11 Things You Didn't Know about Pinball History

There's an article in Popular Mechanics describing the history of pinball. Did you know that pinball used to be illegal in many places in the United States?

Pinball was banned from the early 1940s to the mid-1970s in most of America's big cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where the game was born and where virtually all of its manufacturers have historically been located. The stated reason for the bans: pinball was a game of chance, not skill, and so it was a form of gambling. To be fair, pinball really did involve a lot less skill in the early years of the game—largely because the flipper wasn't invented until 1947, five years after most of the bans were implemented (up until then, players would bump and tilt the machines in order to sway the ball's gravity). Many lawmakers also believed pinball to be a mafia-run racket, and a time- and dime-waster for impressionable youth. (The machines robbed the "pockets of school children in the form of nickels and dimes given them as lunch money," New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia wrote in a Supreme Court affidavit.)


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"up until then, players would bump and tilt the machines in order to sway the ball’s gravity"

No wonder, we still have the "bump" options in Windows.. hehehe!!
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I'm not buying a lot of this..... I lived in a small midwestern town in the 1960's and 70's, and NO pinball raids were going on there !!!!!!!

Maybe the Mafia controlled police in New York were smashing machines because they weren't bribing the right people...
Also, the Adam's family machine being the most popular. I don't thin\k so.

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Pinball ruled !!! I've played them since I was a kid in CNY the early 1950's. When I worked in the state of Washington, I played the legal gambling versions complete with odds improving extra coins. Such fun. Hearts and Spades by Gottlieb was an all time favorite. If I had the space in my home, I'd have one now ! Video games were such a bore--give me the silver ball !!
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