The History of Pinball

Molly speaks with Popular Mechanics editor Seth Porges about the origin of pinball and it’s surprisingly dark past.  Click here for show credits.  Popular MechanicsSubscribe to our YouTube Channel for more Rocketboom Daily with Molly!  Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates!  Join us on Facebook for behind the scenes pics and videos!

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The History of Pinball
Credits | View on YouTube

Posted to Daily News, Interviews
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November 16, 2010 • 9:58 am | Permalink


  • PsychoPretzel says:


  • drheadshot12 says:

    3rd :D Go Molly

  • ShadowFlarer says:

    holy shit, is strange but molly loks like more beuty

  • maksphoto78 says:

    Molly, I'd like to see you giving someone a hug :)

  • edgehaedjr says:

    I love pinball.

  • spleenandpie says:

    pinball is super awsome

  • Massap2 says:

    Pinball meh, I can do without...

  • zyniker88 says:

    Give me Final Fight in an arcade over some Pinball any day.

  • SunnyPhillyDanny says:

    No programming for friction or other physics?

  • dovermoreno says:

    Molly, when I was your age, we didn't HAVE pinball machines. We rolled a rock around in a tin can and we LIKED it !!!

  • wulffeld says:

    @dovermoreno Wow, you had a tin can? Boy, you were lucky. I had to build a box out of wood with my bare hands then roll myself around in it while making the sound of a metal ball.

  • Denamic says:

    5000 points from beating the highscore, and the stupid ball went straight down the hole.
    Luckily, I had one more ball.
    ...that also went straight down the hole.
    Never touched a pinball machine since.

  • Dylanyo123 says:

    @wulffeld win

  • hendrykicksass says:

    hi molly

    are you attached?


  • DrFishcake says:

    So what Seth's saying, is that thanks to idiot lawmakers some potentially highly valuable machines are gone forever? Damn, yet another reason to despise the lawmakers.

  • Akaineth says:

    I dont know which i love more Molly or pinball

  • TrueSoreThumb says:

    @DrFishcake Agreed.

  • MatthewMarkMendoza says:

    Thumbs up for Molly's eyes.

  • DjHalo007 says:

    I love Molly she may always play with my balls
    and yes I totally mean that in a sexy way

  • coolstream1 says:

    Molly was never a child, she hatched from her egg fully matured and covered in slime!

    I've seen the picks, you can't fool us any longer!

  • milkmanmonroe says:

    That bonehead Beybieur is on tv--it's your turn Molly!

  • SschmierFink says:

    More than $ minutes talking about Pinball and not mentioning The Who. Congtaulations Rocket Boom!

  • Otakkun says:

    I love pinball! I went camping once and spent more time playing the FIFA 93 pinball game that was at the convenience store than actually camping! But my favorite machine has to be the one based of the first Lord of the Rings movie. That was an awesome layout.

    Great episode! And strangely released so soon after Marvel announces their pinball arcade game. Hmm...

  • arad7613 says:

    Molly, sitting closer to the camera really works. Keep it that way.

    More Molly in the frame = Win.

    And another interesting vid. I wasn't aware of pinball's nefarious past. I understand the Who's 'Tommy' better now.

  • olikard says:

    Is there an inception pinball machine?

  • j0m0r says:

    during that particularly rainy holidays, I became a Pinball master. I'm talking about 10.000.000+ points on a daily basis here.
    The End.

    what a story..

  • ARproxc says:

    say bubye to ps3 and say hi again to pinball machine...HAHA!

  • Stripdancer100 says:

    Molly, you looked like you were a little bit confused during the interview...
    Anyway, thank you for this episode, it was a really interesting one!

  • OmgItsCHEEZ says:


  • rbekers26 says:

    @MatthewMarkMendoza BUT THEN SHE CAN'T SEE!

  • VC11122 says:

    Me and my grandpa used to play pinball all the time when I was little. This was a very interesting episode today, Molly. And you looked very interested in everything that guy had to say. Lets me know you really care about the things you cover. :)

  • TimmyTurnersDad says:

    I have fond memories of playing the pinball game included in Windows XP :D

  • peruface says:

    playing pinball right now

  • flibber123 says:

    It's a good thing government officials focused on fighting pinball during the Depression. If it wasn't for those efforts our economy may have never recovered.

  • thefranstastics says:

    We had a few pinball and pachinko machines in our game room growing up. All time favorite is "Earthshaker." Also, that was an incredibly awkward hi-five.

  • PREM00SE says:

    2:34 awkward highfives FTW!

  • StripyTie12 says:

    Does anyone else here really give enough of a shit about pinball to watch a 4 and a half minute video about it? because i sure as hell don't.

  • thefranstastics says:

    When you're a kid with only a few quarters, it's all about getting free replays.

