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3-Ring Circus, 1932

Features: 5-cent play.
Manufacturer: Bally Manufacturing Corporation (1931-1983) [Trade Name: Bally]
Date of Manufacture: July, 1932
Players: July, 1932 / 1
Year: 1932
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Theme: Circus
Design by: Raymond T. Moloney
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Machine Type: Pure Mechanical (PM) 
Notes: It was already a growing practice before this game came out for operators to attach printed score cards to the backs of pinball cabinets to indicate awards for player's high scores. The awards would indicate how much money "in trade" would be given to the player by the location. These score cards might be mounted in a wood frame or simply tacked to the cabinet. Some manufacturers may have printed these cards themselves and quietly furnished them to the distributors. Bally was the first manufacturer to acknowledge this growing practice by placing a score card on '3-Ring Circus' direct from the factory, mounted in a wood marquee. The flyer for this game indicates the score card is used for location payouts and that this card can be removed to convert the game to a "straight pin". We note that this game from July 1932 is not the first appearance of a factory marquee, as we have found games dated as early as February 1932 having marquees that are mostly small and made of metal. The largest of these earlier marquees appears on Mills' 1932 'English'. The Billboard ad shown here was placed by Bally and the image it displays is identical to the image in a Billboard ad appearing a week later but placed by Rock-Ola Manufacturing Company. See Rock-ola's 1932 '3-Ring Circus' Bally is the well-documented maker of '3-Ring Circus'. Until we know how to tell the difference between the Bally version and the apparent Rock-Ola version, all unbranded images of this game will be placed in this Bally listing.
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