History of the Bryans Works

Complete listing of Bryans machines

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Bryans  Spinning  Games

Bryan devised a number of spinning games of different forms.  These were basically gambling games, although on the Bullion it was possible to place bets on the outcome, which made it more interactive.

Compared to the more common One-Arm Bandit, these games only had a single spinning disc; so they lack the element of suspense that the Bandit has, where each reel stops in turn.  However, the Clocks were sold in very large quantities, and the public probably thought that they had a greater chance of lining up a single disc than three spinning reels.  It is also reported that the authorities were initially fooled by the machine, thinking that it was a real clock!  I wouldn't have thought that they were fooled for very long!

 

Examples of Bryans Spinning Games


 


(photo courtesy J.Darvill)

CLOCK 6-WIN  (1930)
Rotating the key would wind up the mechanism and release the clock hands.  The clock would pay out according to the position that the hands came to rest.  This was Bryan's second machine and it was a runaway success.
CLOCK 12-WIN (1947)
The same as the 6-Win version, but with a payout on every hour.

The Clocks were extremely common, and were made in large quantities, and a number of different case styles.
Value: £350-500

Later Clocks had a separate lockable cash compartment at the bottom of the machine, accessible from the rear.

This necessitated a taller case, and the difference between the two versions is obvious from this photograph.

It is believed that this was a feature added in the 60's, possibly to prevent the maintenance man having access to the cash box?

The Streamline cases also incorporated this feature, as did the redesigned 1960 Payramid

It seems strange that the cash box door was at the back though, when most machines had the door at the front.  Not very convenient to have to heave the machine around to empty the cash box, especially if you had a whole row of them to empty!

(photo courtesy D.Coad).

Gerry has offered a convincing explanation for the cash box doors being at the back: "The arcade and fairground operators used to set up the areas for the machines in square blocks with machines mounted with their backs into bays, they had corridors all the way round and a (locked!) access door in between. This was to allow the 'bag man' to access the machines for emptying/refilling jackpots and tubes without interfering with valuable play time.  I can recollect on several occasions playing a machine at the front while some mystery fingers were scrabbling around in the rear of the machine at the same time. Prior to this innovation the bag man had to enter the arcade, take the machine out of service, turn it round, empty it in full view of a resentful public (bloody hell! look how much cash he's taking out of that!) and risk giving people ideas about robbing him. So all for good reson then, security and profit. You only have to look at what now happens in Vegas when you drop a coin or a bill in a slot to see where the basic idea ended up. Now that's what I call progress!"
 
12-WIN CLOCK  -  JACKPOT VERSION

This version of the 12-Win Clock has a Jackpot function, which pays out 12 coins when one hand lands on the 12, and 24 coins when both hands land on the 12 (ie never!).  The maximum payout can be adjusted by the lever with the red tip, shown in the photos.  The positions are marked: 24/12, 6, 3, 2, 1.  A yellow cardboard disc behind the dial can also be rotated to indicate the payouts.  In the photo above, the payouts are 24/12 at the 12 o,clock position; 4 at the 4 o'clock position; and 8 at the 8 o'clock position, all the others pay 2. (information & photos courtesy Gerry)

 
Clock mechanism

12-Win Clock and mechanism in the rarer crackle finish case.  (photos courtesy S.Parkes).

Part of Bryan's patent specification for the original Clock.  The bellows seen at the top right were used to provide a gradual run-down of the mechanism. These bellows exist on the prototype machine (shown on the right), but were replaced by an escapement mechanism, probably before production began.  (photo courtesy Paul Angel)

What a lovely pair!

12-Win Clock and Fruit Bowl in matching streamline cases.  These have serial Nos. 162 (Fruit Bowl) and 2162 (Clock).  It is thought that they were bought from the factory as a pair and have been kept together from new.

Below: Mechanisms of the Clock (left) and Fruit Bowl (right).  The mechanism of the later Clocks was almost identical to the Fruit Bowl, as can be seen from these photos.  Earlier versions of the Clock used a slightly different mechanism (see photo above).

(photos courtesy J.Darvill)

     

Clock tower

CLOCK TOWER  (1961)
The Clock Tower was a clever name for a Clock version of the Quadmatic, which housed four Clocks (without jackpots) in a square case.  (Photo courtesy S.Stern)

Internal view of the Clock Tower
Note how the overflow coins from the four mechanisms all feed into a central hopper.  (Photo courtesy Peter Jones)

   

Nice shot of Clock Tower and its four separate clocks.  Which one is showing the right time?!  (Photos courtesy Peter Jones)
 
WINDMILLL  (1933)

    
(photo courtesy D. Lavender)


 (photo courtesy S.Parkes)


(photo courtesy S.Parkes)

On inserting a penny and turning the key, the windmill slowly rotates.  The player presses a knob on the front of the game, in an attempt to drop a pointer onto the edge of the sails as they rotate.  If the pointer lands in one of the notches on the sails, he is rewarded with a payout.  The payout is the same for all notches, and can be set to any amount from 1 to 18 pennies.
The mechanism was unusual in that it used a fluid flywheel, rather than the usual escapement device, to drive the windmill sails at a slow and constant speed.

 

FRUIT BOWL (1965)
The Fruit Bowl was a simple gambling game (gambling machines had been legalised in Britain in 1960).

Rotation of the handle would spin the dial, and the machine would pay out 2, 4, 6 or 12 coins, if the numbered symbols lined up with the pointer at the bottom.

The jackpot on the front is a dummy.  The pennies are there merely to attract the punters!
Fruit Bowl Instruction Sheet

Fruit Bowl Spares List
 (both courtesy Jim Hacking)


Value: £700-900

 


Close-up detail of Bullion

BULLION (1963)
The Bullion was a gambling game in which you could actually place bets upon where you thought the pointer would come to rest, effectively a mechanical Roulette. A coin would be placed in the chosen slot at the top of the machine, and the handle turned. This wound up the mechanism and set the pointer spinning. When the pointer came to rest, the machine would pay out the value of the bet if you chose the winning number. You could insert coins into more than one slot in the same game, so multiple bets could be placed. The windows above the dial were used to store and display the coins during the game, so that the player could see which numbers had been bet on. The Bullion was a very popular game, although it wouldn't score any points for attractiveness!

The Bullion exists in old penny (1d) and new penny (1p) versions.  The decimal version can be recognised by the five smaller coin entries, and white paper labels stuck over the '12's to convert them into '10's.  Unfortunately, the size of the coin windows was not changed, which makes it difficult to see the small 1p coins in the windows designed for the old penny.  2p versions are known, but they are rare.

Values: 1p version - £400-600;  1d version - £450-700      Quadmatic version of Bullion

Bullion Operating Instructions Sheet   (courtesy Simon Parkes)

Until recently it was thought that all new Bullions supplied after decimalisation still used the old '12' dials with white paper '10' labels stuck over them, and no new dials were ever printed.  Then this example came to light.

New dials must have been printed very late in the Bullion's career.  A new printed dial has also been seen on a late 2p Bullion.


(photo courtesy Cheri636)


The mechanism of the Bullion.  Another feast of Bryans mechanicals!

This game was purely mechanical - a considerable achievement for a roulette game of this type, with multiple automatic payouts.

The toothed segment at the top engages with the rocking bar above it, which provides for a timed run-down of the mechanism.

The Bullion was Bryan's last great mechanical contraption!

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This web site is copyright (C) 1999-2014 Melvyn Wright
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.  All values are in GBP (£).