In December of 1936, Bally
introduced a pinball game named "Bumper". This game was very unique
at the time - instead of the metal pins
that had littered the playfield
of previous games, twelve large, metal springs
were scattered around the playfield. These springs could detect when they were hit, to give points to the player, and would bounce the ball off at a higher speed than standard metal pins.
The bumper soon spread to all pinball games manufactured after Bumper, and replaced the scoring holes as the method of scoring points in the game.
These types of bumpers lasted for about twelve years. In 1948, the pop bumper was invented, and these bumpers, which are also sometimes called passive bumpers, started being seen less and less.
Bumper was produced by Bally Manufacturing Corporation. The playfield consisted of twelve bumpers, in groups of three, across, with the center bumper higher on the playfield than the two on the sides for each group. Along the sides of the playfield there were metal rails, with curved metal plates to keep the ball from running down the side of the playfield, and instead pushing it into the bumpers. The plates look like they were coiled at the ends around metal pins, which may have allowed the ball to bounce off of the plates instead of just deflecting.
The backbox and backglass were very simple, the name of the game, a tilt light, a "game complete" light, and area for scoring. It, like all pins of its day, was made with a wood frame.
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