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Williams Woodrail Flipper Pinballs and
Other Williams Arcade Games (1940s/1950s)

cfh@provide.net, 08/01/12

If you have any of these games for sale, please email me at cfh@provide.net
I am really looking for these Williams games: Williams Skyway (2/54), Williams Thunderbird (1/54), Williams Spitfire (12/54), Williams Colors (8/54), Williams Can Can (8/55), Williams Sportsman (2/52), Williams Jet Fighter (11/54), CCM Thing (2/51), CCM King Pin (1951)

Looking for information on fixing/restoring a game from this era? See my web page at www.pinrepair.com/em and www.pinrepair.com/top for help with repair, and www.pinrepair.com/restore for help with restoration. As for repair, chances are nearly 100% nobody is going to fix or restore one of these games for you. The time involved is too great, and if you could find someone, for the most part the money spent would be more than the game is worth. So the only alternative is to fix the game yourself, and the above documents should help with that.

How to find a game easily in this list: This list is organized chronologically. So to easily find a particular game, use the CTRL-F function of your browser to find a game. If a Williams game is not mentioned in the list below, it is newer than 1960.

Though this document deals mostly with Williams "woodrail" (wood side molding that holds the top playfield glass in place) pinball games, it also touches on their very unique novelty and arcade games made during this period.

Williams woodrail pinball games have been considered "2nd class citizens" compared to their Gottlieb pinball cousins. The reasons for this aren't entirely clear. But it probably has to do with these basic reasons:

  • They made far fewer Williams pinball games made in the 1950s, so many people never got to play them. Hence there is no big nostalgia for the games ("that was the game I played when I was a kid"), therefore muting their popularity then and now.
  • The game play was different than the "standard" (Gottlieb) pinball game play. For example, Gottlieb's standard flipper feel and placement was not utilized by Williams (until about 1955). Hence the games were "different", and really not a player skill oriented like Gottlieb pinballs were.
  • The backglass artwork was not as detailed as the eye-catching Gottlieb backglass artwork. For the most part, the backglass artwork was not even in the same class as Roy Parker's Gottlieb artwork.
  • Williams game play generally used a strategy of "must do the same thing a million times to get replay(s)", rather than Gottlieb's "look at all the things I must complete to increase my score and win replay(s)".
  • Williams games concentrated more on winning lots of replays (which could often be turned in for money by the bartender), rather than achieving high score replays and winning free games. This in a way discouraged "pure" pinball players and instead encouraged a gambling aspect to pinball. It also meant that Williams pinball games were better suited for bars than arcade locations.

The last point is probably the most subtle critism of 1950s Williams games, and also possibly the main reason many pinball people today do not remember 1950s Williams pinball games as much as Gottlieb games. This was because tavern visiting patrons during the 1950s were adults (opposed to baby booming 1950s kids), making them fairly old men today. Also since Williams pinball was more suitable to bars and taverns (and winning money from the bartender), kids back in the 1950s probably didn't get to play as many Williams pinball games as they did Gottlieb games. Gottlieb pinball was just better suited to kid-visited arcades than Williams' pinballs.

To prove the point that Williams games were more gambling oriented, just look at the credit wheel on most 1950s Williams games. They generally go to at least 50 credits, and often as high as 999 credits (Gottlieb games had a credit wheel that went to 26 maximum credits for most games, and were usually stifled at 5 credits maximum via an operated selected stop). For example, the 1954 Williams "star feature" games allowed the player to win up to 200 credits in one game, and the credit wheel could go to 999 credits (7/54 Star Pool, 8/54 Colors, 12/54 Spit Fire, 3/55 Peter Pan, 8/55 Can Can). To get the 200 credits in a single game, the player had to insert two coins (just like Gottlieb's "Double Award" games). This doubled the number of replays the player could win in a single game (for a possible total of 200). These games did not have knockers, but the game would actually click-off 200 credits! Now say you won 200 credits on a pinball game... Would you be there for the next week playing those replays? Of course not! Instead you would ask the bartender to "pay off" those credits with cash money. Because of this, Williams pinball and their potential of winning many credits at a time was just not designed for an arcade environment. Also the 200 credits were erased automatically if the game was powered off and then turned back on. This worked really well that the bartender powered off all the games at night, and when turned back on the next day, they would automatically remove all unused credits.

The Williams 999 credit replay wheel used in the backbox of
"Star" games.

