Pinball Machines


The history of pinball machines goes very far back. Initially it began as an outdoor game 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 to being played on table and eventually it converted into pinball.

The first machines were built by a British man named Montague Redgrave, who had settled in America and was manufacturing 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 ancient times balls were made of marbles and small pins were used as wickets. These originally pinball machines varied in shapes and sizes. Initially they were pretty large, but with the passage of time they started to get smaller to fit into pubs, bars, and even some households.

Modernizing Pinball Machines

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

After the invention of the micro processor, machines were digitalized. There were digital scoring machines and sounds were suddenly added. Pinball had its ups and downs during the video machine age in 80’s; but it returned in grand style after the 90’s. Williams dominated the industry of pinball machines with complicated mechanical devices and elaborate displays with greater sound systems that attracted even more new players. It continued to evolve even more in 2005 with 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 plain surface. There are some multiple targets and scoring objectives. The front legs are higher than the back legs in most of the types which produces more of an incline. As there is more incline, the balls get faster and more challenging to play.

Difficulties with pinball machines:

The play field level is left to right. Sometimes problems occur when there is a mismatch in the height of the legs, but it is better if the back legs are shorter as it makes the game much more entertaining and stable. The ball is put into play with a plunger, which is a spring loaded rod that strikes the marble ball when it is laid in the entry lane. In a pinball machine there is a button that signals the game to fire the ball.

Pinball is a game that can make money for the owner when it’s placed so customers can play it for a certain fee. Pinball machines are an awesome instrument that can entertain anyone at any age.