  • WhatMotivatesYou says:

    @StripyTie12 You cared enough to comment

  • KidChaos878 says:

    I liked the Simpsons pinball machine. Its very challenging but very fun too.

  • catrinxenobia says:

    3:12 <3

  • Itsooz says:

    Something about this guy annoys me. Like he prefers pinball to his girlfriend.

  • Prytonis says:

    That deaf dumb and blind girl sure plays a mean pinball.

    Plus she makes me smile :-)

  • bladereaper3 says:

    @Itsooz He has a girlfriend?

  • cricketbat08 says:

    2:34 I think Molly raises her hand to indicate she is a pinball fan, but that bloke thinks she is reaching for a high five. D'oh!

  • livvy12kip says:

    i love all the diaster/armaggedon pinball games oh and dinosaur attacks too

  • SloCheetah13 says:

    @PREM00SE Embrace the awkwardness!

  • sparkybaz77 says:

    Male orientated? I dont think they made a pinball machine about shoes and handbags.

  • Devon187 says:

    1:45 there's also a young chinese asian child worker in there :)

  • theDracoIX says:

    Right when you thought Molly couldn't get any weirder...

  • jawayetti says:

    I am the pinball wizard!

  • ELuhn says:

    Does anyone remember pre-video video games like Red Baron and Night Raid?
    They worked with some kind of elaborate piano-roll affair.

    Please don't let me be the oldest nerd on YT...

  • ONQproductions says:

    Pinbot RULES!

  • victorcelmare says:

    im for the future and i remember when weed was illigal ahhh..i got alot of fond memories about weed :)

  • dbthanatos says:

    Molly's lips.

  • thefranstastics says:

    Seth has a huge skull.

  • LaCokaNostra81 says:

    molly playing with balls :).....

  • Ghost says:

    "He stands like a statue, becomes part of the machine,
    Feelin' all the bumpers, always playing clean.
    Plays by intuition, the digit counters fall
    That deaf, dumb and blind kid
    Sure plays a mean pinball!

    I thought i was the Bally Table King,
    But I just handed my Pinball Crown to him."

  • TigerOfKarlstad says:

    I'm illegal too, love me. :)

  • QJosephP says:

    @victorcelmare You mean you're FROM the future?

  • Elephantintheroom01 says:

    I like to pretend i am arcade games, centipede, tetras and pinball when i listen to Mollie....

  • pokiebaron says:

    Asteroids!! :-)

  • RocketBoobs says:

    Dear Molly RocketBoobs,

    Elton John and The Who will teach you how to play!

  • azumaninjay says:

    He ain't got no distractions
    Can't hear those buzzers and bells
    Don't see lights a flashin'
    Plays by sense of smell
    Always gets a replay
    Never tilts at all
    That deaf, dumb and blind kid
    Sure plays a mean pinball

  • CMDRKillsalot says:

    Molly, I am a self aware version of Pinball. That means, YOU LOVE ME! YAY!!!

  • ioripl says:

    Most awkward high five ever.

  • MattDoesNotRock says:

    did he set anyone else's gay-dar off?

  • theflorgeormix says:

    Scared of Asteroids - too addictive

  • joen0411 says:

    I remember having to stand on a milk crate to play pinball. I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved it.

  • docrobphotostop says:

    sure play a meme pin ball!

  • theflorgeormix says:

    Seth is a member of the tribe, they're just more affectionate

  • Me, me, me says:

    Isn't this the second interview with the Popular Mechanics guy in a couple of weeks? I is jealous...

  • jcasetnl says:

    If you are going to use images from Pacific Pinball Museum, it might be nice if you credited them in your video.

  • Dinocoviola says:

    This man is TOO excited with pinball... good video anyway!

  • MyInterwebs says:

    I love old arcade games too, but apparently i'm alone in this subject around my age group as it seems everyone who is 21 at this moment is more interested in other stuff. *sigh*

  • KennethMichaels says:

    You forgot to say the date.

  • NormN354 says:

    @docrobphotostop Good one!

  • fsmetal says:

    How do you think he does it? I don't know! What makes him so good?

    That deaf, dumb, blind kid sure plays a mean pinball

  • BigAndTall666 says:

    Pin Those Balls!

  • alltimemovie says:

    love the new camera angle!

  • hermanoguzman says:

    I remember playing Resident Evil 2 when I was 5

  • mashamazuki says:

    @MyInterwebs totally not true have loved pinball since forever and no new technology will take it away!

  • geargemartin says:

    i knew this deaf dumb and blind kid WHO played a mean pinball.

