Did you know that the first slot machines were built in the late 18th century? In 1891, Sittman and Pitt produced a gambling machine with a characteristic pull-lever on the sideways pull-lever. After tossing in a coin and starting the rotating drums, you could win a drink or a cigar.
In 1895, car mechanic Charles Frey developed a slot machine which included, in addition to the card symbols, an additional element in the form of a horseshoe symbol. The characteristic bell that we still hear today (Liberty Bell) was also Frey’s idea. He patented his product, but could not meet the demand for his machines. He did not want to make the license available to anyone and this is how the so called “fruit machine” was created in 1907.
The first slot machine that would pay the winning was designed and manufactured by Bally in 1963 and was named Money Honey.
A long time has passed since then. Today’s designs allow the use of chips, coins, bills and even online card payments. There are no more mechanical components and everything is displayed on LCD screens.
Sometimes one might stumble upon a really retro slot machine…
P.S. Yes, today is another anniversary of the creation of the first slot machine.