To accomodate the Williams pay-off of many credits, there was also a "take off" or "knock off" button was incorporated on many (but not all!) of their pre-1956 pinball games. This button, located under the cabinet usually on the left side, returned the credit wheel to zero. Gottlieb never had a "take off" button, and just didn't allow a player to win more than a few credits per game (7/55 Sweet Add-A-Line the only Gottlieb exception, capable of winning up to 26 credits in one game). And those Gottlieb credits were meant to be played, not payed by the bartender!

Also the theory of "repetitive tasks" as used by Williams was not very condusive to good pinball play. That is, Williams games tend to work on a theory of doing the same thing many many times to get multiple replays. This contrasted Gottlieb's theory of accomplishing many tasks to get a higher score and hence a single (or two) replay(s).

But the Williams games do offer many unique ideas and features not seen in "Gottlieb World". Gottlieb was very conservative, and Williams was not. Williams generally took more chances in their pinball design. Some of these chances were quite good (and likewise, some were bad!) Hence, there are some people (including me) that are collecting these classic Williams pinball games.

Williams Woodrail Pinball Disadvantages:

  • Backglass artwork: not nearly as detailed or as comical as "Roy Parker" Gottlieb backglass artwork. George Molentin's art for Williams just didn't compare to Gottlieb's Roy Parker.
  • Stupid flippers: Williams' "impulse" flippers suck. Press and hold the cabinet flipper buttons, and the playfield flippers just "pulse" up and down quickly. The player can *not* hold the flipper in the "up" position. Either cabinet flipper button controls both flippers (good for holding a beer while playing, but not much more, again playing into that tavern location). Also many pre-1953 Williams games with impulse flippers have the flipper orientation *reversed* (as compared to today's standard flipper arrangement). Williams probably used the impulse and reverse flippers because it just wanted to be different than Gottlieb's flippers. (Interestingly, there were no patent issues, as Gottlieb never patented their flipper design. Gottlieb felt prior baseball games which used a bat before was too similar, and didn't feel the patent would be granted. Gottlieb also didn't think flippers were going to be as big a deal as they turned out to be!) Luckily by mid-1955, Williams had sobered up and replaced the impulse flipper with a standard Gottlieb-style flipper design, making Williams flippers on-par (if not better) than Gottlieb flippers (non-impulse Williams flippers are more perky than the sluggish Gottlieb flippers, due to Williams uses of a higher flipper voltage).
  • General game play: lacking compared to Gottlieb games, mostly because of the crappy flippers, but also because of the repetive Williams play concept. Some unique Williams playfield designs prior to 1956 made up for this to some degree, but not enough to dethrone Gottlieb as the "pinball king". Unfortunately, many of the unique Williams game designs were implemented during the impulse flipper era. And after impulse flippers were abandoned by Williams (making Williams flippers quite good), the playfield designs started to suffer. Oh well, I guess you really can't "have it all".
  • Games are hard to find: A good sales run for a 1950s Williams pinball title was about 800 units (compared to Gottlieb, who could produced 2000 or more of a good 1950s pinball title).

Williams Woodrail Pinball Advantages:

