I have had the privilege of knowing Earl Moloney for a majority of my life. Earl is my parents next door neighbor and living next door to Earl has allowed me the ability to walk over and talk pinball. Earl is the Nephew of the Late Ray Moloney the founder of Bally and Earl once owned Bally through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Well get into that later. I went over to Earls yesterday to show him a picture of a Very Rare 1956 1/2 Prototype Ford Thunderbird that I came across while picking up a Rocky and Bullwinkle Pinball Machine. Earl Moloney is a car enthusiast and started up Maloney Coachworks, which has designed prototype cars for Cadillac and built bullet proof limousines for the Presidents of the United States.
As we talked about the car , we quickly switched gears and ended up talking pinball, go figure. He showed me around his home casino that housed 12 slot machines, a roulette table, a craps table , full bar and multiple Bally gambling devices. Earl can throw an incredible party with all the big wigs of Chicago, but that is another story that I plan to cover at his next party this summer . As we were talking , the phone rang and it was an executive from Bally/Williams. Earl still does business with Bally and is interesting onthat he still is conencted to the company. I will tell you now, it was not about pinball and there is no plans to make pinball machines in the future. The pictures to the right are of the first Bally Hoo gambling device, a picture of Ray Moloney, Earl Moloney Sr, Ray Jr Moloney and last a picture of the Bally Casino.
Earl is very passionate about the past Bally business and is going to allow me to go over the Bally Archive books and spend time with him gathering information about the history of Bally to blog on my website, so keep checking back . The gambling device your see to the right is a cigarette gambling device. This machine would be in a bar and the customer would put a nickel in the coin mechanism , he would then push in the coin slot and the machine lights would cycle over the packs of cigarettes. If the machine lighted two camel cigarette packs on the machine, the bartender would give them a pack of camel smokes. Nice! Customers that received three of a kind would get two packs of smokes and four of a kind will you get the picture. Earl told me he did not know this machine existed until a guy at one of his parties told him his Dad had one of these in his home. This is the guys machine which he sold to Earl a cople of years ago.
Another early Bally bar top gambling device was called Bally Baby. In the background you can see a 75th anniversary award awarded to Earl Moloney So you can see Bally was not just a Pinball Company but first started out as a manufacturer of gambling devices that where geared toward the bar owners. The Bally Baby was an early slot. I do not have the details on this machine but will update this blog as I find out more information.
Earl wall’s are decorated with tons of pictures and memorabilia from the Bally days and famous celebrities that are also his friends. Here is a pictured of the old bally plant where they use to manufacture pinball machines.