23 January, 2018
History of Slot MachinesPosted in : Online Casino on by : Grace Rice
In 1895 the first slot machine was invented by Charles Fey called the Liberty Bell. This slot machine had a cast iron case, as well as cast iron feet. The Liberty Bell’s reel strips portrayed playing cards specifically king, queen and jack. When you made a winning combination, the machine had a bell that rang. Fey was a Bavarian immigrant born in 1862. His machines were so popular that he couldn’t supply the demand from his small shop. Several larger gambling manufacturers tried to buy the rights to the Liberty Bell, but Fey refused them all, monopolizing the slot machine market.
After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, Fey lost his factory as well as his domination of the market. However, a few years later in 1907 a man named Herbert Stephen Mill from Chicago modified Fey’s machine calling it the Mills Liberty Bell. Ten more symbols were added to each reel and it was made more mobile and compact. The Mills Liberty Bell began to increase their market share in the slot machine market after Fey’s collapsed.
In 1910, a new variation to the Liberty Bell was designed by the Mills Novelty Company. This new slot machine was the first to incorporate today’s popular fruit symbols onto the reels. Renaming this slot machine, the Operator Bell, it was a heavy device, weighing over 100 lbs. The ringing bell concept was also dropped from these newer models, however, this original plan was not forgotten, as modern day casino slot machines have a bell sound that signals a winning combination. The Mills Novelty Co. produced over thirty thousand of these slot machines between 1910 and 1915.
1915 marked the end of the first era of slot machines with the introduction of a more cost effective material, wood casing. Over the next few years several new features were introduced such as the double jackpot. The new wood cased slot machines were much quieter than the previous cast iron models, that is why in the thirties, the machines were dubbed the ‘silent bell’.
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