  • Unique playfield designs: Pre-1956 Williams pinballs had some very unique playfield designs and "toys". Single flipper games, games with ramps (much like 1990s Williams games), mini-playfield bagatelles, playfield *ramps*, and other cool features. Most of the unique 1950s designs came from Harry Mabs and Harry Williams. Mabs was the gentlemen that invented the "flipper" for Gottlieb's 1947 Humpty Dumpty (and who also designed the famous Gottlieb game "Knock Out"). By 1951, Mabs felt under-appreciated at Gottlieb (last Gottlieb game was the 1951 Wild West), and left for a better job at Williams (first Williams game was the 1951 Jalopy). Sam Stern, co-partner in Williams, hired Harry Mabs away from Gottlieb. Harry Williams, Harry Mabs, and Sam Stern were the main designers until Mabs' death and Harry Williams' departure in 1960, when Steve Kordek (first Williams game was the 1960 Darts) did most of the Williams game designs. Perhaps if Gottlieb had rewarded Mabs better, he would have been the primary game designer for Gottlieb in the 1950s (with Wayne Neyens), and Gottlieb games may have had a lot of the ingenuity that Williams games (in addition to Roy Parker artwork and better flippers!) As a side note, Harry Williams left Williams Mfg. in 1960 (last Williams game was 4/60 Nags). This left Steve Kordek as the primary Williams game designer. Also as Harry left, upper management (N. Nicastro) basically spent the next 40 years raping Williams of their asset, lining his own pockets and screwing the company. It all came to an end in 1999, which Neil Nicastro closed and sold off Williams pinball forever. Currently there are at least two Nicastro family members in Williams management (interestingly, the 70+ year old Nicastro is head of "new technology" at WMS, which seems strange because I don't know of too many old men that are very technologically adept), and still hard at work screwing WMS and lining their own pockets (apparently the WMS shareholders are too dimwitted to notice this). When Harry Williams left the company in 1960, it was all downhill.
  • Playfield Art: for the most part, the playfield art is as good (in some cases better) than Gottlieb playfield art. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to the Williams backglass artwork, which was fairly crude compared to Gottlieb's.
  • Cabinet Art: Williams' cabinet art is much better than Gottlieb's cab art. Gottlieb's Roy Parker did not do cabinet art! But Williams' George Molentin did do cabinet art for Williams' games, and its much more colorful and game specific (opposed to Gottlieb's use of genericish geometric designs for cabinet art).
  • Snappy play: 1955 and later Williams' games were far "snappier" to play than their Gottlieb counterparts. Flippers and pop bumpers were stronger, and the game generally just kicked butt compared to the sluggish Gottlieb games. This was due to Williams' use of 48 volts for flippers, instead of Gottlieb's 24 volts.
  • Relative low price: because Gottlieb is the "king" of woodrail pinball, Williams woodrail prices have stayed fairly low.

Unique Game Designs.
Williams during the 1950s was, as Dick Bueschel said, "the great experimenter". The reasons for this were pretty clear at the time: competition from the industry leader (Gottlieb), and Williams' combination management. Harry Williams considered himself a game inventor, more so than a businessman. In order to do what he loved, in 1946 he took on Sam Stern as a partner (Sam was a Philly coin-op veteran and tough businessman who knew coin-op well). With Sam working the business side, this left Harry Williams to do what he loved, work on games. To help with Harry's work, Sam hired Harry Mabs in 1951 away from Gottlieb (Harry Mabs and Harry Williams' design talents were what made the 1950s Williams games unique). Also hired was Bill Ryan (former president of Keeney and general manager of Jennings) as the Williams sales manager. With this team, Williams was in a good position to give Gottlieb a run for their money in the 1950s.

Also during this same period (the 1950s), Williams tried their hand at some other novelty and arcade games. This was unlike Gottlieb, who pretty much stuck to just pinball. Some of Williams unique 1950s games was Music Mite (12/50, a small ten play jukebox), their numerous pitch and bat baseball games, several coin operated pool games, various gun games, a couple crane/digger games (Sidewalk engineer 4/55 and Crane 2/56), Peppy the Clown (4/56, a dancing marionette "game"), Ten Strike/Ten Pins (12/57 manikin bowler games), amoung others.

Williams really came up with some unique pinball game designs too (mostly prior to 1956). For example, check out the "round the playfield" skill shot on 9/48 Rainbow, Speedway and 1/49 Phoenix. The ball travels from the right shooter lane, all the way around the top and left side of the playfield, under the flippers and back up the right side of the playfield! The 10/49 All-American Quarterback was also very cool with its animated backglass football player that runs back and forth and pitch & bat ball style ball delivery to five flippers at bottom of playfield. More pitch and bat madness was used on the 3/52 Slugfest game, a pinball game with a baseball backglass animated running man unit, just like Williams' baseball pitch & bat games used.

The "horsy" games (6/51 Hayburners, 8/51 Jalopy, 9/51 Spark Plug, 11/51 Sea Jockeys, 6/52 Handicap) with backbox animation are favorites and very unique. Everyone loves this series of games (man I wish they didn't have reverse impulse flippers!) where the player is randomly assigned one of six horses, and tries to score on particular bumpers to advance his horse in the backbox (hitting the other bumpers advances the other five horses). If the player's horse crosses the finish line first, credits were won. It was not unusual for bar flies to bet on these localized off-track betting "races", and these games did quite well. Collectors today like them too for their unique backbox animation and comical "hoss" artwork.

