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The Inventor

The ultimate inventor of slots would be a young engineer, Charles Fey from San Francisco, thanks to whom today's slot machines have become a great phenomenon; and it is not a myth as anybody can think first. The very first machines he made was operational by 1894 and were placed in San Francisco gambling palaces, though it took another decade before this invention was improved.

Charles Fey was born in 1862 in Vohringen, Bavaria to a poor family, giving him very little hope for any future. He went to San Francisco at the age of 23 where he began working for CEW in 1887. This is where he met Theodore Holtz, his future partner. Both of them quit their jobs and invented the very first machine of slots. This machine looked a lot like today's slots, proving that it was almost perfect from the off.

The First Slot Machines

Slots back in the day weren't really as horrible as you may think. In fact, they quite looked like modern slot machines - even in size - however, the symbols were different from today's symbols. Fey's slots has card symbols: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Queens and Kings; as well as Horseshoes and Stars. There were three reels that started whenever a nickel was put in and a bell would ring whenever the right combination came about, but this was taken off later on.

These first generation slot machine game was known as New Nickel Machines back in 1887 and soon became veer popular in San Francisco. This is when Fey realized how big of a deal his invention actually was. In 1907, Fey joined the Mills Novelty Company, where Fey's designs were used to make the Mills Liberty Bell. Several years after that, an even newer version came into the market: the Operator Bell, which weighed more than a hundred pounds. Thousands of these were manufactured and sent all around San Francisco.

The company kept improving Fey's design; by 1915, there was a lighter version with colorful cabinets. These were much quieter compared to the earlier versions and were therefore called Silent Bells. Bonuses were also added, like the Double Jackpot along with a lot of other innovations that are still around to this day.

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