The History of Slot Machines
Slot machines are a popular game in almost every casino city, but most people don’t know much about the history of slot machines. This article can be considered a brief introduction to the history of slot machines.
Slot Machine Inventor Charles Fey
Charles Fey invented the first mechanical slot machine in 1895. Fey was a car mechanic from San Francisco, California, and had a knack for these types of mechanical operations. The name of this first slot machine was the Liberty Bell. It consisted of three spinning reels which are quite similar to the slot machines in today’s day and age. The three reels consisted of three symbols: heart, spade, and diamond. Each reel had these symbols painted onto them. To go along with these three common symbols, each reel also had a painting of the Liberty Bell. As you can imagine, a game where three Liberty Bells matched up would result in hitting the jackpot, or the biggest available prize. Back in those days, this amounted to a total of 50 cents; not exactly big time earnings by today’s standards.
The first slot machine by Fey can still be seen in Reno, Nevada at the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant. This machine alone attracts many visitors to the area each year. After all, enthusiastic slot machine players love to see the roots of this game. And what better way to do this than to check out the original?
Fey was not just responsible for the first slot machine. He also built many others including: the Klondike, Three Spindle, and the Draw Power. At the time, these slot machines were among the most popular. So how did Fey make any money off of these, you may ask? He rented out each slot machine to bars and saloons for a cut of the profits. In most cases, Fey would receive 50 percent of the profits and the establishment the other half.
Liberty Bell Slot Machine
Once people got a taste of the Liberty Bell slot machine, more and more wanted in on the action. This led to a huge demand placed on Fey, but out of his small shop, keeping up was next to impossible. Many gambling supply manufacturers attempted to buy the distribution rights from Fey, but he would not sell. This led to the Herbert Mills manufacturing company releasing their own line of slot machines in 1907. Their first machine was quite similar to the original by Fey. The main differences were the name, the Operator Bell, and the fact that the symbols consisted of fruit symbols such as cherries, plums, oranges, and lemons.
It was not until 1964 that the first all electronic gambling machine took the world by storm. This machine was developed by Nevada Electronics, and was known as the 21 machine. Although this was not a slot machine, it led to the first all electric one being built in 1975. At this time, the Fortune Coin Company released the first ever electric slot machine. These were similar to what we see today, and this is where modern machines got there start.
Slot machines have been around for more than 100 years. If it were not for Charles Fey, the world may not have the joy of the modern day slot machine. Even though his machine was not as advanced as the ones we see in today’s day and age, they did have a lot to offer for that time period.
It is hard to imagine that slot machines will change much more in the future. As of right now, these machines are among the most popular casino games, and work seamlessly for the most part. But of course, you never know what is going to happen. Another Charles Fey could come around and change the way that slot machines are looked at forever.