By 8/52 the reverse flipper orientation was gone with "normal" flippers (as we know them today, and as used on Gottlieb games of the time). This was a big improvement for Williams. But unfortunately Williams also got stuck on the "trap hole" band wagon about 5/52. Fortunately this only lasted a year, as trap hole games just suck (talk about short game times!) Williams did come up with a unique feature with trap holes though. On 9/52 Hong Kong, 10/52 Four Corners, 11/52 Disc Jockey and 3/53 Starlite, there were a set of trap holes *behind* the flippers. So if the ball got past the flippers (as though the ball was going to drain), it was caught in these inline trap holes. If three, four, or five balls were caught inline, replay(s) would be scored. This was a nice twist on the trap ball theory, but it also made the playfield "shorter". And trap hole games really are more like bingos and not much fun, as ball times are in seconds not minutes.

In 10/53, Williams introduced Army Navy, the first pinball with score reels! To compete with the lightbox point scoring levels, of the seven "reels" only three moved, and the rest were "falsies" and fixed at "zero". This kept scores in the millions. But score reels were "too much too early", and the pinball public just wasn't ready for them. After 10/53 Army Navy, Gun Club, 11/53 Struggle Buggies, 12/53 Dealer, Lazy-Q, and Nine Sisters, score reels were abandoned by Williams, just four months after their introduction.

1954: THE Year for Williams Woodrails.
Starting in December 1953 to the end of 1954, Williams made some really interesting woodrail pinballs. For example the 12/53 Nine Sisters, the first pinball to use a ramp. The game has a spiral corkscrew ramp; the ball enters a kicker at the lower left side of the playfield. There a kicker pushes the ball up to about mid-playfield, and around the spiral ramp. There the ball drops into another kicker under the spriral corkscrew ramp, and is kicked to the top of the playfield. Pretty cool! We don't see any ramps like that again until the 1980s (this really reminds me of the side habitrail ramps and kickers used on the 1985 Williams High Speed).

Another ramp system was used on the 2/54 Skyway game. This game used a wire habitrail (much like 1980s and 1990s games) to direct a ball from a top center kicker, through the ramp, and down to the top right side of the playfield. Here the ball went to some vertical inline ball-passing kicker holes. Williams again had come up with concept in the 1950s that was not seen again until the late 1980s! Williams introduced a feature before it's time (much like the Nine Sisters corkscrew ramp and Army Navy's score reels).

But at the same time, another marginal idea was introduced by Williams on Nine Sister; the *single* impulse flipper concept. Now I don't know what Harry Williams was smoking back then, but this was a weird idea. Instead of having two impulse flippers, some games from 1954 had *one* flipper! Luckily this idea was limited to 12/53 Nine Sisters, 2/54 Skyway, 5/54 Big Ben, and 6/54 Daffy Derby (another animated backglass horsy race game). Truthfully, the single impulse flipper is not really that bad of an idea (very unique!), but I'm glad they didn't keep using the idea.

Nineteen fifty four also brought with it the Gobble hole era. Williams, like Gottlieb, used these ball sucking holes to give big awards (points and/or replays) with the 12/53 Dealer game. And Williams continued using gobble holes all the way into the 1960s, just as Gottlieb did. I was never a big fan of making a "points versus play" decision, so gobble holes were never my favorite. But it's kind of a moot point, as both Gottlieb and Williams used them.

Speaking of unique, the single flipper 6/54 Daffy Derby was an excellent game (even with just one flipper!) Certainly a better playfield design than the 1951 series of horsy games. On either side of the single flipper there are captive ball kickers. A unique idea, where a ball is kicked up the playfield automatically, and returned back down. This design also evolved into a unique mini-playfield/bagatelle type design, as seen on 5/54 Big Ben and 8/54 Colors. Big Ben has a single bagatelle like mini-playfield with an automatic ball kicker. And Colors had *two* of these, one on either side of the flippers!

Also in the same era (7/54) Williams came up with an idea to compete with Gottlieb's 1954 "double award" system. Williams called theirs the "Star" feature, and it allowed the player to win up to 200 credits on a game if the player added a second nickel to the coin slot, before starting play (compared to Gottlieb's double award system, which allowed the player to add a second nickel to win double the number of replays). Since under normal circumstances no one would ever add a second nickel to a game that was already set to play, to "remove" this feature only meant to change the scorecard so it didn't reference the gambling-like Star feature. Now no one would play 200 free games if they won them, so usually the bartender would "payoff" the customer in these circumstances. There was of course a credit "take off" switch under the cabinet to quickly remove these credits in case the bartender did payout cash for the credits.

