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Charles Fey is credited with the invention of the first ever slot machine and added his name to history. Commercially, it was only in mid 1890’s that the Fey and Mills Novelty Company introduced the “Mills Novelty Bell”, the predecessor to today’ slot machines. This machine was enclosed in a cast iron case and came with a classic Liberty Bell. A winning combination was signaled with the ringing of this bell. The reel strips displayed the typical playing cards and the jack, queen and the king. 1910 saw a newer version of this machine being introduced by same company – the “Operator Bell”. This machine was the first slot machine to feature pictures of fruits on its reel.

Weighing over 100 pounds, these slot machines were difficult to move around and the casing was changed to wood in 1915. Then in 1930 came the “Silent Bell” whose advantage over the previous models was its silence and integrated a double jackpot. A double jackpot gave an outside chance to a player to win twice in a series of quick plays. With various designs and colored wooden cabinets, the slot machines were made more attractive to players; in fact some designs like the lion’s head, war eagle or castle are used to this day.



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