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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Elliot Avedon Games Museum

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Recent News: Pinball Machines

Source: Google News

Michigan's creative ferment is bubbling up at Ferndale's M-Brew
Detroit Metro Times, August 26th

The 10 pinball machines include an old Bally KISS machine, Johnny Mnemonic, Star Trek, and Attack from Mars. There are 11 video games, including classics such as Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Q*bert, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Tron, Asteroids, and Centipede, ...Read more

Jackson County sign company celebrates 30 years of business
Charleston Daily Mail, August 21st

He founded the “Cottageville Press,” a monthly newspaper printed on a mimeograph machine, when he was 9 years old. McComas ... He recently made a new back glass illustration for a client's pinball machine using digital pictures of the original. McComas ...Read more

Pinball ban flipped: Bizarre 80-year-old rule is overturned in Oakland with ...
Daily Mail, August 21st

A bizarre 80-year-old ban on playing pinball machines in Oakland, California, has finally been lifted and a month-long tournament is being run to celebrate. The game was outlawed across the U.S in the 1930s because it was considered gambling. Officials ...Read more

Unkle Munkey's Coin Club: Going full tilt in Edwardsville
Belleville News Democrat, August 17th

Ryan, 41, of Edwardsville, wanted to lure adults with nostalgic playtime, but kids who have never seen a pinball machine like it, too. "Ah, I almost had it! ... A sideline is that Unkle Munkey is also refurbishing vintage machines. "We're repairing...Read more

Pinball wizards: Beaver Brewing Co.'s tournament is all about the people, August 12th

But whatever it was, the players agreed on one thing: It was a lot of fun. Accompanied by the clack of pinball flippers and digital chirr of vintage sound effects, contestants and bystanders talked between games, laughing as they sipped beers brewed by...Read more

Meadows Trade -N-Post offers variety of goods
Yadkin Ripple, August 11th

An old pinball machine and saddles were a few of the items found at Meadows Trade-N-Post recently. ×. Photo. An old pinball machine and saddles were a few of the items found at Meadows Trade. Purchase Photos. An old pinball machine and saddles were ...Read more

Artist works on pinball mecca
South Whidbey Record, August 9th

As a kid growing up in Maryland, Leonard enjoyed the interactivity, artistry and plain old-fashioned fun of the pinball machine. The affinity with the fast-paced, all-up-to-chance game was rekindled when Leonard, who recently began doing more work with ...Read more

Power Up Retro Gaming Convention set for Saturday at Big Sandy
Huntington Herald Dispatch, July 30th

Admission is $5 to get into Power Up that will feature two tournaments (”Street Fighter 2” and “Mario Double Dash”), door prizes, vintage arcade games and pinball, several retro video game vendors from around the region, and, of course, lots of playing...Read more