Throughout much of the 20th century, the names Bally, Gottlieb, and Williams have been pinball deities to pinball wizards worldwide. These were the big three companies, whose pinball machines were the precursors of today’s video games.

Gottlieb was founded in Chicago in 1927. One of its first tabletop pinball machines from 1931 was called Baffle Ball, which sold for $17.50 and gave players a half-dozen-or-so chances (depending on how the game was set) to get a ball into a hole for just a penny. A Williams game from 1952 called Horsefeathers allowed two players to play side-by-side, as balls bouncing on bumpers advanced mechanical horses on the game’s backbox. As for Bally, its Caperville game from 1966 featured stylized spies in an underwater world of angular heroes and heroines.

In the 1970s, the electromechanical pinball machines of the 1950s and 1960s were replaced by solid-state machines, which could compute scores instantaneously. They also added a cacophony of sound effects to the machines repertoire of bells and whistles. Video games in video arcades in the 1980s almost wiped out pinball games entirely, but a series of lucrative licensing deals with movie producers in the 1990s made pinball popular again. In 1991, for example, Bally’s Midway division manufactured a machine based on the film "The Addams Family." It remains the best-selling pinball machine of all time, with more than 20,000 units sold.


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Recent News: Pinball Machines

Source: Google News

Leading a 21st-Century '21' Club
New York Times, February 12th

But a corporation now owns the place, and its once-secret booze vault holds $1.5 million in bottled vintage and leads to a $480-a-head dining area. At least the general manager is not ... “He goes, 'What's next, a pinball machine?'” recalled Mr. Suric...Read more

Pinball museum aims to merge past with present
WTSP 10 News, February 9th

“Whenever I have an issue at home, instead of being upset about it I come here and take it out on these machines and I leave here a happy guy with no trouble.” The Replay Museum has more than 100 vintage pinball games and arcade games like Pac-Man ...Read more

Montreal's first 'barcade' North Star opens on Boulevard Saint-Laurent
McGill Tribune, February 9th

To the left of the entrance, the bar occupies one wall and directly across from it is an impressive lineup of vintage pinball machines maintained to have an almost new feel. Playing pinball on such well-made machines is truly a blast from the past for...Read more

Buzzbin Arcade creates a home for pinball wizards
Massillon Independent, February 8th

Fast forward 30 years and here we are,” Dorward said, standing amid an impressive lineup of pinball machines at downtown's Buzzbin Arcade, where he is founder and owner. Open since April 2015, Buzzbin Arcade, at 331 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton, is home...Read more

King of pinball museums is in massive facility in Banning
The Desert Sun, February 4th

15, the Museum of Pinball will host a party for Modernism Week that will give holders of $125 tickets a rare opportunity to tour the museum, play the vintage and modern pinball machines, enjoy “Mad Men”-era cocktails in a cocktail lounge labeled with a...Read more

Exploring Brevard's man caves
Florida Today, January 30th

Also in the lounge are vintage cigar and cigarette vending machines, as well as an old-time barber's chair. In the rest of his two-level man domain, he keeps everything, from immaculately restored gas pumps from the 1920s and classic pinball machines...Read more

Pinball is making a full-tilt comeback at these DC bars
Washington Post, January 28th

The Black Cat, which has offered pinball in its Red Room Lounge for years, opened the Lucky Cat game room in November 2014 and now has seven machines under one roof, from vintage 1990s games to the state-of-the-art, limited-edition Wizard of Oz...Read more

Take a Turn at the Flippers This Weekend at the World's Largest Pinball Museum
Smithsonian, January 15th

The Museum of Pinball in Banning, California, just about a 20-mile drive from Palm Springs, holds one of the largest collections of quarter-sucking games, housing about 800 vintage and modern pinball machines and arcade games in a massive warehouse ...Read more