Pinball machines have been around for centuries, however, these early devices were extremely primitive.  In fact, they weren't even called pinball machines, they went by the name bagatelle"Bagatelle became very popular at the court of King Louis XIV in the middle of the 17th century.  The playing field was as large as a billiard table and was slightly tilted" (Eiden & Lukas 7).  There were basically several holes in the floor of this device, each representing a different number of points.  The further and more difficult holes received more points than the closer less challenging holes.  Small nails or pins were added to the front side of these holes, which is eventually where the name pinball originated. 

     Still being called the bagatelle, in 1876 and the years to follow, several patents were applied for, which eventually led to the modern day pinball machine. A few examples would be the ball shooter which was activated by leaf-spring mechanism, and a game board.  In 1883, a coin-operated postcard dispenser was patented and later integrated into the bagatelle.  It was in 1889 that the Pickwick was invented.  The Pickwick was a mechanism that launched the ball vertically upwards, taking the ball from the underside of the field to the actually playing field (Eiden & Lukas 9).  In the early 1900's several companies began manufacturing these bagatelle devices.  Some of these companies included Mills Novelty, Walting and In-and Outdoor games. 

     It was, "in the late 1920's, after World War I was over," that the development of the bagatelle led to the actual pinball machine.  It was the Whoopee game developed by  In-And Outdoor Games Inc.  This machine was not a big success, but eventually after a few other machines, pinball caught on. Baffle Ball manufactured by the Bingo Novelty Company, was the fist big success for pinball.  Several companies jumped on the pinball craze and began developing their own machines.  Some of these companies include Bally, Wurlitzer, Jennings, and Rock-ola.  Chicago became the center of the pinball world, with many manufactures developing and producing their machines there.

     Pinball machines have progressed from the bagatelle, simple playing boards with holes in them, into state of the art machines with lights, sound effects and even video.  Antique Warehouse currently has 11 different pinball machines, ranging from early bar top models all the way to the most up to date machines with video effects.  Click on any of the images below to view our collection, or click on any of the following books to view more about them.

Eiden & Lukas.  Pinball Machines.  1997.

Flower & Kurtz, Pinball.  1988.

Kurtz, Bill, Arcade Treasures.  1994.

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