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Arcade Operator’s license from 1938

March 28, 2012

Contact is commonly credited as the first electro-mechanical pinball game.  It’s battery-powered.  This one at PPM is the “Junior” model, at around 40 x 20 inches.  The full size Senior edition is 60 inches long.

A ball shot into the lightning bolt holes, followed by a subsequent shot to the Contact hole, will cause a kicker to fire and launch the first ball into the lower, higher-scoring hole.  It would also ring a bell (very high tech).

This could be done more times with other subsequent balls to keep increasing the values.  This game was designed by Harry Williams, who also designed the stool pigeon tilt, seen at lower left and called “anti tilt”.

Above is the Operator’s license to operate the game, including the $3 annual fee.

Contact was first introduced in 1934.  A nickel in 1934 is worth about 85 cents today.  The $3 license fee is roughly equivalent to $50 in today’s money.

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