  • 2bazar says:

    We had ours upstairs for 20 years. It was a retired electro mechanical style with solenoid bumpers that had to be replaced periodically and various connectors and plastic and metal parts would have to be repair or fabricated from time to time. My kids and their friends played for years and I finally sold it to a collector after the kids left home. It was about 5 feet tall and 6 feet long and we needed the room. I miss it but at least the kids grew up with a great pinball machine. Somewhere is a

  • theflorgeormix says:

    Seth - great Contributor - Is this the History Channel...Molly still first heart of the interworld

  • mike_dixon says:

    Hey I always TILTED it!

  • Cakevspie94 says:

    Lol Pinball is the orgin of all evil!

  • ShadowXloner says:

    In my family I'm known as the "Pinball Guru". I'm wicked crazy skilled at pinball, and I don't even tilt! Even on computer pinball, tilting to me is like the path to the dark side.

  • FriedBlubber says:

    He's a pinball wizard There's got to be a twist A pinball wizard He's got such a supple wrist

  • southwest702 says:

    i've never herd of pinbowl

  • Hemulen40 says:

    TILT ! ( :

  • HeyRadialMoon says:

    My fave of all time is Gottlieb's "El Dorado". Two sets of drop targets, lower and UPPER flippers, a very exciting old electro-mechanical game.

  • m0r1arty says:

    That deaf, dumb and blind kid....sure enjoyed this episode of Rocketboom.

    ...Due to his inability to perceive it.

  • doomtrigger says:

    I love molly

  • freesk8 says:

    Prohibition is so stupid.
    People have a natural right to do whatever they like as long as they aren't hurting anyone else or violating the rights of anyone else.
    Dang politicians.

  • LeadpipeStudios says:

    @Cakevspie94 you either meant that pinball is the origin of all evil or the organ of all evil - in which case, pinball is evil's penis?

    Orthography - do you have it?

  • ProNorden says:

    Isn't this story/assignment more RBNYC/ Ella Morton territory?

  • jnthnbush says:

    @doomtrigger no, I love molly!

  • jnthnbush says:

    @PREM00SE omg... that was painful.

  • jnthnbush says:

    @freesk8 I think the reason they stopped it was they felt it was hurting people, though probably indirectly.

  • n6djs says:

    My uncles had an old electromechanical type machine in my grandmas basement that I use to sneak away to play

  • imTKA says:

    I remember playing Creature of the black Lagoon pinball, it was EPIC!

  • GETURGUNS says:

    Yeah Molly, exactly what is "Pimboll"?

  • gulllars says:

    4:00 is false. There are programs that can account for friction and physics and anything the ball can do. You actually can do it pretty accurately with simple newtonian physics.
    Ever heard of PhysX? They made dedicated physics cards for videogames untill nVidia bought them and integrated the tech into normal graphics cards. Now adays most new games use advanced physics. Racing games are a good example, where instead of viewing the car as one unit, it calculates forces for all parts.

  • cpdavngr says:

    When I was in Las Vegas last year, a friend of mine took me to a place called the Pinball Museum. They had all sorts of antique and new pinball machines and video games that you could play. Google it and you'll find it. It was quite nostalgic. :)

  • Gothtecdotcom says:


  • canada995 says:

    I love tits, I love pussy, I love nice ass, and I love u Molly

  • freesk8 says:

    @jnthnbush Hammers hurt people. I hit myself on the thumb once. Some people have been murdered with hammers. Should we outlaw them?
    NO! The govt has no right protecting us from OURSELVES!
    Things like pinball, gambling, pot, prostitution, goose liver pate, energy drinks with booze, happy meals and alcohol must never be illegal.
    It is not a proper function of the govt!
    It's like outlawing steak because babies shouldn't eat it!
    We must take responsibility for our own lives, or lose freedom.

  • KaineSpawnX says:

    I used to play an old Dr. Who pinball game at the skating rink every week as a kid. I never even watched Dr. Who.

  • igykalen says:

    Tetris the arcade game?

  • lalaliam says:

    good vid

  • thegodofs says:

    @KaineSpawnX Best. series. ever.

  • thegodofs says:

    @freesk8 ya but then I think health bills will go up and people would be forced the incress taxes to help support the larger amount of work going into this. also if that were true I bet there'd be a fuck load more deaths and it's not like theres a cemetary on every block.

  • doomtrigger says:


  • optikfiber says:

    Molly is a geek. YES! Arcade Games are sooo cool.

  • iJohnGame says:

    You can make my ROCKETBOOM

  • Rocky183 says:

    I wanna make a pinball machine that eats a coin, the ball is launched in the holes where it's impossible to him them, you lose without having a chance at it, and the the machine gives back your coin (just so it isn't illegal)

  • ShadowOfIce says:

    This was a nice trip down memory lane, innocent but nostalgic. And I never knew pinball was illegal! xD Thanks for the upload~ Makes me wanna get a machine now. Ah.. Adam's Family pinball machine, how I miss you.

