A Trip Back In Time: Slot Machines

Cruise casino lounge

We wanted to find out which nation we have to thank for inventing slot machines. So, we started digging…

The evolution of the clever and infinitely fun slot machines happened not so long ago… We can certainly say that slot machines did not come from ancient Greece or China. They’re the product of our times, and luxury casinos are virtually filled with them. They provide a great outlet for people wanting to try out their luck and each week we find newer cool themes that make the gaming experience colorful and engaging. So, this article is for those who restlessly search for that “Ding-ding-ding” sound.

• Payouts in beer and gum
• The Liberty Bell
• Electronic in 1964

Who knew that slot machines only featured poker at first? Well, they did. Since there were no online sportsbooks in the US back then, different games were made up to keep visitors flowing. According to Casinoobserver, machines that worked with coins were invented in the 1880’s. Based on poker, the first slot machine was created by Sittman and Pitt in 1891, Brooklyn. The device was structured so it would have 5 drums and 50 poker cards rotating. New York got hooked on it for a while, and many bars purchased one to keep guests motivated and loyal. They worked with nickels and each time somebody won, the payout would come from the bar, in the form of a beverage.

The Liberty Bell and the Father of Slot Machines

Old slot machines

German immigrant Charles Fey invented the whole category, perhaps not suspecting how far it would develop

Charles Fey will forever remain as the Father of Slot Machines. According to Casinoobserver, he made a machine that gave payouts on the spot. It had 3 reels and it provided a foundation for all the slot machines that came after it. So, why was it named the Liberty Bell? Well, Charles Fey’s design had five symbols: Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, Horseshoe and Liberty Bell. The devices in fact were called “Liberty Bell Machines.” The jackpot here meant an outcome of 3 Liberty Bells and paid 10 nickels. Naturally, bans were imposed on the usage of machines, but these prohibitions didn’t keep people from constantly ordering tem from Fey. Prosperous business, I’ll say!

Fey’s Liberty Bell Machine became such a hit, that an actual slot manufacturer, Herbert Mills from Chicago, took the design and started mass production. From 1907 to 1908, numerous Operator Bells (his name for the machine) were installed in various merchant joints and entertainment places, like bowling alleys. Some were even put to work at barber shops! Just try to grasp what a great accomplishment this was, especially in times when there was no Internet and the popularity of gambling was only slowly growing. Nothing like nowadays, when playing on mobile casinos is a natural thing.

Fruits are good for you

One-armed bandits

Most classic mechanical one-armed bandits are museum exhibits by now, video took over

Fey’s signs were replaced by fruits, like cherries, apples, oranges etc. These new symbols came about due to a cooperation between the manufacturer and the Bell-Fruit Gum Company in 1912. The extra sing here was the BAR, which resembled the fruit gum company’s logo. Payouts were made in gum. How awesome is that? Since slot machines became vending machines, even children played on them. Due to this increase in usage, the Senate passed a law that banned alcohol and the usage of slots fell back; most of them were installed in bars.

As mobile casino gambling, slot machines continued to gain popularity, even through all the bans and prohibitions. This lead to development and in the period between 1919 and the 1930’s, slot machines virtually blew up. Electronics first came into play in 1964, when the first machine using an electromechanical structure came out. It’s name was the “Money Honey” and it was magnificent: it could hold up to 500 coins and make payouts immediately. From then on, the advancement of slot machines became inevitable and they remain hugely popular ever since.

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