History of Slot Machines

Slot machines were invented in the late 1800's by a man named Charles Fey. He created the first machine in the basement of his home. The machines didn’t become popular until years later when they were installed in Bugsy Siegel's infamous Flamingo Hilton hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fey's first machine was not any more bulky or any cruder than modern day examples. Nor did its reels carry the fruit symbols common today. The standard playing card imagery was what we are all used to - hearts, diamonds, spades, bells, horseshoes and stars. The first slot machine was actually called the Liberty Bell, and can still be seen today in a collection at the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant in Reno, Nevada.

The San Francisco Chronicle described Fey's machine: "A machine featuring 3 reels mostly hidden with Horseshoes,Spades, Diamonds, Hearts, Bells symbols on reels. The device is operated by depositing a nickel in a slot to release the handle, when the right combination of symbols stop in the window the player is awarded coins ranging from 2, on 2 Horseshoes to 20 for 3 bells. Most of those present agreed the machine should be a great success.”

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