Those who are always playing slot games and are absolutely in love with it surely must have wondered at least once about how it all started. How did it all come into being? Who was the one who invented slot machines? How did it become so popular? How different were the slot machines back then than they are now? Well, all of your questions will be answered in this article, where we will talk about the history and invention of slot machines.
Which was the first-ever slot machine?
There was a time when the term “slot machines” was used for both automatic vending machines and gambling devices. Around the 20th century, that changed, and the term was only applied to the latter. The British liked to call it a “fruit machine” because most slot machines were themed around fruits. Some called it “video poker”, while some nicknamed it the “one-armed bandit” because you use one arm to pull the lever and spin the reels.
But how did it all start? We can say that it started in 1891, when Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York, developed a gambling machine that would soon become the blueprint of the modern slot machines we know today. That machine held 5 drums, each with a total of 50 card faces based on poker. Players had to insert a nickel and pull the lever, then the drums holding the cards would spin while the player was hoping for a good poker hand.
This gambling machine became rapidly popular among people, which is why at some point, almost every bar in Brooklyn tried to have one or two of these. There was no monetary payout, rather the prizes were based on what the bar or establishment could offer. It could be free drinks or a cigar. Sometimes, two cards (ten of spades and jack of hearts) would be removed from the deck to increase the odds for the house.
However, in this poker-based game, there were a vast number of possible wins. It was difficult to make a machine capable of giving the players an automated reward for every single winning combination. That’s when the actual slot machine came into being.
Where did it all happen? It happened in San Francisco. In 1895, car mechanic Charles Fey (1862-1944) invented the first mechanical slot machine and named it Liberty Bell.
The Liberty Bell slot machine was made with three spinning reels, with a diamond, spade, and heart symbols painted around each. The image of a cracked Liberty Bell sat at the top. If you got three Liberty Bells in a row after you spin, you could get the biggest payout, which was a grand total of fifty cents and ten nickels. Today, this original slot machine, and the first one of its kind, sits at the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant in Reno, Nevada.
Charles Fey didn’t stop there! He then made other slot machines which also grew to be very popular. Some of the names you might be familiar with are Draw Power, Three Spindle, and the Klondike. 6 years after the invention of Liberty Belle, Charles then invented the first-ever draw poker machine in 1901.
You will be surprised to know that Charles Fey made slot machines and made sure that people could not cheat there. He did it by inventing the trade check separator, which is also in Liberty Bell. The trade check separator is like a hole in the middle of the check that allows a detecting pin to be able to distinguish fake nickels from real ones. As a result, everyone could play his slot machines fairly.
The Spread of Liberty Bell’s popularity and imitation slot machines
With the increased popularity of Fey’s slot machines, a lot of bars and saloons started to demand it. And Fey, being generous, rented those machines on a 50/50 split of the profits. Though it was a huge success and kick-started a thriving mechanical gaming device industry, it soon got banned in California after a few years. However, Fey still got an overwhelming number of orders from other places. That’s when many slot machine manufacturers came into being and started to copy the Liberty Bell machine. It is needed to keep up with the demand. The first-ever imitation of Liberty Bell, also going with the same name; appeared in 1907 by the well-known manufacturer Herbert Mills. Within the next year, many such machines came into being. It has gotten to the point that you could see them everywhere. For instance, cigar stores, bowling alleys, saloons, barbershops, even brothels!
In the beginning, the imitations of Liberty Bell that were created and marketed were an exact copy of it, especially the ones made by Herbert Mills. They had the same original symbols. But this started to change when some slot machines with patriotic symbols like flags and wreaths were made soon after. Fast forward to some time after, when a similar machine called Operator’s Bell came into being.
This one had the option of adding a fruit-flavored gum-vending attachment. This is which is why the symbols now we’re that of fruits. These fruits were lemons, cherries, oranges and plums. There was a bell and a picture of a stick of Bell-Fruit Gum, which was the origin of the bar symbol.
This set of symbols became super popular, and thus many companies began to make their own slot machines with it. These companies include Caille, Watling, Jennings, Pace, etc. Around this time, fruit slots were popularized.
And that’s when it all started going uphill until we reached the vibrant and mammoth world of slot games that we see today. Every single land casino has a bunch of slot machines in place because casinos are incomplete without it. People all over the world are becoming millionaires overnight by hitting a lucky jackpot on slot machines; when the grand prize was only 50¢ back then. With the advancement of technology, we got online slot games on our PC with a variety of types and themes. Now, they’re also playable right on our mobile phones, anytime, anywhere.
The history and invention of slot games might not seem too complicated. However, the huge was eventually created with small and simple steps. So it’s always a wonder to look back at the simpler times. Did Charles Fey ever expect things to come this far? We will never know! Then, wait no more as you can try your luck today with percuma RM10 slot online no deposit 2021 only at EpicWin!