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Project Article - Bryans BULLION

The Bryans BULLION is often considered by many collectors, one of William Bryan's greatest, if not the last great innovation among his machines. Made in 1963 the Bullion machine was the Roulette Gaming device missing from the portfolio of coin operated machines with the Bryans name.

Playing similar to the Caille Ben Hur (and other such machines), it had the spinning pointer, numbers instead of colours around a circular (polygon actually!) disc, multiple payout values and the clever multiple bet option (play more than one coin to increase the chances you'll win!).

How does it play? Like other coin operated devices nothing happens until a coin is deposited. However, you have a choice of several coin entries along the top of the machine, each one representing a different value. The higher the value the less there are on the play dial, smaller chance of winning, whereas the lower values had more chances with these numbers appearing regularly around the dial.

Drop either one coin or several to play. Below the coin entry are small circular windows which display your bets (the coins deposited appear behind this window). Once a coin is played, the handle at the bottom right of the cabinet can be turned clockwise which spins the silver pointer rapidly and eventually stops abruptly opposite a number on the dial. If it's a number you chose, you win that amount of coins automatically.

When you look inside the Bryans BULLION cabinet you appreciate just how clever Bryans were at inventing all mechanical devices. There's an array of metal levers, push rods, springs and cogs bolted together making the whole play operation seem simple. Delve deeper and you'll appreciate the intricate dimensions and bolt lengths and spring tensions to ensure the whole mechanism is perfectly timed for correct operation.

In order of play, the coin sizes are checked, once verified, play is allowed to begin by actuating the play handle, making the dial spin rapidly and stop, meanwhile the coins are moved down a position, several levers check the number stopped at with the coins played, if a match, a clever horizontal lever lowers the correct distance to allow a slide to push out the right amount of coins.

Any mechanical engineer or collector who's dared to dismantle the Bryans BULLION machine will know it requires plenty of time and definately patience, not forgetting how the whole thing goes back together again! Like all Bryans Gaming Machines you begin to appreciate the innovative thinking that went in to each one, nothing is left out, even the simple things like making sure a player cannot turn the handle backwards!


Study these photos included here for your reference and enjoyment. They were taken during a repair and service of a recent job here at Slot Machine Depot, and I have to admit the only other Bryans machine that probably comes close to the workings of this BULLION for innovation is the Bryans PAYRAMID.

The Bryans BULLION originated in the 1d (large Penny) coinage, later models were converted to take the new 1p, although the front circular windows below the coin entries remained the large size. Payouts on the BULLION could often be a problem with incorrect coins being released on wins. Adjustments are possible, but can be laborious as there are multiple adjustment screws that must be turned only a fraction to alter payout, but have a lock nut that often moves your change as its tightened.

The Machine is noisy when played as it uses a rocking arm mechanism against cog teeth to control play and timing speed, this makes a loud clonking during play. Collectors often say they don't remember the machines being so loud when they played them back in the days of amusement arcades, this would probably be due to all the other noises of other machines, as well as people in the arcade so the BULLION didn't stand out as particularly loud, but in the home environment it may appear louder!


The BULLION came in a yellow or red painted cabinet (with dark fleks), some special order versions in natural wood finish also exist. Like all Bryans, the machine is often considered an ugly duckling with it's angular shape and odd shape fixtures. The BULLION is a great machine to play and fun to guess the winning number.


Slot Machine Depot offer repairs, servicing and full restoration of the Bryans range of machines, including the BULLION.






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