Who Invented Slot Machines

Gambling is the most popular type of leisure activity. And when it gives excitement and brings you profit, it becomes a lifestyle for many. Almost every player dreams of winning a large sum of money, so he goes to the casino to try his luck.

Today there is a huge number of gambling games. They comprise roulette, blackjack, poker, and the famous one-armed bandit. It was the latter that became the prototype of slot machines, the most popular type of gambling today, which attracts with its simplicity, variety and high probability of winning. To get a better understanding of the phenomenon of slot machines, let s delve into history and tell you who invented the first slot machine and gave the world this ideal way of entertainment.

Miracle Invention

It all began in the 80s of the 19th century, when two Americans, Sittmann and Pitt, invented a machine with five reels, which was launched like a game with coins thrown into it and a special lever. A pair of identical cards dropped out was considered a win, but the prototype machine was not capable of giving a reward. Instead of money, the player received from the bartender a glass of beer or other treat that was in the assortment of the institution.

The machine gained popularity very quickly, and soon many retail establishments, bars and food outlets installed such machines at their venues in order to attract visitors and increase sales. This is how the history of slot machines began.

A device that rewards the player with money for a successful combination of symbols appeared a little later. The author of the miracle technology was a German mechanic Charles Fey from California. Simple yet automated, it contained reels and symbols. Among the five symbols diamonds, horseshoes, hearts and spades there was a bell depicting the famous Liberty Bell, which is a symbol of American independence.

In honor of it, they gave such a name to the slot machine and, apparently, not in vain the slot has become as eternal as the attribute of American freedom. When three Bell symbols fell out, the player received a jackpot in the amount of 10 five-cent coins (nickels). The novelty became so popular that it spread at a phenomenal speed.

And although few today know who invented the slot machine, almost everyone is probably familiar with the legendary Liberty Bell.

Ban is not Death

So when were slot machines invented? The time has passed very quickly. Every year gambling became more and more accessible, and slot machines are a common phenomenon not only in casinos, but also in bars, restaurants and other entertainment establishments. The times when slot machines were invented and spread around the world were great for players and merchants. For the first, the game gave excitement, and sometimes a win, and for the second an increase in sales of goods and services. However, the state treasury did not profit from the massive game that dealt with millions of coins.

The absence of a law allowing tax to be levied on the prize received led the US authorities to the decision to ban gambling. This happened in 1902, but this did not kill the one-armed bandits . Slot machine history received an unexpected continuation.

The machines were slightly altered, leaving the idea of ??rewarding with money. The traditional symbols were replaced by images of fruit and Bar symbols, and the prize was given out with the chewing gum with fruit flavors. The devices continued to be installed in shops, bars, and tobacco shops.

To be Continued

When was the first slot machine invented? More than 120 years have passed since then. Slots have long ceased to be mechanical, they have acquired many new forms and types of games, and thanks to this, even greater popularity. Online casinos, which appeared in 1995, brought a new wave of the gaming boom. Many players have begun to give preference to playing on the Internet, and slots bring about 70% of all income to online casinos.

The story behind the inventors of the slot machine

Sometimes it s good to have a little more information about your favorite hobby. When it comes to slots, since they are so simple to play (although a lot of fun), more insight is even better, as it will give you an added layer of intrigue to mobile casino sites . Read on, then, if you are keen to find out more about the story behind the inventors of the slot machine.

It all started in 1862 when Augustinius Charles Fey (who would later change his name to Charles) was born in Bavaria. At 15, he was supposed to join the military for his national service, but instead he ran away and he managed to get 750 miles away from home, ending up in England. He did it by walking, and it took many months. Along the way he took a number of different jobs, and in this time he learned some invaluable skills including engineering and mechanics.

He stayed in England for a while making nautical instruments, but eventually he moved to the USA. His uncle lived in New Jersey and ran a business, and Charles was intending to join him there, but when he reached San Francisco he realized this would be his home instead. He joined the California Electric Works and settled down, getting married and having four children.

As a hobby at home, Charles would make fun machines and games. As this hobby progressed, he realized he might be able to make some extra money for his family by selling these units, especially as he had seen how popular the nickel in the slot machines were that were dotted around the local bars. He felt he could improve the way these games were made and played, so he set to work.

At the same time, a man named Gustav Wilhelm Schultze had patented a machine called the Horseshoe. This was the very first patent granted to a gambling game. Charles saw this, and decided to use the Horseshoe as inspiration for his own game. With the help of a man named Holtz with whom he had worked at the California Electric Works, Charles created the 4-11-44 game. It gave out real coins, which was unheard of, and it was fully automated.

Of course, Charles and Holtz s invention couldn t fail and it went on to be an instant hit. However, Charles decided he didn t want to share his earnings with Holtz, so they parted ways. Charles then created the Liberty Bell, a variation on the 4-11-44, but one that was even more popular and is often cited as the very first slot machine.

