The history of the Slot Machine

The first mechanical slot machine was invented in 1895 by Charles Fey, its name was the Liberty Bell. Prior to inventing the slot machine, Charles Fey was an automobile mechanic from San Francisco, California. Fey's slot machine contained three spinning reels, each with diamonds, spades, hearts and one cracked Liberty Bell painted on on them. Three liberty bells in a row won the a slots player the big payoff, fifty cents paid out in ten nickels. The slot machines were a huge success and even though he couldn’t keep up with the demand, he refused to sell his manufacturing and distribution rights.

In 1907 however, Mr. Fey teamed up with the Mills Novelty Company and together they manufactured the Mills Liberty Bell which featured a cast iron case, with a classic Liberty Bell cast into the front of the slot machine cabinet. In 1910, the Mills Novelty Co. introduced a slight variation to the Liberty Bell and called it the Operator Bell. This machine had a good neck coin entry and featured the now famous fruit symbols. The era of cast iron machines ended in 1915, when Mills introduced slot machines with less expensive wood cabinets.

In the early 1930s, the Mills Novelty Company made a number of additional changes to its line of slot machines that revolutionized the industry. Then it introduced a double jackpot that assured players that one could win twice in quick succession. To make its machines memorable and enticing to players, Mills introduced a series of cabinet designs that were striking and colorful, each with its own theme. The first in early 1931 was the Lion Head. In late 1931, it was the War Eagle and the Roman Head, and in 1933, it was the Castle Front.

Later came video slots, video poker, lights, bells, whistles, and things Mr Fey likely couldn't have dreamt about back then, a century later, we are dazzled by the thousands of variations of the slots available on the casino floor, and treated to several online slot machines from a computer in our living room as well.