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Mills Novelty Company The Mills coin machine dynasty began with Mortimer Birdsul Mills' 1891 patent of a coin operated cigar vender that allowed customers to select various brands of cigars. Mills created the single-coin automatic paying counter wheel machine called the PAU-PAU 1n 1896, featuring a front knob that allowed the player to select a bet. In rapid successions Mills then built the KLONDYKE counter machine, enlarged it into the successful OWL floor slot, and then sold his business to his son Herbert S. Mills - all in 1897. Mills Novelty grew rapidly selling slot machines worldwide, remaining the largest manufacturer for six decades. The owner, Herbert S. Mills, soon became a multi-millionaire. Herbert S. Mills died in 1929 at the age of 57, leaving a vast fortune to his wife and eight children. Today the Mills Novelty Company maintains headquarters in Chicago, Illinois and continues to manufacture a variety of quality products.