Christmastime, Youngstown, Ohio, 1930. Carpenter Arthur Paulin finds a dusty old bagatelle game in his barn, and decides to make a nice one for his daughter for Christmas…his talent, nails and wood were what he had on hand in the deepening Depression. His daughter, and her friends, loved it…so he took it to the local radio shop owner, Myrl Park, to see if he would sell copies of the game to the public. Park knew people couldn’t afford to buy the game, but suggested Paulin find a way to add a coin mechanism, as people might be able to afford to play the game. Paulin’s friend, Earl Froom, came up with a coin device…and the three worked together to create the first automatic, coin operated pinball machine.
They put it in a general store, and in one hour, the game made $2.60…a nickel at a time…in the depths of the Depression. The American pinball industry was born–and over the next fifty years, would grow and thrive to provide joy in arcades throughout the country…and to export games throughout the world.
Join us at Pinball Forever, and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that has helped make this country great!
Happy Independence Day!
Dave, Heather, and Rachel