Issue #5 – Pinball Hall of Fame

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By Brett Dassen

 

The Pinball Hall of Fame was established in 2006 and has a lot of old and new pinball machines. These classic machines are even more appealing to some than video games in today’s world. The birth of pinball machines expand from 1800’s through 1900’s. The first pinball was called the “Ball Shooter”. This was a combination of a pin and pool table. The first coin operated “pinball machine” was made by Bally’s in the 1930’s. You may know this name by the slot machines here in Las Vegas. The older machines were made of wood instead of the steel and chrome like we have today. In the 1940’s, pinball machines were outlawed in many states including New York. They were said to be a form of gambling. Electricity was introduced to the pinball machine by a battery in 1934. The scoring system is a clock counter and the sounds came from chimes, bells, and buzzers. Even today, prizes are still awarded for high games. During World War II, “The Golden Age” of pinball machines, called flappers, were invented. The first was “Humpty Dumpty”, and they gave great enjoyment to our soldiers. By the 1970’s, we had a solid state electronic pinball machine that drew a huge public popularity amongst pinball enthusiasts. During The 1980’s and 1990’s, Bally’s was a dominate producer of games such as the “Twilight Zone,” “Monster Bash”, “Addams Family” and “Tales of The Arabian”.

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Concluding The Golden age era “The Cactus Canyon” and “The Pinball 2000,” pinball machines were equipped with video movies instead of just the plain pinball machine operation. Pinball Machines have come a long way since the 1800’s and will probably continue to advance with the introduction and availability of high-tech devices. The pinball Industry of 2010 shows “Baby Boomers”, business executives and families visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame Located at 1610 East Tropicana (702-597-2627). The museum is open seven days a week 11am to 11pm, and until midnight on Friday’s and Saturday’s. There is no charge for admission, and children are welcome with parents. There are 250 classic pinball machines at the Museum. Many of the pinball machines that have been mentioned in this article have been restored and all can be played with quarters. Visit and have fun at the Pinball Hall of Fame, it is part of everyone’s heritage.