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A Brief History of Slot Machines

Casino has been an integral part of our culture in some or the other form, since time immemorial. If we talk about modern casino, it is gaining immense popularity worldwide. Due to the same reason, more and more countries are jumping on the bandwagon of awarding it a legal status.

Nevertheless, have you ever wondered that who invented the first slot machine? Well, the credit of inventing the first slot machine goes to Charles Fey. Fey. He was a lathe operator in Germany during his young age. Thereafter, he moved to U.S. & finally settled down in San Francisco in 1885. There, he tried his hand in diverse jobs but somehow managed to continue taking out time for his tiny workshop.

San Francisco was a happening place during that time. Numerous saloons nestled in Bay Area would offer cigars & good whiskey. More than that, these saloons would offer such slot machines that would tempt drinkers with high payoffs. These slot machines were made by using steel & wood. Interestingly, Fay gained inspiration from these machines. In his opinion, earlier machines were just a beginning. He knew that he could successfully enhance these machines, that too up to a large extent. He worked hard on improving the basic and original slot machines and came up with 4-11-44 upright machine for gambling, featuring spinning discs. This machine became huge sensation in the cigar shops of San Francisco.

Era of new machines

New poker machines were under their way of being designed & then they were sold by many firms during an era of late 1890’s. Among those companies, there were Monarch, Callie, Mills, etc. Fay also didn’t lag behind in creating new & improved machines. He created a machine called the Six Way in the year 1897.

Invention of the Liberty Bell- A turning point in the history of casino

Charles Fay integrated the existing standard card symbols & horseshoes on a latest kind of slot machine that he created by making use of a Liberty Bell Symbol.  For three Bells, his new-fangled slot featuring automatic payout would offer maximum pay of 20 coins. The new slot machine featured quite a few new designs that also included reels. The latest slot machine also embraced a design that took into account nickels & trade checks, which were redirected to the tokens & cash can to the payout unit. It was undoubtedly a brilliant feature of the latest slot machine. The machines not only gained immense popularity but also began giving tough competition to the hefty upright machines that did belong to the back east.

Soon, the Liberty Bell slot found place in numerous locations across entire Bay area. Unfortunately, during year 1905, one Liberty Bell’s was found to be stolen from the Powell Street Saloon in an incident of burglary. Co-incidentally within a span of a year, Mills Novelty Company unveiled its own adaptation of the Liberty Bell. The very next year, Caille & Mills also began manufacturing three-reel machines in a large quantity.

Another disappointing thing occurred when California announced ban on the slot machines in the year 1911. Decision taken by the government of California apparently compelled Cahrles Fay to relocate. He decided to move to Chicago where he would often socialize with his friend Tom Watling. Fey did introduce higher stakes targeted to slot players through adapting new techniques, in order to allow larger coins. It was the year 1920 when slot machines featured a new jackpot element.

To conclude, design of Slot machines may have gone through major metamorphosis, but it was Charles Fay who laid the foundation of a feasible slot machine design.  Thus, it is no exaggeration to say that Fay did lend a primary contribution related to the design aspect of slot machine.

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