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A Historical Overview of the Slot Machine

What sets the history of slot machines apart from other casino games is that its evolution is well known. From its beginnings to the present day, the pertinent facts are well documented.

Although there were some machines that bore some resemblance to the modern slot, its history began in earnest in 1895 with Charles Fey, who pioneered the first slot machine with the famed Liberty Bell. It proved very popular and was a hit in saloons and other early gambling venues.

In 1907, Fey joined the Mills Novelty Company and they came out with the Mills Liberty Bell. Cast in iron, it featured playing cards on the reels, and became known for the ringing bell that signified a win. Three years later, the cards were replaced by fruit symbols.

The use of fruit symbols on slot machines continued, especially as the establishments that purchased them sought to avoid links to gambling, which was frowned upon by the authorities. To this very day, it is known as the fruit machine in the United Kingdom. In 1915, the cast iron was removed and replaced with wood, and by the 1930s the noise had been significantly reduced.

During this period the slot machine became very popular, and it became a feature in a lot of the early casinos that were springing up in various parts of the United States. The popularity of the Liberty machines spawned several imitations and these companies often came up with new designs and themes, a tradition that continues to this day.

In the 1980s, the history of slot machines changed with the invention of the random number generator, which enabled the apparatus to produce billions of numbers at random. Whereas before the numbers were determined by mechanical levers, the introduction of electronic chips removed all doubts of rigging.

The 1990s saw the use of electronics in the machine, and in the early 200s saw it being transported into online gambling sites. Today all sorts of slots are available online, with all kinds of themes and prizes. From the nickel jackpots in the 1900s, the amount you can win in progressive slots now go up to millions.

The history of slots will continue to progress as the Internet and technology undergo transformations. Yet despite all the changes the thrill of pressing the lever and seeing those reels come up with the matching symbols have remained constant, and thus the excitement of the game remains unequalled.

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