To be precise, the Star feature worked like this (from the scorecard of 'Colors'): "2nd coin gives player new STAR feature! Each time a ball leaves playfield one or two numbers from 00 to 90 lite up. Should either number match first two digits in score of 10,000 to 90,000 a STAR lites on backglass. Matching numbers twice lites TWO STARS for 5 replays. Lighting 3,4 or 5 STARS GOOD for up to 200 replays on the 5th star. A sure come-on for players." Sure seems like gambling, eh? Williams, like Gottlieb, only offered this feature on a handful of games (7/54 Star Pool, 8/54 Colors, 12/54 Spit Fire, 3/55 Peter Pan, 8/55 Can Can). Note the first "star feature" game (Star Pool) was also released at the same time without the star feature in a game called Cue-Tee.

By mid-1955, Williams finally sobered up enough to stop using the impulse flipper design. But unfortunately their pinball designs really became more conventional in other areas too, make them much less interesting. Now Williams flippers were just like Gottlieb's, allowing the player to hold the flipper in the up position (and using an End Of Stroke switch and double wound flipper coils to achieve this). But an added feature of Williams flippers is their coil voltage is 48 volts, compared to Gottlieb's 24 volts. This gave the new Williams flippers added punch. Unfortunately, at the same time, the wind seemed to come out of the Williams design sails, and their games became less innovative. This was also the same time Williams started to make multiple player games (yeck!)

There are of course some shining stars among the 1955 and later Williams trash heaps. The 8/55 Can Can with its animated backglass, the 11/57 Jigsaw and it's mirrored backglass that lights up in sections completing a jigsaw puzzle (this concept was used on other Williams games like 8/58 Casino and 11/58 3-D), and the start of the "match" replay concept with the 9/57 Reno. The wide body 7/58 Turf Champ with playfield animated horses (instead of the 1951 series of backglass animated horses) is also interesting. But this game is a real dog to play, as the playfield is nearly consumed by these moving horses. Once the ball is down to the flippers, it is very difficult to keep it in play for any period of time.

But probably the most memorable late 1950s Williams achievement is the 9/58 Gusher and 7/59 Sea Wolf (and the 12/61 Metro) with their disappearing pop bumper. Gusher is particularly known for this feature, which is well done in these games. The disappearing pop bumper was so "before its time" that pinball did not see it again until the 1997 Bally Cirquis Voltaire game.

The last shining ray of innovation in the Williams woodrail games was the 4/60 Nags. The last single player Williams pinball designed by Harry Williams (and the last full production single player Williams woodrail), this game "had it all" as far as horsy games go. It used the 1951 style backbox horse animation unit, had a large turntable on the playfield with six rotating pop bumpers, score reel scoring instead of light box scoring (the first Williams single player game with score reels since the 12/53 Nine Sisters), and "standard" style flippers (all the previous Williams horsy games has impulse flippers). Nags was it, the best of the best, and certainly the best mid to late 1950s Williams woodrail pinball. It marked Harry Williams' single player pinball exit from the company with his namesake.

A Short Williams Company Time Line.
Harry Williams came, left and started many companies in his career. Here's a short timeline of his career.

  • 1932: Harry Williams invents an anti-cheat TILT device on the game "Advance".
  • 1933: Harry Williams works for Pacific Amusement (Los Angeles). He invents the first "electric action" device to be used on a pinball game, in the "Contact" by Pacific Amusement.
  • 1934: Harry Williams started his own game company called Automatic Amusements (Los Angeles). He had agreements with larger Chicago amusement manufacturers like Bally and Exhibit Supply to manufacture his games.
  • 1935: Harry goes to Chicago to work for Rockola and leaves his father in charge of his Automatic Amusement, which was later disbanded.
  • 1936: Harry goes to work for Bally.
  • 1937: Harry goes to work for Exhibit Supply.
  • 1942: Harry Williams and Lyn Durrant start United Manufacturing, doing mostly game repair and conversions. Their first conversions included "Midway", which was a conversion of Exhibit Supply's "Zombie". According to urban legand, Williams and Durrant had a falling out over a girl, prompting a coin toss to see who would stay and who would go. Harry lost the toss, and hence...
  • 1943: Harry sells his share of United to Durrant, and starts another company called Williams Manufacturing. The first game of any type created by Harry is believed to be a fortune telling machine called "Superscope".
  • 1960: Harry Williams sell Williams Manufacturing to Consolidated Drug Co. (Chicago). Harry "retires".
  • 1963: Harry Williams starts Southland Engineering (Los Angeles), an amusement coin-op device company.
  • June 1964: Seeburg corporation (of Jukebox fame) bought the Williams Electronic Manufacturing Corporation. Seeburg operated Williams as a fully owned subsidiary, with Williams continuing its amusement machine production and maintained its distribution system. In buying Williams, Seeburg acquired all the issued and outstanding shares of capital stock from the firm's two shareholders, Samuel Stern and Bernard Weinberg.
  • September 1964: Seeburg bought United's game assets. Sam Stern, president of Seeburg's Williams subsidiary, ran the United operation and retain his duties with Williams.

