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.

 

Patent USD90927Patent USD90927

Patent: USD90927S
Date: 10/24/1933
Title: Game device
Inventor: David C. Rockola
Description: Rock-ola World's Series game

US1975374-1US1975374-1 Patent: US1975374A
Date: 10/2/1934
Title: Game apparatus
Inventor: David C. Rockola
Description: Rock-ola World's Series game
US2017274-0US2017274-0

Patent: US2017274A
Date: 10/15/1935
Title: Switch device
Inventor: Herbert G Breitenstein
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: First tilt mechanism

US2073132AUS2073132A Patent: US2073132A
Date: 3/9/1937
Title: Game device
Inventor: Harry E Williams
Assignee: Pacific Amusement Mfg Company
Description: First use of a solenoid in a pinball machine
US2109678US2109678 Patent: US2109678A
Date: 3/1/1938
Title: Contact Switch for Ball Rolling Games
Inventor: Nels A. Nelson
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: First electrical scoring bumper
Patent 2138243Patent 2138243 Patent: US2138243
Date: 11/29/1938
Title: Timing mechanism
Inventor: Frank G Nicolaus
Assignee:
Description: Score motor
Patent 2155929Patent 2155929 Patent: US2155929
Date: 4/25/1939
Title: Score registering device
Inventor: Charles J Breitenstein, Alfred F Chouinard
Description: Projection unit
US2184868US2184868 Patent: US2184868A
Date: 12/26/1939
Title: Bumper switch
Inventor: Harry E Williams, Lyndon A Durant
Description: Spring bumper
US2216957US2216957 Patent: US2216957A
Date: 10/8/1940
Title: Game apparatus
Inventor: Frank G Nicolaus
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: Score motor with a Projection unit
US2219898US2219898 Patent: US2219898A
Date: 10/29/1940
Title: Ball Rolling Game
Inventor: Donald E Hooker
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: Kicking round bumper before the Pop Bumper
US2219934US2219934 Patent: US 2219934A
Date: 10/29/40
Title: Ball rolling game
Inventor: Nels A Nelson
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: Spinning bumper
US2226885US2226885 Patent: US2226885A
Date: 12/31/40
Title: Game Apparatus
Inventor: Harry E Williams, Lyndon A Durant
Description: Magnetically moved ball similar to Doodle Bug
Patent US2242971Patent US2242971 Patent: US2242971A
Date: 5/20/1941
Title: Switch stack assembly
Inventor: Edward Joseph Glennon
Assignee: Comar Electric Co
Description: Switch stack
Patent US2281262Patent US2281262 Patent: US2281262A
Date: 4/28/1942
Title: Step-up mechanism
Inventor: Charles T Breitenstein
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: Projection unit
US2296548US2296548 Patent: US2296548
Date: 9/22/1942
Title: Universal Impulse Unit
Inventor: Harry E Williams, Lyndon A Durant
Description: Score motor
US2296549US2296549 Patent: US2296549A
Date: 9/22/1942
Title: Impulse Control
Inventor: Harry E Williams, Lyndon A Durant
Description: Score motor controls
Patent US2321834Patent US2321834 Patent: US2321834A
Date: 6/15/1943
Title: Relay
Inventor: Carl G Anderson, Folke A Brandstrom, Frederick J Marco
Assignee: Comar Electric Co
Description: Relay
US2317506US2317506 Patent: US2317506A
Date: 4/27/1943
Title: Accessory for Game Apparatus
Inventor: Harry E Williams, Lyndon A Durant
Description: Kick out holes
US2322091US2322091 Patent: US2322091A
Date: 6/15/1943
Title: Ball bumper
Inventor: Livingston Callard, Donald E Hooker
Assignee: Ace Patents Corp
Description: Scoring bumper
US2410708US2410708 Patent: US2410708A
