EVANS CHICAGO SET SPINDLE> setspindle.jpg - 9997 Bytes
This is the old reliable spindle and has met with more success in disposing of merchandise than any spindle game ever conceived. The bed of the spindle is 22 inches square, covered with green felt. The spaces are divided with twisted pins and the arrow is of hardwood with celluloid indicator. This is a two-way store, too well known to require any detailed description. Each Chicago Set Spindle is shipped with a handsome imitation leather carrying case. Complete instructions with each outfit.

The Chicago Set Spindle was usually flashed with jewelry, lighters, knives and watches together with slum merchandise, which was the actual prize awarded -- such as aluminum necklaces with a heart, cloverleaf or some other design that could be hand engraved with a Burgess vibrator-type engraver. Early models of the spindle were constructed with nickel-plated twisted pins which, when combined with the flash jewelry, made a beautiful display -- very eye-catching, which was the idea. Two spindles side by side flashed with different valued prizes (and different prices to play) made a very attractive store.

This spindle is an odd-even proposition, meaning that the indicator will stop only on every other space. chicago set spindle.jpg - 20473 Bytes Which set of spaces, odd or even, was under control of the operator. This allowed the agent to "show the game up" by demonstrating that the arrow would stop on the high-valued prizes. When the mark paid for the spin, of course, all he would get is the slum.

The spindle is a grind store. In the '50s the grind was for 25c or 50c a spin, and because the cost of the prizes was much less than the ante, the store made money. If the agent got a "peek at the poke" and saw that the mark had a lot of money, he could "flatten" the joint by offering higher wagers. chicago set spindle b.jpg - 20112 Bytes First, the agent would place the indicator on a normally losing space. He did this handling, not the arrow, but the indicator. Then, pressing on the gaff, the would gently rock the arrow backand forth against the spring tension of the celluload indicator until finally it would flip over one space to the winning space. He would let the mark practice, all the time pressing in on the gaff. When the mark made his bet and rocked the arrow (the gaff was not pressed at this time) it would finally flip over the winning space to the next losing space. The alibi was that the mark turned it too hard or too fast. More practice--then hit him in the wallet again.

The gaff is in the twisted pins. While it appears that they were designed for show, what they actually did was present more or less striking surface to the indicator. When the agent pressed the gaff, the indicator rotated and would miss the curvature of pins that it would normally strike and hit the pins on spaces that were normally misses. Thus the odd - even control afforded the operator.

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