Conclusion.
Though very variable from game title to game title, there are lots of "good" Williams woodrail pinball games and some amazing Williams arcade games. Yea sure the pinballs are not as valuable and as collectible as Gottlieb pinballs, but hey at least they're cheap (generally speaking)! It is unfortunate though that the interesting Williams pinball woodrail game designs were done primarily in their impulse flipper era (1955 and prior). And after Harry Mabs and Harry Williams left the company, the number of Williams games that are memorable in the 1960s can be counted on one hand. Perhaps it was the "Styling of the 60's" cabinet design (starting with 6/60 Darts) that helped make Williams less memorable in the 1960s (though the 7/60 Jungle was a great game, in that funky cabinet!) But those 1950s Williams woodrails really are quite unique and fun to play.

Game Numbers, Dates, and Pictures.
Most pictures by R.Lawnhurst, R.Jensen, R.Lankar and C.Harrell. All games designed by Harry Williams and Harry Mabs, unless otherwise stated. All games single player, unless otherwise stated.

    Conversion Williams games.
    • Superscope, 1943, Harry Williams "first game", a fortune teller game.
    • Periscope, 1943, Harry Williams second game, again not a pinball. Ad.
    • Zingo, 11/44, Harry Williams first PINBALL game, a conversion of Bally's Broadcast or Crossline, an upright game that did not use steel ball bearings for balls (so it could be argued it is not a pinball machine), Game.
    • Flat Top 2/45, conversion of Bally's Mascot, Air Force, Attention, Silver Skates, Mystic, Pursuit or Pan American, BF, PF, Flyer.
    • Laura, 11/45, another conversion game, BG, PF, PF.

    Sucky Full Design Non-flipper Williams games.

    • Suspense #1, 2/46, considered Williams first "full" pinball game (not a conversion), BG.
    • Dynamite #2, 10/46, no flippers.
    • Smarty #3, 12/46, no flippers.
    • Show Girl #4, 12/36, no flippers.
    • Amber #5, 1/47, no flippers.
    • Tornado #6, 4/47, no flippers. Game.
    • Cyclone #7, 4/47, no flippers.
    • Torchy #8, 6/47, no flippers.
    • Flamingo #9, 7/47, no flippers.
    • All Stars #10, 8/47, no flippers.
    • Ginger #11, 10/47, no flippers.
    • Bonanza #12, 11/47, no flippers.
    • Box Score #13, 11/47, no flippers.

    Start of Williams Flipper era.

    • Sunny #14, 12/47, first Williams game with flippers, Flyer.
    • Stormy #15, 1/48, six flippers, BG, PF, Flyer.

    Start of Williams "City/State" game name era.

