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Online Collections



ca. 1900

The contemporary pinball game, a precursor to electronic games of all sorts, evolved from the manual bagatelle game. Bagatelle, in turn, evolved from earlier precursors to billiards, in which players aimed at ivory balls with cue sticks. Bagatelle games such as this were smaller, portable versions. Bagatelle enjoyed great popularity during the 19th century; the game even captured Abraham Lincoln's attention and a political cartoonist featured a panel with Lincoln playing the game. During the mid-20th century, bagatelle itself evolved into both pinball, in the West, and into Pachinko in Japan. Manufacturers still produced tiny plastic versions of bagatelle.

ManufacturerJ. H. Singer
Materialwood | leatherette | metal
OriginNew York, NY
Object ID107.4011

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