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The Penny Arcade

 The Coin Operated machine Information Site 

                                        The Pace Collection

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Ed Pace was born in 1877 and didn't enter the slot industry until 1926 when he was  49 years old.

Like Ode Jennings he started a small company refurbishing existing machines but by 1927 was switching to making his own,some of these were to become some of the most sort after machines by collectors. The company thrived for the next 25 years with the introduction of many and varied models but usually with a distinctive "Pace" look to them.

Between 1934 and 1946 (although the latter ones were pretty much all Evans) Pace collaborated on a remarkable horse racing machine called the Pace's Races.

 The original all Pace version used just one electric motor to run a bellows, this bellows then ran all the functions of the machine pneumatically including the horse movement,odds selection,payout calculation and payout. The running of the race was controlled by a player piano style  slotted reel with a random function in the form of a small single pin ball shot advancing horses extra steps.,

The later Evans machines electrified many of these functions. Harold Baker,who was to later take over the Pace co may have also been involved with this venture as his "Bakers Racer" used an almost identical cabinet.

            

                                                                    Pace's Races    

                 

                                                 View inside this remarkable machine 

            

                         play table view,     The "Red Arrow" version on the right sold for $10,500 in 2008

With the passing of the Johnson act in 1951 Ed ,now 74 years old, felt it was too much to battle on in a ham strung industry and retired and veteran slot figure Harold Baker took over the making of Pace machines. This was not to last long as Harold died just two years later in 1953 and Ace Manufacturing Co of Franklin Park Illinois took over the Pace products.

 

This venture  proved to be quite successful and in 1958 the company moved to sites in Reno and Glen Bernie MD. During this period the owners, Casy & Norbe Michales developed the first front opening slot machine.

As with many other slot companies the introduction of the electro mechanical machine by Bally took the wind out of Ace slot sales and the company folded in 1961.

 

With Bally ruling the roost there was a somewhat misguided attempt to re invent the former Space Co using the remains of the Pace facility in Glen Bernie and they rushed to launch a poorly produced front opening hopper fed machine to compete with the Bally. This was a disaster. The launch at the Reno Palace Club was a farce with most of the machines emptying their hoppers for no reason throughout the evening. As a result the unreliable machine sold in very small numbers mostly in Maryland and overseas.

 

The last machine made that resembled a Pace machine was the Primadonna in 1964 and the last listed Space Co machine was the Electric in 1968

 

  Many Pace Machines were based on two models,The Bantam and The Comet

                  Below are a selection of Pace Machines 1927-1967          

                      

                                                                          Bantam Fancy Front

                      

                                                                                   Bantam Fancy Front

 

 

                     

                                          Bantam Mint Vendor                                                       The "1928"

                                                             

                                                             The Cardinal Trade Stimulator                                     

                  

                                                                                       "8" Star Bell

                 

                  Comet (all Wood case)                                             Standard Comet

 

                     

                  Royal Comet Twin(one pull two machines)                   Royal Comet Club Console

 

                           

                                           Chrome Comet                                                       Pace Kitty

 

                               

                               All Star Comet                                                         25c Double Play

     

 

                        Pace's Reels                                            Pace's Races Red Arrow console    

                 

                                                                        Pace Mech  

               

 

                            Harvey's Wagon Wheel                                 Pace Comet(Made by Ace)                                        

                       

                            Pace Light up                                     Primadonna(the last Pace styled machine)

                                                               

                                                         The Ill Fated Space Co hopper machine 1965

 

                                                       Ace built  Pace Machines on site at "Bill's"