Magic Fingers motor Magic Fingers timer and coin box. Inside the Magic Fingers timer and coin box. Socket for motor inside Magic Fingers timer box.

Today's Washington Post reported the death last Wednesday of John Houghtaling, 92, who invented Magic Fingers, the coin-operated gadget that would vibrate a motel bed at the cost of 25¢ for one quarter hour. When one of those motels remodeled in the mid-1970s, they sold their Magic Fingers units and some came my way. The photos show the inner workings of my last one.

Cover of Adventures with Vending Machines and Rack Merchandising by Ray Burkett A look inside Adventures with Vending Machines. Copyright 1967 by Ray Burkett

Adventures with Vending Machines and Rack Merchandising, by an Old Time Vendor as told to Ray Burkett, teaches you how to find profitable locations for gum and candy vendors, penny scales, jukeboxes, nut machines, and other coin operated devices. This 110-page book provides insights into smalltime vending operations in mid-20th century America.

Joe Kaminkow holds a virgin playfield, while Ed Cebulas watches. Gary Stern lists features selected by the audience. Ed Cebulas sketches the audience's design Ed Cebulas examines a paper mockup of Olympiad Pinball.

On October 7, 1988, with help from the Data East team, the Pinball Expo '88 audience designed Olympiad Pinball by consensus. Data East chief designer Joe Kaminkow led the design seminar to demonstrate the myriad decisions that lead to a successful pinball machine design.

Williams Banzai Run Williams Wreck'n Ball, the prototype for Banzai Run. Williams Wreck'n Ball backbox detail Williams Banzai Run backbox detail

Williams Electronics brought their recent Banzai Run pinball machine to Pinball Expo '88. As a rare treat, they also brought their playable, whitewood, prototype Wreck'n Ball pinball. Pinball wizards lined up to play Banzai Run and Wreck'n Ball throughout the Pinball Expo '88 weekend, October 7-9, 1988 in Rosemont, Illinois.


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