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The Penny Arcade

 The Coin Operated Machine Information Site 

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                                                      Cailli Brothers  1895-1932

 

The Cailli Brothers, Arthur and Adolph, had been dabbling in coin operated machines before 1895 under other company names but didn't form the Cailli Bros Co until that date. Although considered one of the early "big 3" slot producers (Cailli,Mills & Watling) they may actually have led the way in the very early days. Their floor standing spinning disc machines were state of the art around the turn of the century. Unusually for the slot industry the Mills and Cailli families formed a close friendship based on trust and rivalry and freely exchanged trade secrets and developments for more than two decades. 

  

                                    Although now modernised the Cailli building in Detroit is still in use today

 Cailli machines were looked on as the "Rolls Royce"  of slot machines with good workmanship and what was considered  "classy" designs for the day. During their reasonably short existence they produced a staggering 248 different machines from pin balls to slots and trade stimulators to strength testers and by the start of WW1 they looked set to remain a major player but things changed in 1916. Shortly after returning from his honeymoon Arthur had a heart attack and died at the age of just 48.    

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          two versions of the "Big 6"   an early 1895 model and a more ornate deluxe model from around 1900

Adolph carried on the business after Arthurs death , and it was successful ,indeed some of their best machines came out after Arthurs death, but from that time on the company started to lag behind its rivals in modern design and advertising even though some of their machines still led the way in quite complex special  features .

                                          

                                                                           A double unit "Centaur"

                  

                                                                             Three Cailli trade stimulators

                        

                                               "Silver Cup"1912                                        table top "BenHur"   1900

 

                 

                        the "superiur Bell" (Naked Lady)                                       the cleverly named "Silent Sphynx  

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                                                     Two centre pull  "Victory Bells"  Vendor model and Naked lady

                                          

                                                 The next three are from the later era and I think are particualy nice

 

                                                       

                                                  The "doughboy" featuring,as it says on the front, "No Lemons"

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            Rather oddly named for the 1930's  "The Dictator"                                     The "Cadet"   

                                                                                               

By 1932 the company,although still profitable, was clearly going nowhere and Aldolph sold out to Fuller Johnson Co.

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                                   The revolutionary but strangely "old style" "Multi Bell" by A.C.Novelty Co (1937)

            

Two years later,inspired by his son, Adolph formed the A.C Novelty Co with the intention,together with his son, of designing a  slot machine that could take up to 7 coins. Three years ( and $250,000) later they launched the Multi Bell but tragedy struck again when Adolph died shortly after the machines launch. The Multi Bell ,still looking like a modern version of the early Cailli machines was only a mild success and although Adolphs son went on to produce a total of 10  machines under the A.C. name, he sold out to Buckley in 1939.

Cailli machines hold a unique place in slot machine history and their machines almost always fetch high prices at auction,in fact the record price for a single collectable slot machine is held (at this time) by a Cailli "roulette" which sold for  $300,000

 

          The slot auction record holder "The Roulette" sold for $300,000