Date: 11/5/1946
Title: Variable stroke mechanism
Inventor: Charles T Breitenstein, Robert H Breither, Frank G Nicolaus, Herman L Seiden
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: Step up unit
US2429810US2429810 Patent: US2429810A
Date: 10/28/1947
Title: Multiple connector
Inventor: David Gottlieb, Anthony Jerard
Assignee: David Gottlieb, Anthony Jerard
Description: Improved Jones plug
Patent US2459011 Vertical Man Running UnitPatent US2459011 Vertical Man Running Unit Patent: US2459011A
Date: 1/11/1949
Title: Amusement Game Apparatus
Inventor: Harry E Williams
Description: Vertical Man Running Unit
US2479707US2479707 Patent: US2479707A
Date: 8/23/1949
Title: Free-play control circuit for amusement games
Inventor: Lyndon A Durant
Assignee: Royal Patent Corp
Description: Ball release gate
US2487979US2487979 Patent: US2487979A
Date: 11/15/1949
Title: Electrical switching device
Inventor: Wayne E. Neyens
Assignee: David Gottlieb
Description: Pop bumper
US2501021US2501021 Patent: US2501021A
Date: 3/21/1950
Title: Ball bumper
Inventor: George R Benak
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: Pop bumper (user operated)
US2520283US2520283 Patent: US2520283A
Date: 8/29/1950
Title: Pivotal ball return means for pin games
Inventor: Jerry C Koci
Assignee: Chicago Coin Machine Co
Description: Flipper
US2574721US2574721 Patent: US2574721A
Date: 11/13/1951
Title: Magnetic Ball Activator
Inventor: Walter Von Stoeser
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: Playfield Magnet
USD167550USD167550 Patent: USD167550S
Date: 8/19/1952
Title: Amusement game apparatus
Inventor: Harry E Williams
Description: Horse racing game
US2610277US2610277 Patent: US2610277A
Date: 9/9/1952
Title: Ball game switch
Inventor: Robert H Breither, Donald E Hooker
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: Rollover button switch
US2618719US2618719 Patent: US2618719A
Date: 11/18/1952
Title: Step-Up Switch Mechanism
Inventor: Lyndon A Durant, Gordon Horlick
Description: Step up unit
US2663568US2663568 Patent: US2663568A
Date: 12/22/1953
Title: Projecting device for pin ball amusement apparatus
Inventor: Lyndon A Durant
Assignee: Gen Patent Corp
Description: Shooter gauge
US2680618US2680618 Patent: US2680618A
Date: 6/8/1954
Title: Simulated baseball amusement game apparatus
Inventor: Harry E Williams
Assignee: Williams Patent Corp
Description: Man running unit
US2724024US2724024 Patent: US2724024A
Date: 11/15/1955
Title: Step-up mechanisms
Inventor: Lyndon A Durant, Marcine P Wolverton
Assignee: Gen Patent Corp
Description: Score reel
US2727433US2727433 Patent: US2727433A
Date: 12/20/1955
Title: Score projector with shiftable optical system
Inventor: Frank G Nicolaus
Assignee: Raymond T Moloney
Description: Projection unit
US2779200US2779200 Patent: US2779200A
Date: 1/29/1957
Title: Step-Up Mechanisms
Inventor: Lyndon A Durant
Description: Score reel
US2830819US2830819 Patent: US2830819A
Date: 4/15/1958
Title: Movable ball bumper
Inventor: Pearl Irving
Assignee: Harry Williams Mfg Company
Description: Disappearing pop bumper
US2858390US2858390 Patent: US2858390A
Date: 10/28/1958
Title: Ball bumper switch for amusement apparatus
Inventor: Steven F Kordek
Assignee: Genco Inc
Description: Pop bumper
US2932705US2932705 Patent: US2932705A
Date: 4/12/1960
Title: Convertible locking relay
Inventor: Frank G. Nicolaus
Assignee: Lion Mfg Corp
Description: Interlock relay
