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Slot, Machines

History Of Slot Machine Symbols

The modern slot symbol at is a world away from the traditional slot symbols that dominated right up to the 1970s. Now symbols come in all shapes and sizes and many are even characters borrowed from history or famous movies and TV shows. This may seem distant to the original symbols that were invented back in 1895, but they are in fact relevant to the modern entertainment world we live in and this helps players identify with these games easily. However, without the events of 1895, the modern slot symbols that we know and love would not exist.

The history of the slot symbol began when a mechanic named Charles Fey invented the first-ever slot machine back in 1895. This early effort had three spinning reels that contained 5 symbols that included horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell. In 1891 New Yorkers Sittman and Pitt developed a gambling machine that used 5 drums. This held a total of 50 card faces and modern day slots still mimic this early effort.

The Birth Of New Slot Symbols

In the early 1900s slots were banned along with gambling, but still existed in a form that allowed the public to win non-cash prizes such as bubble gum. In fact, this is how fruit machines came into existence as new fruit symbols were introduced to the reels. If you matched three symbols you would win sweets instead of cash. These machines were eventually called vending machines. In 1907 a slot called Operator Bell that also focused on fruit symbols hit the country. It also proved highly popular and was introduced into saloons and barber’s shops.  In 1910 The Mills Novelty Company released its own gum-dispensing machine but with a new Bar Symbol added to the reels.

The Move Towards Video Slots

The major technological breakthrough that changed the world of slots came with the first electrical slot machine that was called Money Honey. This was introduced to the public back in 1963. In 1976 the first video slot was invented, this was the first time the slot machine had moved away from its mechanical predecessors. This machine used a modified 19-inch Sony TV screen for the display. These slots were accompanied by new symbols such as Stars, Crowns, 777 and Gems.

The Digital Revolution

In 1996 the invention of online video slots and the introduction of the first-ever online casino on the internet, altered the gambling landscape forever. These two landmarks in history brought slots to the masses and were easily accessible from computers. Hundreds of new games were invented to keep up with demand and with these games came new symbols.  Scatter symbols that usually trigger a bonus if 3 or more land on the reels were introduced along with wild symbols that mimic other symbols on the reels. The letters A, K, Q, J and number 10 were also common. Now we have all of these and more, such as superheroes and characters from popular culture and this helps keep slots relevant to our modern world.



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