Charles Fey

Charles Fey is the father of slots. He came to San Francisco back in 1885 where he started his 5-decade long career in slots.

His very first machine came out in his home basement in 1895 and he placed some of them on location. This turned out to be such a huge success that he quit his electrical business to devote all of his time to the invention, operation and manufacturing of machines.

By 1896, Fey had his own San Francisco slot factory where he made a lot of different machines. This business ended in 1906, but the site ended up being memorialized after seven decades.

The Firsts

  • The very first 3-reel machine came out in 1898 and was the first of millions of slot machines that were made all over the world.
  • By 1901, Fey came up with the very first machine for draw poker. This became very popular in cigar stands and saloons thereafter.
  • By 1929, Fey came up with the very first 3-reel silver dollar slot machine that became all the more popular near the 1930s.

Other Bits of Slots History

Marshall Fey published a book on coin-operated machines that sold more than 30,000 copies and is now a favorite among collectors. It won an award of Natural History for covering trade stimulators and slots from their original inception to modern machines today.

To take a look at the different machines mentioned above and more, visit the restaurant and saloon of the Liberty Bell in Nevada. The place is currently owned by Frank and Marshall Fey, Charles Fey's sons. Aside from showcasing the biggest public display involving vintage slots, the world-renowned collection also include back bars, arcade machines, combination electric brass and gas chandeliers, various beer trays, original shades of leaded glass, various early advertisements, old pictures, firearms, lots of cash registers made of brass and Edison phonographs.

Aside from the very first 3-reel machines, the very first machine for draw poker and dollar slots can also be found here.

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