  • FindYourself108 says:

    I never played Pinball until Windows XP

  • GmasterRED says:

    I like tetris, pinball is alright. I'm level 15 on tetris friends. Not too shabby, if I do say so.

  • GmasterRED says:

    4:14 naughty molly :0
    anyway, Molly does this better then the ginger behmoth.

  • 1955RodHot says:

    When does the Rocketboom and/or Molly pinball machine come out???

  • dekmaskin says:

    Ah I LOVE Monster Bash!

    "I'm gonna mesmerize you with my semi-circular movements!"

  • akulol says:

    "and its dark past"
    viewer nr 6.666


    Pinball became legal in the year 1976 in New York City. Wow, I grew up with the decadent generation, arcades were everywhere; even the monster mash pizza parlor. What next, porn on television at night with adult toy sales, wait... At least they are redirecting the masked masturbators on Chatroulette to the Hustler site: We meet again, says the Batman mask, oh yes, says the Joker mask, and they have no pants. I feel like everyone had jobs before the year 1976, they wanted honor.


    I watched this thing three-times, just to hear the year 1976, when Pinball became legal in New York City. Is this what the aging hippies are doing, raving against the Government and Christians, because their pinball was taken away, and they want it back now? I also grew up on MTV, and those videos seem tame these days. New York City must have changed, I room-mated with someone from the Big Apple, and he found the only porn shop within 30-miles and asked for a lift from me for the trip.

  • luistijerina says:

    have I seen this guy before? well, maybe he just looks like Jimmy Fallon

  • originaljawz says:

    i would say fake and gay ... but apparently the gay isn't fake in this one ...

  • ichbinein123 says:

    Pokémon Pinball

  • cricketbat08 says:

    my older brother had Asteroids, but the operation cured him completely.

  • Qjemuse says:

    lol i was just going to find out... interested to know the history of pinball

  • devourerofbabies says:

    Theatre of Magic. My favourite table.

  • irollamazon says:

    Can't tell if he's gay or not. He looks like he really wants to fondle Mollys boobs.

  • mrlizard888 says:

    Chuck Norris Pinball? we could use his testicules to play :O

  • gustavochoa says:


    That would unchain a series of catastrophic events that would obliterate our galaxy and two adjacent ones.

  • mrlizard888 says:

    @gustavochoa at least 9 adjacent ones o.O

  • eyreland says:

    I remember the pinball machines of the 1980s and 1990s, and yes I would imagine their innards have become less complex since computerization. However, when it comes to gameplay there has been almost none since the 1980s -- so a quarter (or 20c for Australia + NZ) will not get one much amusement time.

  • DeadWhiteButterflies says:

    I want a pinball machine now! :)

  • DeadWhiteButterflies says:


    can you blame him? We all would!

  • Smierciucha says:

    This guy looks like stoned faggot.

  • sal7t5 says:

    @Smierciucha what is stoned faggot

  • carso666 says:

    Worst highfive ever

  • t0k1d0k1eighty8 says:

    dude open your eyes!

  • Stripdancer100 says:

    What is a Fliplash pinball game?

  • gurkhaboy says:

    @irollamazon Well she does have a lovely rack, doesn't she.

  • 12weeks2fitness says:

    where is ure accent from?

  • MrNiceHk says:

    feeling the chemistry

  • heshoots9999 says:

    @12weeks2fitness the uk

  • SalientK says:

    "It's wild, it's crazy, it's out of control."

    All you do is operate a couple of flippers. Other than that, you're just watching the back knock around the machine. Wow, fascinating.

  • foxain says:

    what is one of my memories with pinball as a kid?

    i was playing pinball in my grandmas toy room after a bath with a towel on my head and buck naked when i was four< my grandma walked in lol"d and took a picture of me
    as of now that photo still haunts me my fiancee was going through her scrapbooks and the sticker covering my junk fell off (forgive me my keyboard isnt working so well) oh man it was emberassing x___x

  • MrCFCarePOO says:

    @gurkhaboy I hate the yank word 'rack',I imagine something wooden and angular for holding dishes.Breasts,bosoms,chest puppies,embonpoint,decolletage,bristols,bazookas,melons...there are many more felicitous terms.

  • nunka78 says:

    they used to have like a witch hunt for pinball machines lol

  • gurkhaboy says:

    @MrCFCarePOO You're absolutely right, I stand corrected. She has lovely breasts. God Bless Her.

  • marconjcp says:

    lol pinball prohibition

  • ksNanoSquid says:

    wiis and k'inex

  • MrPointless says:

    He's a pinball wizard

  • The interviewer is a poser, totally not into pinball and completely clueless compared to anyone that is into pins. On the lighterside, she does fain a story out of some hack that thinks he's a pinball expert. Anyone claiming to be one, is not.

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