Slot machines have a long and rich history dating back hundreds of years. It all started with a mechanical slot machine and has since evolved into online slots that are not only convenient but also easily accessible. However, slot bonus games were not always as we know them today.
It has been reported that the Liberty Bell Slot Machine was the first slot machine ever created. However, there were rumors that several prototypes were developed before the creation of the Liberty Bell Slot Machine. If you are interested in how the slot as you know it came to be, keep reading for the full story.
The slot machine on which modern slots are based was invented by Charles Fey. Charles Fey was a mechanic from San Francisco who was born on September 9th, 1862 in Bavaria. Charles lived and worked in London and France before immigrating to New Jersey at the age of 23.
After traveling all over the US he decided to settle in San Francisco. In 1885 he started working at Western Electric Works. However, after some time he started his own company (Liberty Bell) in partnership with Gustav Friedrich Wilhelm Schultze and Theodore Holtz. Their company focused on telephones and electrical equipment and would ultimately invent the earliest version of slot machines.
In 1893 Fey’s partner Gustav Friedrich Wilhelm Schultze invented the Horseshoe Slot Machine. His machine was the first one ever to include an automated payout system. At this point in time most other slot machines still needed attendants to hand over payouts, which were usually tokens.
Just two years later (in 1895) Fey himself invented an updated version of the Horseshoe Slot Machine. This one paid out coins. As can be expected this machine became extremely popular. Three years after this, he invented what we call the first slot machine, which was called the Liberty Bell Slot Machine. Back then the Liberty Bell Slot Machine was the most well-known slot machine in the US and later the world. Players had to line up three liberty bells to win a prize of 50 cents.
The original Liberty Bell Slot Machine was quite simple. It featured three reels and five symbols. The symbols included horseshoes (probably from the first prototype which was the Horseshoe Slot Machine), the card symbols diamonds, hearts, and spades, as well as a bell that represent Liberty Bell.
To this day you will see that many slots still feature bells as a symbol. This is to recognize the part that Fey’s company (Liberty Bell) played in their existence. In fact, many of the card symbols are also present in most modern slots.
Fey’s Automated payout system was unheard of and pretty soon he could not keep up with demands. Due to the fact that gambling was regarded illegal he could unfortunately not patent his invention. Pretty soon other slot developers got in on the action and the rest is history.
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