Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Pinball is a type of arcade game, usually coin-operated, in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more steel balls on a play field inside a glass-covered cabinet called a pinball machine. 
The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible. Points are earned when the ball strikes different targets on the play field. A drain is situated at the bottom of the play field, protected by player-controlled plastic bats called flippers. A game ends after all the balls fall into the drain.
Secondary objectives are to maximize the time spent playing (by earning "extra balls" and keeping the ball in play as long as possible) and to earn bonus games (known as "replays").
The origins of pinball are intertwined with the history of many other games. Games played outdoors by rolling balls or stones on a grass course, such as bocce or bowls, eventually evolved into various local ground billiards games played by hitting the balls with sticks and propelling them at targets, often around obstacles. Croquet, golf and paille-maille eventually derived from ground billiards variants.

The History of Pinball
Pinball is a coin-operated arcade game where players score points by shooting metal balls on a inclined playfield, hitting special targets, and avoiding losing their balls.
 In 1871, British inventor, Montegue Redgrave was granted US Patent #115,357 for his "Improvements in Bagatelle".
Bagatelle was an older game that used a table and balls. Redgrave's patented changes to the game of Bagatelle included: adding a coiled spring and a plunger, making the game smaller, replacing the large bagatelle balls with marbles, and adding the inclined playfield. All common features of the later game of pinball.

 Pinball machines appeared in mass, during the early 1930s as countertop machines (without legs) and they featured the characteristics created by Montegue Redgrave. In 1932, manufacturers began adding legs to their games.

First Games
 "Bingo" made by the Bingo Novelty Company was a countertop mechanical game released in 1931. It was also the first machine manufactured by D. Gottlieb & Company, who were contracted to produce the game.
 "Baffle Ball" made by D. Gottlieb & Company was a countertop mechanical game released in 1931. In 1935, Gottlieb released a electro-mechanical standing version of Baffle Ball with payout.
 "Bally Hoo" was a countertop mechanical game with optional legs released in 1931. Bally Hoo was the first coin-operated pinball game and was invented by the founder of the Bally Corporation, Raymond Maloney.

 The term "pinball" itself as a name for the arcade game was not seen until 1936.

 The tilt mechanism was invented in 1934 as a direct answer to the problem of players physically lifting and shaking the games. The tilt debuted in a game called Advance made by Harry Williams.

Powered Machines
 The first battery operated machines appeared in 1933, Harry Williams made the first. By 1934, machines were redesigned to be used with electrical outlets allowing for new types of sounds, music, lights, lighted backglass, and other features.

Bumpers, Flippers, and Scoreboards
 The pinball bumper was invented in 1937. The bumper debuted in game called "Bumper" made by Bally Hoo.
 Harry Mabs invented the flipper in 1947. The flipper made its debut in a pinball game called "Humpty Dumpty", made by D. Gottlieb & Company. Humpty Dumpty used six flippers, three on each side.
Pinball machines during the early 50s began to use separate lights behind the glass scoreboard to show scores. The 50s also introduced the first two player games.

Steve Kordek
 Steve Kordek invented the drop target in 1962, debuting in "Vagabond", and multiballs in 1963, debuting in "Beat the Clock". He is also credited with repositioning the flippers to the bottom of the pinball playing field.
Triple Action was the first game to feature just two flippers at the bottom of the playfield. Unlike modern machines, the flippers faced outwards. These more powerful flippers were facilitated by the addition of a DC power supply. These innovations were one of many by designer Steve Kordek.
The Future of Pinball
 In 1966, the first digital scoring pinball machine, "Rally Girl" was released Rally. In 1975, the first solid-state electronic pinball machine, the "Spirit of 76", was released by Micro. In 1998, the first pinball machine with a video screen was released by Williams in their new "Pinball 2000" series machines. Versions of pinball are now being sold that are completely software based.

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