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                                        The Pace Collection



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 pinball shot advancing horses extra steps.,

The later Evans machines electrified many of these functions. Harold Baker, who later took 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 


                                    This "Red Arrow" version sold for $10,500 in 2008


                                                                           Pace's Races play table



With the passing of the Johnson act in 1951 Ed, now 74 years old, felt it was too much to battle on in a hamstrung industry and retired at that point 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 electromechanical 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 reinvent 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      

          The company had high hopes for the  "Pace's Reels" Series and today they are very collectable but their problem in the 1940s was the same as collectors have today...they take up too much room. Floor space in an arcade or casino is money and machines that stood 4 square or took up a whole corner might be good earners but not like the three machines that might fit into the same space. The very rare two-player version was even worse. Adds in Billboard started in 1944 for the 2 player at a staggering $550 but after little more than a year no new ones were advertised and reconditioned models were for sale for as little as $150


                       Pace's Reels                                    Very rare "Twin Reels"  two-player version  


                                                  Another rare model incorporating a bagatelle feature



          One of the playfields from the "Twin Reel"                      A standard Pace mech was electrified for "Reels Machines



    The "Three Play" (1941) was a monster of a machine featuring a choice of three bets and an unusual award card






                                                                        Pace Mech  



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


                   ACE  made (Pace) Light  up                     Primadonna(the last Pace styled machine)


                                                         The Ill-Fated Space Co hopper machine 1965

                                       (our thanks to Rick Force, Ontario,Ca for the photo of his machine)


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