The first slot game machine was manufactured in 1895, and dubbed the Liberty Bell. The inventor was San Francisco mechanic Charles Fey. The Liberty Bell had three reels and five symbols and was the predecessor of what we know today as the classic slot machine. The original Liberty Bell is now displayed at the Liberty Belle saloon in Reno, Nevada.
Charles Fey’s liberty Bell
Although Fey is credited with inventing the first slot game machine, in actual truth some notable attempts had been made in early 1880’s. The first coin-operated slot game devices were based on poker, which was enormously popular even then. Sittman and Pitt manufactured the first five-reel gaming device in 1891.
Circa a year after Bell’s invention, Herbert Stephen Mills of Mills Novelty Company manufactured a new variant of the Liberty Bell. He retained the name and managed to ward off competition. Although Mills’ move was controversial, to say the least, he employed assembly-line techniques for his products and became truly rich in years that followed.
There followed a whole new revolution in slot game manufacture, aimed at decreasing production costs and attracting new gamblers. One of the notable innovations was usage of wood instead of more expensive cast iron. The practice was soon to be abandoned, however, due to shift in material prices and accessibility.