History of Pinball
Many indoor games involving balls of some sort were derived from outdoor games like bocce or bowls. Over time these games evolved into indoor versions which included billiards, shuffleboard and bowling. Pinball’s ancestors were table top versions of these indoor versions of games.
In the late 18th century the spring launcher was invented and became mainstream in 1869 when British inventor Montague Redgrave moved to the USA and began manufacturing bagatelle tables in Ohio. The table top shrank to fit on a bar, marbles were used for the balls and small metal pins were included on the table. This period of innovations are known as the birth of modern pinball. In 1931 coin operation became standard and was the hit of the coin-operated era.
Just a few years later the tables were upgraded to be electric and active bumpers were introduced, attracting even more players to the game of pinball. A decade later came flippers and in the 70’s solid-state electronics and digital displays took over the pinball scene. Today you can have a digital pinball machine in your desktop computer, like the one you’re about to play!