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coppinpr
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The first anti-tilt mechanism?

Postby coppinpr » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:00 pm

Copied and edited from Rock-ola 1930s pinball parts - Site Admin.

I needed to make a new tilt reset lever for my machine (the old one being missing altogether) which was fun to work out. The tilt mech is quite clever, yet simple. A large metal ball sits in a shallow dish holding the tilt sign back, rock the table and the ball falls off the dish and the tilt shows.
finished-s.jpg

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pennymachines
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Re: The first anti-tilt mechanism?

Postby pennymachines » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:45 pm

Oddly, if you ask pinball historians who invented the first anti-tilt device they say Harry Williams, who used the ball on pedestal idea on his Advance pinball of October '33. He even described how it was named:

Historical Interlude wrote:...he initially called this innovation the “stool pigeon” until he observed a patron exclaim, “Damn it, I tilted it” after activating the device and decided it should be called the tilt mechanism, though this story may be apocryphal.

Problem is, Rock-Ola's Jigsaw came out in August '33 and has a more sophisticated indicator with 'TILTED' cast into it. In fact, it seems Gottlieb's Brokers Tip of June '33 may have been the first pinball with anti-tilt.

Showing Rock-Ola anti-tilt.

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Re: The first anti-tilt mechanism?

Postby coppinpr » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:59 pm

Looks like we can push the Pin ball "Tilt" back a little further. The K & F Speciality Company, of Chicago, Illinois, USA released Whirls Fair in May 1933 (clearly another attempt to cash in on the 1933 World's Fair) not only did the machine have a Tilt Mech, they actually sold an add on tilt mech for any machine! I would really like to see one of those add ons.
tilt.jpg

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Re: The first anti-tilt mechanism?

Postby coppinpr » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:53 am

While trying to track down the earliest mention of a "Tilt" system for pinballs, I came across a couple of interesting items in the May 1933 issue of Automatic age magazine. The first, as well as containing the announcement of what appears to be a "new" item, the tilt indicator, also has a piece about a vending machine aimed at arcades to sell packets of stamps for stamp collectors(?). Towards the end it describes how arcades have improved over the arcades of "youthful memory".
The second, from the personal ads in the same issue, throws light on the honesty of many slot makers of the time.
tilt-page-a.jpg
tilt-page-2a.jpg

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pennymachines
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Re: The first anti-tilt mechanism?

Postby pennymachines » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:23 am

Seems The K & F Speciality Company missed a trick by not filing a patent (unless it already existed on earlier machines).

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Re: Rock-ola 1930s pinball parts

Postby coppinpr » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:57 pm

That was my first thought, and I searched to see if one existed but found none. Problem was I suspect you can't patent the concept only the design which could easily be "slightly" changed to avoid the patent. Most of the pinballs I had back in the 1970s used the standard mercury switch, but I remember many with the metal pendulum hanging in a metal ring which cut out the power if the two touched.

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Re: The first anti-tilt mechanism?

Postby cait001 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:29 pm

Here is an ad for Whirls Fair that also advertises the add-on tilt mech: Whirls Fair

Do we have any idea how the mech would get added to a machine to be reset? Most of this type had a ball under the mech that flipped the displayed flag when dislodged. Maybe the operator was expected to manually reset it? Unsure.

Released in June 1933, Brokers Tip is believed to be the first pinball machine with a "stool pigeon" tilt mech, which is my favourite style.
A small metal ball is placed on a pillar and if it falls off, game is tilted. Brokers Tip

You can also read a bit more on the early tilt mechs here: The First Pinball Book
go to "CHAPTER 4 - A DECADE OF INNOVATION: 1931-1941"

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Re: The first anti-tilt mechanism?

Postby pennymachines » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:21 pm

As Coppin says, Whirls Fair pre-dates Gottlieb's Brokers Tip by a month and as makers of a retrofit tilt mechanism, they're the current front runner. To complicate matters, Exhibit Supply flat-top dice trade stimulators, like Booster, were also using the 'stool pigeon' in 1933. Question is, did anyone employ it before that?

It appears that Harry Williams told pinball historian Russ Jensen that he invented the device, and this has been widely accepted despite apparent prior art.
Russ Jensen wrote:Harry then told me that the first complete game he designed was called ADVANCE and that it was "entirely mechanical". He said that he sold it to Seeburg, adding that this game was the first to use his now famous "tilt" mechanism, and also the first pingame to have a "visible coin chute".
A Visit with Harry Williams, by Russ Jensen

Advance was made by Harry Williams' Automatic Amusement Co. of Los Angeles in October 1933.

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Re: The first anti-tilt mechanism?

Postby pennymachines » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:49 pm

Here's a trade stim with anti tilt: Pacific Amusements' Marblo of 1931.
s-l1600 (10).jpg

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Re: The first anti-tilt mechanism?

Postby cait001 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:34 am

pennymachines wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:49 pm
Here's a trade stim with anti tilt: Pacific Amusements' Marblo of 1931.
Ha! Take that, 1933!


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