Your Morning Matters: the real Pinball Wizard comes from Youngstown
The coming week will do a lot to tell us whether last week’s drop in COVID-19 cases was real or a mirage based on holiday data.
Hello and welcome to your Morning Matters – with “Editor Emeritus” Mark Sweetwood.
We are on Monday, November 29, 2021, and that day in 1972, Atari freed Pong, considered the first commercially successful arcade video game.
Today, if you go to a video game arcade, you will likely find two types of coin-operated games side by side: video games and pinball. And I bet you didn’t know Youngstown’s connection to modern pinball. According to All in color for a quarter website, Arthur Paulin, a carpenter from Youngstown, built one of the first pinball-type games for his daughter’s Christmas present in 1930.
It all started, his daughter, Lois Paulin Hollerman, later recalled, when “he stumbled upon a curious old dusty board with holes dug and about 30 nails in it. It looked like she was about 50 years old.” Historians believe it was an ancient game of trifle, which was an indoor table game derived from billiards. Arthur used this board as a base for his electronic game. After Christmas, Lois invited “her friends over to play this fun board game.” Well the next thing you know there was a line around the house of kids waiting to play this board game!
He called him “Whiffle”. And like Video game historian said to him, “Paulin thought he might be able to sell it and approached a friend named Myrl Park, who operated a drugstore. Park didn’t think the game would sell as a consumer product, but figured it would. it could make a lot of money if turned into a coin-operated game, so Paulin took the board to another friend, electricity salesman Earl Froom, who helped him design a slot machine.
It was a success, and as her daughter would later write, “The company was ordering an average of 2,000 boards per month. … At that time, the company employed 53 men in the store, and 11 men and two women to do the office work. “
Of course, this spawned lookalikes that began to encroach upon the original Whiffle board. Valley’s team sought support from the courts, but in 1937 a federal judge ruled that their patents were not enough. Yet, as the All In Color For A Quarter website maintains, “27,000 Whiffle units had been sold by the end of 1931 and many consider it the ancestor of today’s pinball industry.”
Let’s go play pinball or find another way to make the day count!
Here’s what else you need to know about the Mahoning Valley today:
After Thanksgiving reunions, vacation reunions at restaurants as well as crowded bars for the Ohio State vs Michigan football game, the coming week will do a lot to tell us if last week’s drop in COVID cases- 19 was real or a holiday driven mirage.
Perhaps due to a lack of reporting during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Ohio Department of Health reported just 22,759 new cases of COVID-19 last week, down from 12,918 from compared to the previous week’s total of 35,677. We have more details in our weekly look at coronavirus trends.
In this week’s episode of The Earnheardts, Adam confronts his children’s imaginary friends: “Sometimes they actually have substance. They are real, tangible objects like stuffed animals. The “others” can be described as friends who are not really there. random spaces and places around our houses. “Mahoning questions
The entities of the Valley are in the news in today’s business updates are Burgan Real Estate, Shops at Boardman Park, the Western Reserve Transit Authority and JoDells Transportation Co. LLC. Mahoning questions
Children are not eligible to receive COVID-19 booster doses, and it’s unclear when or if federal health officials will extend eligibility to those under the age of 18. Will the kids need boosters? Mahoning questions
Kayakers and canoeists seeking to navigate the waters of the Mahoning River will have a new launch site. Work ended on a new livery along the river in Lowellville, as part of an overall village development strategy. The business journal [May encounter paywall.]
Mahoning County Common Pleas Magistrate Rejects Green Township Farmer’s Attempt to Arrest Mill Creek Metropolitan Parks trying to acquire a right of way on his property to build the final phase of the MetroParks bike path. The Vindicator [May encounter paywall.]
After a 34-17 victory over Port Clinton, the The Ursulines high school football team will face Clinton Massie at 10:30 a.m. Friday for the Division IV State Championship. WFMJ
Thirteen windows were discovered broken in Trumbull County Courthouse during the weekend. WKBN
Movers and Manufacturers
Your mobile Cosmo strives to make salon and spa services more accessible by creating the first full-service mobile salon and spa in Mahoning County. Co-owners Auzuree Johnson and Kanesha Teemer both had long careers in the cosmetology industry before launching Your Mobile Cosmo in October. Mahoning questions
This story was made possible by Farmers National Bank.
Your feedback matters
“Because he’s not guilty.”
– JoAnn Moore Paris, in lawyer David Betras’ column last week, “Why did the jury find Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty?” “
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