Charles Fey

Charles Fey was the very first manufacturer, operator and inventor of slot machines. In the year 1895, he made the machine called Liberty Bell, which was the very first forerunner of millions of slots that were to be manufactured within the next century. This machine was the father of today's modern and popular casino slot machines.

Before the Slots

Charles Fey's actual name is August Fey and he was born on the 2nd of February, 1862 within a Bavarian village known as Vohringen. He had 15 siblings.

During one school vacation when he was 14, he went to work at a factory of farm tools in Munich with his brother Edmund. That is where he first came across his love for mechanical tools.

When they got back home, the troubles of living with his father in a strict household along with the risks of having to join the army of Germany, made American opportunities highly appealing. Since Martin Vollman, his uncle, had moved to NJ successfully in 1850, August moved, too.

When he was 15 years old, he left for France and worked as an intercom manufacturer of equipment where he ended up saving money to move to London and live there for five years. In London, he got a job as a maker of nautical instruments and he saved money to go to America from there.

He eventually moved to San Francisco in 1885 where he worked as a job mechanist. Soon after that, he got tuberculosis and the doctor claimed he only had one year left of living. However, he recovered and started living normally again until he got a permanent job in Electric Works when he turned 25.

Fey met Marie Volkmar from California and married her. They had one son and three daughters. Happy with this brand new life, Fey americanized his name to Charles Fey.

The Slots Life

With the influenced of many nickel machines, Fey created a machine during 1894 with three wheels that was similar to the one made by a slots operator named Gustav Shultze.

Charles Fey got his first plaque in 1980 at his factory site. Soon after that, he got a historical landmark from California and another one in his birthplace's school house in Vohringen as a recognition for his invention.

Charles Fey then worked with a co-worker named Theodore Holtz after quitting their Electric Works jobs and created a brand new company that competed with a former employee, making electrical, telephone, and telegraph equipment. This new business eventually made the parts for the machines that Schultze, the manufacturing company made.

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