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Fun With Pinball

Patents

Patents offer a wealth of information about the designs and history of pinball machines and the devices that make them work.  Below are links to the patents of some of the more important or interesting devices used in electromechanical pinball machines.

Please feel free to suggest any other patents that should be included using Contact link at the bottom of this page.

Image Patent # Issue or Publication Date Title Inventor(s) Assignee Description
US2017274-0US2017274-0 US2017274 A 10/15/35 Switch device Herbert G Breitenstein Raymond T Moloney First tilt mechanism
US2073132-0US2073132-0 US2073132 A 3/9/37 Game device Harry E Williams Pacific Amusement Mfg Company First use of a solenoid
US2109678-0US2109678-0 US2109678 A 3/1/38

Contact Switch for Ball Rolling Games

Nels A. Nelson Raymond T Moloney First electrical scoring bumper
US2216957-1US2216957-1 US2216957 A 10/8/40 Game apparatus Frank G Nicolaus Raymond T Moloney Score motor
US2219934-0US2219934-0 US 2219934 A 10/29/40 Ball rolling game Nels A Nelson Raymond T Maloney Spinning bumper
US2242971-0US2242971-0 US2242971 A 5/20/41 Switch stack assembly Edward Joseph Glennon Comar Electric Co Switch stack
US2281262-0US2281262-0 US2281262 A 4/28/42 Step-up mechanism Charles T Breitenstein Raymond T Moloney Projection unit
US2321834-0US2321834-0 US2321834 A 6/15/43 Relay Carl G Anderson, Folke A Brandstrom, Frederick J Marco Comar Electric Co Relay
US2322091-0US2322091-0 US2322091 A 6/15/43 Ball bumper Livingston Callard, Donald E Hooker Ace Patents Corp Scoring bumper
US2410708-0US2410708-0 US2410708 A 11/5/46 Variable stroke mechanism Charles T Breitenstein, Robert H Breither, Frank G Nicolaus, Herman L Seiden Raymond T Moloney Stepper
US2429810-0US2429810-0 US2429810 A 10/28/47 Multiple connector David Gottlieb, Anthony Jerard David Gottlieb, Anthony Jerard Improved Jones plug
US2479707-0US2479707-0 US2479707 A 8/23/49 Free-play control circuit for amusement games Lyndon A Durant Royal Patent Corp Ball release gate
US2487979-0US2487979-0 US2487979 A 11/15/49 Electrical switching device Wayne E. Neyens David Gottlieb Pop bumper
US2501021-0US2501021-0 US2501021 A 3/21/50 Ball bumper George R Benak Raymond T Moloney Pop bumper (user operated)
US2520283-0US2520283-0 US2520283 A 8/29/50 Pivotal ball return means for pin games Jerry C Koci Chicago Coin Machine Co Flipper
USD167550-1USD167550-1 USD167550 S 8/19/52 Amusement game apparatus Harry E Williams   Horse racing game
US2610277-0US2610277-0 US2610277 A 9/9/52 Ball game switch Robert H Breither, Donald E Hooker Raymond T Moloney Rollover button switch
US2663568-0US2663568-0 US2663568 A 12/22/53 Projecting device for pin ball amusement apparatus Lyndon A Durant Gen Patent Corp Shooter gauge
US2680618-0US2680618-0 US2680618 A 6/8/54 Simulated baseball amusement game apparatus Harry E Williams Williams Patent Corp Man running unit
US2724024-0US2724024-0 US2724024 A 11/15/55 Step-up mechanisms Lyndon A Durant, Marcine P Wolverton Gen Patent Corp Score reel
US2727433-0US2727433-0 US2727433 A 12/20/55 Score projector with shiftable optical system Frank G Nicolaus Raymond T Moloney Projection unit
US2830819-1US2830819-1 US2830819 A 4/15/58 Movable ball bumper Pearl Irving Harry Williams Mfg Company Disappearing pop bumper
US2858390-0US2858390-0 US2858390 A 10/28/58 Ball bumper switch for amusement apparatus Steven F Kordek Genco Inc Pop bumper
US3390255-1US3390255-1 US3390255 A 6/25/68 Stepping mechanism for use in a pinball machine or the like Roman F Garbark D Gottlieb & Co Score reel
US3404888-1US3404888-1 US3404888 A 10/8/68 Ball gating and reprojecting means Joseph E Lally, Jr Terrence A Reedy, Thad F Zale Lion Mfg Corp Zipper Flippers
USD213981USD213981 USD213981S 4/29/69 Bumper for a pinball machine Roman F. Garbark   New pop bumper body
US3452988-0US3452988-0 US3452988 A 7/1/69 Ball gate Thad F Zale Bally Mfg Corp Roll under gate
US3578802-1US3578802-1 US3578802 A 5/18/71 Vertically adjustable bumper for ball rolling games William E Casey, Norman R Clark, Frank T Murphy Williams Electronic Mfg Corp Disappearing or Up Post
US3627318-1US3627318-1 US3627318 A 12/14/71 Force detecting target for pinball machines and the like Roman F. Garbark, Wayne E. Neyens D Gottlieb & Co Vari target
US3675927-1US3675927-1 US3675927 A 7/11/72 Two-player pinball machine Alvin J Gottlieb, Wayne E Neyens, Robert T Smith, Roman F Garbark D Gottlieb & Co Challenger pinball machine
US3793510-1US3793510-1 US3793510 A 2/19/74 Add and subtract relay R Garbark D Gottlieb & Co Small credit unit
US3901511-1US3901511-1 US3901511 A 8/26/75 Lighted hole assembly and ball projector for playboard Roman F Garbark D Gottlieb & Co Kickout hole
US4221384-1US4221384-1 US4221384 A 9/9/80 Drop target assembly for pinball game Edward P. Krynski D. Gottlieb & Co Drop target
US4235438-1US4235438-1 US4235438 A 11/25/80 Pinball game spinning target Michael L. Hally Atari, Inc. Spinning target
US4353553-1US4353553-1 US4353553 A 10/12/82 Drop target assembly for pinball game Edward P. Krynski D. Gottlieb & Co Drop target
US4354681-1US4354681-1 US4354681 A 10/19/82 Drop target assembly for pinball game Roman F. Garbark D. Gottlieb & Co Drop target
US4360203-1US4360203-1 US4360203 A 11/23/82 Rollover switch for pinball game Roman F. Garbark D. Gottlieb & Co Star rollover switch