Pre 1900 pinball was nothing more than a box with an inclined board full of nails called a Bagatelle. Some had legs while others lay upon a table. A small wooden cue stick would knock a ball onto the playfield where there were valued holes drilled into the wood so the ball could drop in and tally a score (Rossignoli 61). Seen mainly at fairs and amusement parks its lack of excitement was the first and most obvious hurdle. With curiosity being its main attraction there was little to keep players coming back.
Pinball’s bland format did add new features during the 1930’s like bells, bumpers, and buzzers. But, by adding payouts like in slot machines, gambling provided the spark it really needed. Soon, many enterprising pubs and clubs incorporated pinball into their business plan. Pinball was now electric too and inserting a coin would give you a number of balls. Then, pulling the spring-loaded plunger would launch each ball onto the play field. As the ball ricocheted off pins and bumpers one hoped it would eventually drop down a high value ho...
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Porges, Seth. “11 Things You Didn’t Know about Pinball History.” Popular Machanics. Hearst Communication, Inc., 2010. Web. 12 June 2010.
Roberts, Russell. Chicago Tribune 31 Dec. 1989: 14. ProQuest Newspapers. Web. 10 June 2010.
Rossignoli, Marco. The Complete Pinball Book. 2nd ed. 2000. N.p.: Schiffer, 2002. Print.
Saltzman, Marc. “Got an Apple iPad? Try these games.” Rev. of Pinball HD. Gannett. Gannett Co.,Inc, 2010. Web. 9 June 2010.
Shalhoub, Michael. The Pinball Compendium
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