewer Click for more details

6

c1950 Breezy Wind Toys Not a slot machine! Click for more details

6

1953 Kiddie-Ride Childrens' Ride Click for more details

5

1953 Fivewin Allwin Click for more details

2

1953 Pilwin Play Allwin Click for more details

4

1953 Worl Borl 2-player ball game Click for more details

3

1954 Four-Square Four Allwins Click for more details

3

1955 Elevenses Allwin Click for more details

1

1956 Pilwin / Pilwin 56 Allwin Click for more details

2

1956 Gapwin Allwin Click for more details

4

1956 Tencup Allwin Click for more details

3

1956 U-Win Allwin Click for more details

4

1958 Satellite 2-player game Click for more details

5

1960 Payramid (new version) Ball catching game Click for more details

3

1961 Quadmatic Four Machines Click for more details

5

1961 3-Ball, Nine Cup 3-ball Allwin Click for more details

4

1961 3-Ball, Seven Win 3-ball Allwin Click for more details

4

1961 3-Ball Forks 3-ball catching game Click for more details

3

1961 Clock Tower Four Clocks Click for more details

4

1962 Tick Tock Swinging pendulums game Click for more details

4

1963 Bullion Spinning pointer game Click for more details

1

1965 Fruit Bowl Spinning dial game Click for more details

2

196? New Crane Crane game Click for more details

5

1968 Penny-Go-Round Coin pusher Click for more details

5

1968 Double Decker Coin pusher Click for more details

4

1970 Double Top 2-player Allwin Click for more details

4

1984 Magic Spirals (production) Magic illusion viewer Click for more details

5

* Rarity is on a scale of 1 to 6, with 1 being 'readily available' and 6 being 'very rare'.  The figures are based on the frequency with which machines come up for sale in the UK, rather than on the number produced.

Alphabetical Listing

3-Ball 7 Win 3-Ball 9 Cup 3-Ball Forks All Square Crane All Sport Ant Viewer
Auto.Postcard Vendor Ball Sport Bran Tub Bullion Bumper Clock (6 win)
Clock (12 win) Clock Tower Clown Cranes Disappearing Disc Double Decker
Double Top Dye Works Elevenses Fivewin Forks Four-Square
Fruit Bowl Gapwin Goliath Crane Hidden Treasure Kiddie Ride Live Peep Show
Magic Machines Magic Spirals Multi-Sided Crane New Crane Nudist Colony Odd Clod
Payramid Peep Show Pendulum Penny-Go-Round Pilwin / Pilwin 56 Pilwin Play
Postcard Vendor Pot The Copper Prize Finder Quadmatic Retreeva Rides
Rippler Rockets Satellite Six-or-More Solo-Ride Spirals
String Cutter Tencup Tick Tock Trickler U-Win Walden Crane
Waterfall Windmill  Worl Borl      

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This web site is copyright (C) 1999-2016 Melvyn Wright
Thanks to
David Lavender, and others, who have given me valuable information in connection with this site.  I am also grateful to those who have submitted photographs, the names of whom are to be found alongside the photographs in question.
Special thanks must also go to
Jim Hacking and John Cottrell   for providing copies of many of the original Bryans instruction sheets and advertising flyers.
A note about values: These were included on the site because 80% of emails received by me are of the type "I have xyz machine - how much is it worth?". The values are based on the best information available at the time, but they are subject to large fluctuations due to the condition of the machine, the case style, and the demand for it at the time of sale.  There is no guarantee that your particular machine is worth the amount shown on this site.  Nothing is worth more than you can get for it on the day.  As these are British machines and most collectors are based in Britain, all values are given in British pounds (£).