Nowadays it’s common for us to play poker, slots and bingo games online. But do we ever stop to think about the origins and history of these games we love? In this article, we’ll talk about the very first slot machines and talk about them in-depth.
Slot games are without a doubt the most popular form of gambling. Whether you love to play them at a virtual casino or in a traditional way, you must know how addictive slots are. But, do you ever think about their origins and history? Although the very first slot machine was made more than one hundred years ago, there are much older casino games, such as poker and roulette. For instance, we can say the same thing about blackjack, which was mentioned in the seventeenth century for the first time. When slots first appeared, they raised a lot of attention. It was a big hit and it revolutionized the gambling industry forever. However, there are still some things we do not know for sure.
Sittman and Pitt
While experts claim that Sittman and Pitt, two New Yorkers, created the very first slot machine, many say that Charles Fey did it. Sitman and Pitt made their gambling machine in 1891, it had five drums and fifty card faces. A few years after that, all bar owners in the USA wanted to get one of those. It was quite common at the time and people absolutely loved it. Many people consider it to be just the predecessor of the first slot. However, it did not have an automatic payout mechanism. So, how it worked? The machine had lots of similarities with poker. Gamblers just needed to put a coin in the machine and then pull a lever so that the machine could start spinning its cards and drums. As for the prizes, they varied from bar to bar. For instance, if a player got a royal flush, he could win high-quality cigars. However, if he just got a pair of aces, he could not get more than a free drink. Of course, it all depended on what the bar had to offer. That was groundbreaking at the time, but this machine had one problem. It was possible to rearrange the drums and remove a couple of cards to make it more difficult to win. In spite of its obvious flaws, this gambling machine used to attract thousands of players.
A few years after the development of Sitman and Pitt’s famous gambling machine, Charles Fey presented his own. He named it Liberty Bell. His slot machine was much more similar to those we can find today. The mechanism was much more advanced and simpler. Liberty Bell had three spinning reels and five different symbols. These symbols were: hearts, spades, diamonds, horseshoes and of course, a Liberty Bell. Furthermore, Liberty Bell had an excellent automatic payout mechanism and it was not as complicated as the Sittman and Pitt’s gambling machine. Liberty Bell soon became much more popular and all business owners wanted to have it. Charles Fey used to produce his slots and he had many of them, but he didn’t want to sell them. He used to rent his slot machines to all people who wanted to use them for their venues.
Liberty Bell was much better than all other slot machines on the market. Hence, numerous manufacturers wanted to make their own version of it. At that time, people were crazy about slots, maybe even more then they are today. That is because they were a brand new invention and they hadn’t seen anything like it before. As a result, in the year 1907 something great happened. Herbert Mills, a manufacturer who lived and worked in Chicago, presented his own slot machine. He called it the Operator Bell and it was similar to the Liberty Bell machine. Of course, it was a bit more advanced. By the end of the year, the machine had been installed in a plenty of shops, bars, bowling alleys, and even some barber shops.
For a couple of decades, nothing significant had happened until the very first fully electro mechanical slot came out. That occurred in 1963 and this machine had an impressive automatic payout with a maximum of five hundred coins. Its creators, Bally Manufacturing gave it an interesting name: Money Honey. Moreover, Money Honey had a slick design and a much more advanced mechanism than the previous slot machines. It had remained the world’s best slot until the video slot first appeared in the year 1967. Nowadays, Money Honey slots are in various American museums and they attract thousands of passionate gambling fans and experts. Now, we have much better slots with more developed mechanisms. Nevertheless we will always remember Money Honey, Liberty Bell, and the Operator Bell.