Mills Vest Pocket Bell

The Mills Vest Pocket bell was introduced in 1938 and was in production into the '50s. It measures only 8" x 7" x 8" and weighs 15 pounds. The Vest Pocket Bell works with a push-pull slot--it has no handle. It is fully automatic and pays out like a Mystery bell, however it has no jackpot (at introduction).

The reels are covered when the machine is not in operation. The award card flips over to conceal the reels (from law enforcement, supposedly). The payout cup was also concealed by a cover.

vp1.jpg - 12783 Bytes Some models produced by Mills:

Model 420      5c Fruit Reels, Gold and Blue Midget Bell
Model 420C   Same as 420 except for case which is chrome finish.
Model 421     5c Cigarette reels and reward plate.
Model 421C   Same as 421 with chrome case
Model 422     5c Fruit Reels, Jackpot. Same as 420 with Jackpot register and reward plate.
Model 423     1c Fruit Reels, Jackpot
Model 423C    Same as 423 with chrome finish case
Model 424     1c Cigarette Reels, Jackpot
Model 424C    1c Cigarette Reels, Chrome
Model 425     5c Cigarette Reels, Jackpot
Model 425C    Same as 425 with chrome finish case

Variations of color and a locking payout cup cover were Mills options.

Sega acquired rights to manufacture the Vest Pocket in the '50s.

The Mills Vest Pocket is a fully automatic bell paying the same odds as a Mystery bell, that is, 3-5-10-14-18-20. This machine is a Model 420, so it does not have a Jackpot. No model payed a Jackpot in cash, but recorded the hit on a meter with the payout being over the counter. Generally $2.50 was awarded. Some award cards showed the value of a Jackpot at 70, which included 20 coins from the machine.

The payout tube holds 40 coins. This is less than half of a full-sized bell. My Pace machine holds 90 coins in its payout tube. I have played the VP for extended periods and have not yet drained the payout tube in normal play. Even paying larger awards back to back, the machine recovers rapidly enough to pay correctly.

vp2.jpg - 25020 Bytes The VP is a 10-stop machine. Presented here are payout statistics.

Symbol No.      Reel 1      Reel 2      Reel 3
1 Cherry Cherry Plum
2 Orange Lemon Lemon
3 Cherry Cherry Orange
4 Plum Lemon Plum
5 Cherry Plum Bar
6 Bar Cherry Lemon
7 Orange Bar Plum
8 Cherry Orange Bell
9 Plum Lemon Lemon
10 Bell Bell Orange

Symbol Inventory Table:

Symbol      Reel 1      Reel 2      Reel 3     
Lemon 0 3 3
Cherry 4 3 0
Orange 2 1 2
Plum 2 1 3
Bell 1 1 1
Bar 1 1 1
Grand Totals 10 10 10

Payout Computation Chart:

Award Card      Payout      No. of Ways      Coins Paid      Coins per Symbol      Percent Per Symbol
Bar-Bar-Bar 20 1 20 20 2.0
Bell-Bell-Bell 18 1 18 Bells Bells
Bell-Bell-Bar 18 1 18 36 3.6
Plum-Plum-Plum 14 6 84 Plums Plums
Plum-Plum-Bar 14 2 28 112 11.2
Orange-Orange-Orange 10 4 40 Oranges Oranges
Orange-Oraange-Bar 10 2 20 60 6.0
Cherry-Cherry-Any 3 72 216 Cherries Cherries
Cherry-Cherry-Lemon 5 36 180
Cherry-Cherry-Bell 5 12 60 456 45.6
Total Coins Paid 684 68.4

Jackpot models add 50 coins per Jackpot. The payout increases to 73.4%

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Pictured below is a Vest Pocket machine with jackpot meter. The jackpot meter is near the reels.

mills vest pocket jackpot.jpg - 126844 Bytes