Pinball games have existed in some format for over 180 years. And for more 100 of those years the game was pure luck. The ball would be put into play on a board and wherever it landed was up to physics and gravity. Then Steve Kordek changed pinball forever. For the 1948 pinball game “Triple Action,” Kordek added a pair of flippers to the bottom of the table to keep the balls in play. (It’s important to note that the first game with flippers was actually ‘Humpty Dumpty” invented the year before. But it had six flippers placed up the center of the table.) Pinball was transformed from a game of chance to a game of skill - well at least some amount of skill.
During his career which included designing over 100 games for Williams Manufacturing Company, one of the premiere companies in pinball production in the United States. Kordek died at the age of 100.
(Image of “Triple Action” is courtesy of www.bmigaming.com. Note that the flippers on the game are slightly different from what is common now.)