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 almost instantaneously. They also added a cacophony of sound effects to the machines repertoire of bells and whistles. Video games 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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Internet Pinball Database

Internet Pinball Database

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International Arcade Museum

International Arcade Museum

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Elliot Avedon Games Museum

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

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Pong Story

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Recent News: Pinball Machines

Source: Google News

Pinball Wizards: Can Lyman's Tavern Resurrect Pinball Culture In DC?, July 28th

Since the National Pinball Museum—which featured hundreds of vintage, modern, and collectible machines—decamped from its Georgetown location to new digs in Baltimore in 2011, it's left a gaping, pinball-sized hole in the heart of local enthusiasts...Read more

Florida State where Derrick Brooks grew from kid to young man, July 28th

As Bowden sat down in the living room with Brooks and his mother, Geraldine, Brooks' 6-year-old sister, Yvonne, crawled up from the floor onto the coach's lap. Soon, she fell ... "He hit the tailback so hard it was like a pinball machine," he said. "He...Read more

Berkshires After Dark: Barcade is retro fun for adults
Berkshire Eagle, July 23rd

Driving South on Main Street and then turning left on Bridge Street, where the old Searles School building hulks and sunbakes, I nearly hit the Berkshire Co-op Market before realizing I'd driven too far. The Gypsy Joynt Jive had been on the right, the...Read more

Pinball Machine Desk: Insert Coin to Work
Technabob (blog), July 21st

Tim turns all kinds of old things into furniture. For this project, he used a vintage Charlie's Angels pinball machine. He removed the electrical components and cut a hole in one side. Then he added a drawer, a cabinet, and new sheet metal flashing. Of...Read more

Putting guilt to the side and moving forward
Alton Telegraph, July 19th

The thoughts that flowed through my mind during this traumatic time were uncanny. It was like a rush of bits and pieces of unfinished thoughts, pinging around like the ball in an old pinball machine, too fast and too many for my taxed brain to comprehend...Read more

A Landmark Game
FWWeekly, July 16th

Video game cabinets are pricy enough to maintain, and if you want to put an old pinball machine in your new bar, I hope you know a good repairman, because those parts are expensive, and all those little rubber bands are a huge pain in the ass to replace...Read more

Hipster Throwback Bars Can't Help My Quarter-Life Crisis
Munchies_ Food by VICE, July 8th

I went back inside to order another drink then tried to play the vintage pinball machine which, sadly, was not actually playable. It was only a decoration, as were the vintage framed beer cans, and the vintage record player. That itself became...Read more

Guns, pipe bomb, crossbow, found inside pinball machine at Conder home
ABC Online, July 6th

With the help of a sniffer dog, the items were found wrapped in blankets and plastic bags and hidden inside the vintage, 1970s-era machine. ACT Policing's Tuggeranong and Woden criminal investigations teams executed a search warrant at the home in ...Read more