Interestingly, although Charles became very rich from his inventions, he never actually sold any of the machines. Instead he worked on a commission basis, taking a percentage of the money paid into the games. This meant that, rather than selling the machine and that being an end of it, he had created an ongoing income stream that set him up for life. Clearly the man was always destined to work in business.

Who invented the slot machines

The principle by Charles Fey and the Liberty Bell

The first slot machine was invented by Charles Fey in San Francisco California U.S. in 1887.

Many, however, believe that Charles Fey completed the first slot machine in 1895. The original machine was of course much simpler mechanism. It consisted of three spinning reels containing a total of five symbols, Horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a bell (Liberty Bell), from which this machine took its name. By replacing ten cards with five symbols with three reels instead of five drums, the complexity of reading a winning result was significantly reduced, allowing Fey to develop an effective mechanism of automatic payment. Three bells in a row produced the biggest payment. Liberty Bell was a huge success and has created a thriving industry of mass production of gaming machines. Even when the use of these gambling devices, banned in his home country after a few years, Fey still could not meet demand for the game elsewhere.

The Liberty Bell was so popular that it was copied by many slot machine manufacturers. Thus in 1907, manufacturer Mills from Chicago produced a slot machine the Operator Bell. By 1908 many Bell machines were installed in most cigar stores, saloon, bowling, brothels and barber shops. The original Liberty Bell machine can still be seen at the Liberty Belle Saloon Restaurant in Nevada.

Follow by Sitman and Pitt

The Sitman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York , U.S. developed a gambling machine in 1891 which was a precursor to the modern slot machine. It contained five drums holding a total of 50 card faces and was based on poker. This machine proved extremely popular and soon many bars in the city had one or more of the machines. They inserted the currency and pulled the lever which turned the drums and the cards they held, while the player hoped a good poker hand . There was no direct payment mechanism, so a pair of kings might get the player a free beer, whereas a Royal Flush cigars or drinks. The awards were entirely depended on the offers in each local installation.

Other early machines

One-armed bandits at Wookey Hole Caves

Other early machines, such as trade stimulator, were distributing profits in the form of chewing gum with fruit flavors, depending on the tastes which appear on the cards of the game. The popular cherry and melon symbols derive from this machine. The symbol BAR, most common and widespread on slots came from the company logo Bell-Gum Fruit. The payment of food prizes was a commonly used technique to avoid laws against gambling in the States. The great success of the slot based on the desire of the player to gain a lot by betting very little.

The electromechanical slot machine

In 1963, Bally developed the first fully electromechanical slot machine called money honey. Though earlier the High Hand a poker machine by Bally had exhibited the basics of electromechanical construction only in 1940. The electromechanical approach of the 1960s allowed the money honey to be the first slot machine with a bottomless hopper and automatic payment combinations, up to 500 coins, without the help of an attendant.

The popularity of this machine led to the increasing prevalence of new electronic format and the side lever soon became vestigial.

The Video Slots

The first true electronic slot (video slot) was developed in 1976 by N. Cerracchio, R. Greene, W. Beckman, J. Reukes, and L. Black in the company Fortune Coin Co., Las Vegas, NV. This slot machine used a modified 19-inch color screen of the Sony boards and software for all machine functions. The original machine was incorporated in a cabin - slot. The first video slot machine was placed at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas and after some security modifications against cheating of the machine; it got approval from the state of Nevada.

The first electronic slot machine with two screens created in 1994 in Australia followed by America in 1996. In this type of machine, the display on the screen was changing, giving the player a different environment, in which he could claim a bonus.

Where Were Slot Machines Invented Historically?

Understanding the history of slot machine development provides us with invaluable insight into this entertainment device, including where were slot machines invented.

Throughout, notice how slot machine popularity waxes and wanes alongside the governmental responses to this type of gambling. Ill begin with Charles Fey in 1887 and finish with the invention of first video slot machines in 1994.

Keep Reading or Watch Instead!

Or … Listen Instead!

The first place to answer, Where Were Slot Machines Invented? begins in San Francisco. The Liberty Bell is arguably the first slot machine for gambling with automatic payouts.

It was invented in 1887 by Bavarian-born Charles Fey in San Francisco, California. This slot machine simulated the card game of poker, having three spinning reels each with five symbols: diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, spades, and an image of the Liberty Bell.

The highest jackpot, fifty cents or 10 nickels, occurred when all three reels showed a golden Liberty Bell. It was a massive success.

Fey is generally considered to be the Father of Slots, in part due to this invention. However, hes also because he worked so hard to popularize the game.

For both these reasons, Charles Fey s San Francisco workshop is a California Historical Landmark.

Bell Fruit Gum Slot Machines

Bell Fruit Gum slot machines were manufactured by Industry Novelty Company starting in 1907.

The reels on these machines included cherry, melon, orange, apple, and bar symbols. It had non-cash payouts in the form of fruit-flavored gum, allowing machine owners to avoid prosecution under the anti-gambling laws of that time.

The cherry and bar symbols became traditional to slot machines and are still commonly used today. The bar symbol was the company logo of an early slot machine manufacturer.

