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Dimensions (inches): 88.5" tall x 61.5" wide x 15" deep
Elaborately embellished race horse gaming wheel, made by Evans & Company in Chicago. Each of the wheel's 10 panels are brightly colored lithographs behind glass, framed by lengths of decorative nickel-plated trim. The four crown-shaped center panels are fancifully paint-stenciled mirror, framed with the same trim and finished with whimsical stars. Numbers that run around the outer edge of the wheel are the real source of the game it was used for, which functioned quite like a ball-in-cage lottery, with payouts that alternated based on the changing number in the cylindrical tower.

The wooden post that supports the wheel, which has a cast-iron, tripod base, is polychrome-painted wood. It collapses for easy transport. The frame of the wheel is heavy laminate wood, 1 3/4" thick, with metal supports and nickel-plated pins. A spur-shaped star serves as a nut to hold the wheel on the shaft.

The wheel is signed on the giant cast and nickel-plated washer in the center. This reads "H.C. Evans & Co.; Chicago, Ill." Established in 1892, the firm was incorporated in 1907. By 1909 it was located at 125 Clark Street. By the 1920s, it had moved to 1528 West Adams Street. In 1929 it claimed to be the oldest firm of its kind in existence and at 52,000 square feet was the largest factory in the world engaged in the exclusive manufacture of the types of products for which it was known.

Interesting Notes:
Beginning about 1914, Evans published something known as the "The Secret Blue Book", which included details of crooked casino equipment they supplied. By 1929 this had been discontinued because, according to a representative, "during the past several years this book has been copied and infringed upon by numerous unscrupulous individuals".

The 1929 catalogue offered the firm's customers "special dice", "special prepared cards", and "electro magnets". Special dice included staples such as white or transparent "filled dice" or "shaped percentage dice" but also items said to be proprietary to the firm: "tapping dice", "gravitation dice", "new idea crap dice" and "novelty dice". In the case of special prepared cards, that is marked cards, the firm claimed to have been leaders in their manufacture since the end of 19th Century. The cards listed in the catalogue were "marked for size only"; to have the suit show as well cost a further 25 cents. Prepared cards also included "luminous readers" and associated equipment such as "ruby ray" glasses and visors or eye shades.

The firm's "Giant Electro Magnet" was promoted as "the latest development in electromagnetism for the control of dice". It was available as a separate component or incorporated in a regulation 32-inch (810 mm) card table, and used with transparent "electric dice".

Condition: There is very minor paint loss, rust and wear throughout, but the overall condition is excellent for an item of this type and scale. The mirrors have moderate spotting throughout. One of the arms on the star-shaped washer is broken and the nickel-plating on it is worn, which is probably the most notable loss.
Primary Color: red, silver
Earliest Date: 1915
Latest Date: 1940
For Sale Status: Sold
Price SOLD
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