Pinball Machines

Concept and Emergence of Pinball Machines

The history of pinball machines goes very far behind. Initially it was started from the outdoor games that involved rolling balls or stones on a grass or wooden course. These outdoor games eventually converted into pinball with the idea of hitting it with sticks and sending them into a specific target. These games led into activities that can be played on table and eventually it converted into pinball.


The first machines were first built by a British guy called Montague Redgrave who was settled in America and used to manufacture bagatelle tables. Pinball machines are a slight modification of ancient bagatelle tables. The cues of ancient bagatelle tables were replaced with a coiled spring and a plunger. In those time balls were made of marbles and small pins were used as wickets. These pinball machines varied in shapes and sizes. Initially it was big, but with the passage of time these types started to get smaller to fit into any positions of bars or household.

Modernizing Pinball Machines

From 1930’s the era of pinball headed toward a new style. Now there were coin operated games. After that it was all boosts to pinball machines. The popularity of machines raised to sky high as it was cheap but very entertaining game. After World War II pinball took a new look. Then pinball machines were available in Humpty Dumpty design, Triple Action Playfield and a lot more shapes. This was all thanks to Gottlieb who gave machines the amazing new looks.


After the invention of a micro processor machine were digitalized. There were digital scoring machines and sounds were also included after that. Pinball had its ups and downs with the video machines in 80’s. But it returned in grand style after 90’s. Williams dominated the industry of pinball machines with complicated mechanical devices and elaborate display and greater sound system which attracted more new players. It evolved more in 2005 with some technological advances.

Layout and Design of Pinball Machines

The layout is pretty simple. The play field of a machine is inclined upward from 3 to 7 degrees which is a simple planner surface. There are some multiple targets and scoring objectives. The funny part is the front legs are higher than the back legs in most of the types which includes more incline. As there is more incline so the balls got faster and more challenging to play.

Difficulties with Pinball Machines

There is one thing - play field level is left to right. But sometime problem occurs when there is mismatch in the height of the legs but its better if the back legs are shortened as it makes the game much more entertaining and more stable. The ball is put into play with a plunger which is spring loaded rod that strikes the marble ball when it is laid in the entry lane. But in a pinball machine there is a button that signals the game logic to fire the ball. It is a game that makes more money for the owner. So all that can be said is Pinball machines are an awesome instrument that can entertain everyone without the age issue.