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NOS & used



50 year old backglass collection

  Rating pinball backglass is a subjective view based on one's experience.  I have worked on, owned and operated hundreds of pinballs over the last 45 years.  i have handled backglass hundreds if not thousands of times.  i have developed a habit of wearing form fitting gloves with plastic covering the palms and fingers.  These gloves have saved me from lots of cuts and  from broken glass. 

  Mel's collection added a lot more experience for me.  I had only seldom handled Mint glass that was NOS (New Old Stock).  I valued the opportunity and was amazed at the things I learned about backglass.  Much of Mel's collection were in the manufacturers containers for over 45 years.  i found one container that had two 28.5" x 25.75" backglass in it.  One was in Mint condition and the other was broken into 7 large pieces.  In yet another situation I had a fist sized piece of  glass broken off 

a corner.  The learning did not end there.

  There are a lot of NOS backglass among the collection that are Mint 10 or Used 10 and lower.  You will find Mint backglass that were less than perfect when it was finished

with production.  That includes the chipped edges of the glass during the cutting process.  And you will also find some glass that is tempered with honed and smooth edges, and yet others are cut glass with sharp edges.

If you are handling backglass and not wearing good protective gloves you may pay the price.  It is extremely easy to 

distinguish tempered from cut glass.  Be careful!  

  The following is a surprising list of blemishes or miss prints that can occur during manufacturing and screening backglass.  You will find imperfections on them all, ones that are Mint, and ones that are used.  

  Each step down from a Mint and a Used 10 will simply be more of the same and all of which will have something that will not please you.  Here is a list:  Ink chipping, flaking, blistering, lifting, cracking, fading, chipped glass, glass cracks, poor screen transfer of ink to the glass, dirty screen leaving colored spots, poor touch up screening and more.  You might likely have rejected anything with a blemish.  The manufacturer would not.  At the time most of the backglass manufactured were destine for use in a backbox.  Blemishes 

did not matter, as most would likely not be seen in a backbox.  However, the aftermarket is a different thing.  

  As I said at the beginning, my view's are subjective, and yours will be subjective as well.  I have tried to outline how I have rated each backglass.  You will also find among the collection photos of the back of the backglass.  In many cases I have added snippets of areas that are of concern.  If there is one thing, I have learned from Mel's collection is that nothing is perfect.  Mel's collection has a lot of beautiful  backglass and many of the pieces that are considered Mint are just that with beautiful blemishes.  Perhaps you will see things differently and your ratings may be different than mine.  Please consider my interpretation as a guideline for what my eyes have seen and take it all into account as you view and review these beautiful NOS and USED backglass images.  Remember the rating number goes down as the number of blemishes and types of blemish increase.  The number is an interpretation of a subjective opinion. 

  Enjoy Mel's Collection!

  By:  Dick McNicholas, Pinball Art USA, LLC

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