US2945624US2945624 Patent: US2945624A
Date: 7/19/1960
Title: Counting number register
Inventor: Frank G. Nicolaus
Assignee: American National Bank and Trust Co
Description: Score reel
US3064891US3064891 Patent: US3064891A
Date: 11/20/1962
Title: Stepping Switch Mechanism
Inventor: Frank G. Nicolaus
Assignee: Lion Mfg Corp
Description: Score reel
Flipper Patent US3298691Flipper Patent US3298691 Patent: US3298691A
Date: 01/17/1967
Title: Reprojecting Ball Bumper
Inventor: Harold O. Berninger, Herman L. Seiden
Assignee: Lion Mfg Corp
Description: Flipper
US3390255US3390255 Patent: US3390255A
Date: 6/25/1968
Title: Stepping mechanism for use in a pinball machine or the like
Inventor: Roman F Garbark
Assignee: D Gottlieb & Co
Description: Score reel
US3404888US3404888 Patent: US3404888A
Date: 10/8/1968
Title: Ball gating and reprojecting means
Inventor: Joseph E Lally, Jr, Terrence A Reedy, Thad F Zale
Assignee: Lion Mfg Corp
Description: Zipper Flippers
USD213981USD213981 Patent: USD213981S
Date: 4/29/1969
Title: Bumper for a pinball machine
Inventor: Roman F. Garbark
Description: New pop bumper body
Ball return patent US3441279Ball return patent US3441279 Patent: US3441279A
Date: 4/29/1969
Title: Ball Delivery and Control Means
Inventor: Joseph E. Lally, Earl F. Heppner, Harold O. Berninger
Assignee: Bally Mfg Corp
Description: Ball Return
US3452988US3452988 Patent: US3452988A
Date: 7/1/1969
Title: Ball gate
Inventor: Thad F Zale
Assignee: Bally Mfg Corp
Description: Roll under gate
US3578802US3578802 Patent: US3578802A
Date: 5/18/1971
Title: Vertically adjustable bumper for ball rolling games
Inventor: William E Casey, Norman R Clark, Frank T Murphy
Assignee: Williams Electronic Mfg Corp
Description: Disappearing or Up Post
US3627318US3627318 Patent: US3627318A
Date: 12/14/1971
Title: Force detecting target for pinball machines and the like
Inventor: Roman F Garbark, Edward P Krynski
Assignee: D Gottlieb & Co
Description: Vari target
US3675927US3675927 Patent: US3675927A
Date: 7/11/1972
Title: Two-player pinball machine
Inventor: Alvin J Gottlieb, Wayne E Neyens, Robert T Smith, Roman F Garbark
Assignee: D Gottlieb & Co
Description: Challenger pinball machine
US3793510US3793510 Patent: US3793510A
Date: 2/19/1974
Title: Add and subtract relay
Inventor: R Garbark
Assignee: D Gottlieb & Co
Description: Small credit unit
US3901511US3901511 Patent: US3901511A
Date: 8/26/1975
Title: Lighted hole assembly and ball projector for playboard
Inventor: Roman F Garbark
Assignee: D Gottlieb & Co
Description: Kickout hole
US4221384US4221384 Patent: US4221384A
Date: 9/9/1980
Title: Drop target assembly for pinball game
Inventor: Edward P. Krynski
Assignee: D. Gottlieb & Co
Description: Drop target
US4235438US4235438 Patent: US4235438A
Date: 11/25/1980
Title: Pinball game spinning target
Inventor: Michael L. Hally
Assignee: Atari, Inc.
Description: Spinning target
US4353553US4353553 Patent: US4353553A
Date: 10/12/1982
Title: Drop target assembly for pinball game
Inventor: Edward P. Krynski
Assignee: D. Gottlieb & Co
Description: Drop target
US4354681US4354681 Patent: US4354681A
Date: 10/19/1982
Title: Drop target assembly for pinball game
Inventor: Roman F. Garbark
Assignee: D. Gottlieb & Co
Description: Drop target
US4360203US4360203 Patent: US4360203A
Date: 11/23/1982
Title: Rollover switch for pinball game
Inventor: Roman F. Garbark
Assignee: D. Gottlieb & Co
Description: Star rollover switch