By 1910, Worldwide Slots!

By 1910, slot machines could be found worldwide. Companies in Europe were mass producing 30,000 of them. In America, machines were installed in most cigar stores, saloons, bowling parlors, brothels, and barber shops.

Improvements immediately found in these slot machines were:

  • Cast iron machines instead of wooden cabinets
  • Improved mechanicals for back-to-back jackpots
  • New coin acceptor developed to limit the use of fake coins
  • Designed to be quieter

In 1909, new laws began to be introduced prohibiting slot machines from dispensing cash. These new restrictions resulted in slot machines having the aforementioned non-cash payouts of fruit-flavored gum.

Prohibition, The Golden Age of Slots

From 1920 to 1933, Prohibition existed in America. When we learn about the history of the United States, were generally taught that Prohibition was a time when the making, consumption, or supplying alcohol was illegal.

What generally isnt taught in history class its consequence with regards to slots. Since slot machines were mainly found in bars and saloons, they moved to speakeasies alongside the distribution of alcohol and returned to offering cash prizes.

So, as a result, during Americas Prohibition slot machine popularity increased even more.

How much? A lot! The time of Prohibition is also referred to as the Golden Age of Slots due to this tremendously increased popularity.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada in 1931, due to the increasing popularity of gambling despite political pressure on the gaming industry. In the 1940s, slots were installed in Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel.

However, after World War II, municipalities began to be drawn by the prospect of tax revenue. A consequence of this governmental response was an exponential growth in the manufacturing and playing of slot machines which continued well into the 1960s.

Slot machine development advanced from a fully mechanical machine to an electromechanical device in 1963 with the Money Honey slot machine by Bally Technologies, a company formerly limited to the manufacturing of pinball machines.

Besides improving gameplay with all manner of flashing lights and sounds, electrical components allowed for multi-coin bets with higher payouts. Bally Technologies would continue to develop slot machine technologies for decades.

By 1970, Bally had added more reels and made coin-handling improvements to allow for more coins and higher denominations, resulting in more enormous jackpots for consumers. Bally went public in 1975, trading on the New York Stock Exchange as the first gaming company.

The first genuinely electronic slot machine, e.g., the video slot machine, was developed in 1976 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was placed in the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. It received approval from the state of Nevada, but only after additional security modifications were made against cheating.

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City, New Jersey legalized gambling in 1978, by which time the Bally Technologies behemoth had cornered 90% of the market for slot machines. Bally continued to add reels, knowingly both decreasing the odds of winning but also increasing the size of jackpots.

Over time, the number of symbols per reel was increased to a maximum of 25 and wagers were raised to $5, $25, and eventually $100. Coins would continue to be provided during slot machine jackpots until they ultimately began being phased out in the 1990s.

U.S. Patent 4,448,419: The Random Number Generator

An answer to the question, Where Were Slot Machines Invented? wouldnt be complete without including an electronic board component commonly found in modern slot machines.

Bally Technologies hired a computer programmer to increase the size of jackpots without losing profits for the company. This improvement was accomplished by utilizing the concept of a random number generator (RNG).

As it is challenging to computer generate a truly random event take it from me; Im a physicist. So, sometimes the more accurate term pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) is used.

In any case, this focused business development resulted in yet another technological revolution in slot machine gaming.

For those interested in this sort of thing, see Igne S. Telnaes U.S. Patent Number 4,448,419, awarded in 1984, entitled Electronic gaming device utilizing a random number generator for selecting the reel stop positions.

The Arrival of Computer Microchips

In the 1980s, computer microchips allowed a leap forward in slot machine technological advances. This including the capability of having video slots, online slots, and linked machines for progressive slots.

In Las Vegas in 2003, a linked slot machine with a shared jackpot reached an enormous size before it was won: nearly $40 million.

Video Slots

One of the first slot machines with video reels was the Fortune Coin by Walt Fraley. Slot manufacturer IGT purchased its patent from Mr. Fraley, then developed it further to overcome an initial distrust of this new technology by slot machine players as well as improving its overall technical operation.

Due to the application of targeted marketing techniques, video poker machines were found to be honest and could be trusted, thereby overcoming people s initial skepticism over how fair the video slot machines would be, and building a public perception of trust.

In the 1990s, the advent of the internet and increasingly fast and powerful computers allowed for the first electromechanical slot machines with bonus games, multiple lines, and the modern version of online slots.

Casinos have established a broad base of slot players while, along with todays ready online access, online game developers are mostly only limited by their imagination.

Two Active Screens

The first video slot machine with two screens was created in Australia in 1994, followed by America in 1996.

The second screen was used to provide the player with a different environment in which bonuses could be played.

Summary of Slot Machines Invented

The history of slot machines is filled with technological developments. Each step in this chronological journey brought forth more inventions included in the modern slot machine.

Before Charles Feys 1887 invention in San Francisco, there were gambling machines but they didnt have slots for coins.

Therefore, despite prior technologies being used in that device, Feys coin-operated machine is considered the first genuine slot machine.

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