    • Tennessee #16, 2/48, six flippers, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Virginia #17, 3/48, Flyer.
    • Yanks #18, 4/48, four flippers, BG, PF.
    • Dew-Wa-Ditty #19, 6/48, four flippers, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Gizmo #20, 8/48, four flippers, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Speed Way #21, 9/48, two flippers, unusual skill shot where ball goes all the way around the playfield (top to bottom) before entering play, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Rainbow #22, 9/48, two flippers, unusual skill shot where ball goes all the way around the playfield (top to bottom) before entering play, BG, PF.
    • Saratoga #23, 10/48, four flippers (two top non-reverse, two bottom reverse), two kick-out holes,
    • El Paso #24, 11/48, two flippers, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Phoenix, 1/49, no distinct game number, two flippers, same game as Rainbox (9/48) but with a different backglass, unusual skill shot where ball goes all the way around the playfield (top to bottom) before entering play, BG, PF.
    • Tucson #25, 1/49, BG, Flyer.
    • Dallas #26, 2/49, two flippers, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • St.Louis #27, 2/49, BG, PF.
    • Maryland #28, 4/49, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Boston #29, 5/49, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Star Series #30, 1/49, pitch and bat game, vertical running man unit.
    • Freshie #31, 9/49, five kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • All American Quarterback #32, 10/49, animated backglass with a football player that runs back and forth, pitch & bat ball delivery throw a pitching mechanism and ball flap in center of playfield, five flippers at bottom of playfield. All-American Quarterback.
    • De-Icer #33, 11/49, BG, Flyer
    • Twin Shuffle #34, 12/49, a shuffle alley bowler.
    • Deluxe Bowler #35, 1/50, shuffle alley, BG, Lane, Side. Also note there is a game called Williams Bowler (no "Deluxe") made also in 1950 (probably around the same time as Deluxe Bowler), a single player with no pins. Here are some pictures: Game, BG, Lane, Side, Front, Inside back, Inside bottom. (Pictures thanks to S.Pfander.)
    • Dreamy #36, 2/50, BG, PF, Cab, Flyer.
    • Deluxe #37, 3/50, unknown game. Could be the above "Williams Bowler" game.
    • Sweetheart #38, 5/50, ten kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Lucky Inning #39, 5/50, a baseball pinball with a vertical animated running man unit in the backbox,
    • Georgia #40, 7/50, six kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    End of of Williams City/State game name era.

    • Double Header #41, 8/50 a baseball shuffle alley with a horizontal running man unit.
    • Pinky #42, 9/50, six kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Rag Mop, 10/50, #43, one flipper, three kickout holes, left side kick-up lane. Promo Pic, BG, PF, PF, PF upper, PF lower, Game.
    • Nifty #44, 11/50, two kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Music Mite #45, 12/50, not a game but rather a small jukebox. Williams produced about 1,000 of these small jukeboxes (20" high). It came on a pedestal stand and held 10 records, which played on a small RCA record changer. Each song cost a nickel, Top, Entire (thanks Ted!)
    • Shoo Shoo #46, 2/51, five kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer. Game.
    • Super World Series #47, 4/51, pitch and bat game.
    • Sweet 16 #48, 4/51, unknown game.
    • Control Tower #49, 3/51, can earn up to 25 credits, Flyer, BG, PF, Game.
    • Harvey #50, 5/51, Promo Pic.
    • 5 Player Bowler #51, 5/51, probably a bowler.
    • Arcade, 11/51, #52, Game, Flyer, Flyer2.
    • Snooks #53, 6/51, designed by Sam Stern, BG/PF, Game, PF.
    • SSE #54, 6/51, unknown game.
    • Hayburners #55, 6/51, designed by Sam Stern/Harry Williams, the first horsey game with horses running across the backbox.
    • Nags #56, 6/51, different than the Nags #234 (3/60), unknown game.
    • Jalopy #57, 8/51, designed by Harry Mabs/Harry Williams, animated backbox cars (instead of horses like in Hayburners).
    • Spark Plugs #58, 9/51, animated backbox horses like Hayburners, Sparkplugs.
    • Shoot the Moon #59, 11/51, Flyer1, Flyer2.
    • Sea Jockeys #60, 11/51, animated backbox boats (instead of horses like in Hayburners), williams seajockeys.
    • Horsefeathers #61, 12/51, unconventional cabinet 5 feet wide by 2.5 Feet deep, BG, PF.
    • Daffy Derby #62, 12/51, not to be confused with the 6/54 Daffy Derby #110, unknown game.
    • Horse Shoes, 12/51, #63, two kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer1, Flyer2.
    • 8 Ball #64, 1/52, BG, PF, Flyer1, Flyer2.
    • Sweepstakes #65, 1/52, unknown game.
    • Parlay #66, 1/52, uknown game.
    • Sportsman #67, 2/52, a flipper "gun game", very open playfield.
    • Majorettes #68, 4/52, art by Roy Parker (and it shows!), four kickout holes,
    • Majorettes #69, 4/52, second design of this game.
    • Slugfest #70, 3/52, pitch & bat style running man unit in backglass, three kickout holes.

    Start of Trap hole era.

    • Olympics #71, 5/52, design by Harry Mabs/Harry Williams, art by Roy Parker (though not particularly great Parker art), four trap holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Domino #72, 5/52, three kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Handicap #73, 6/52, last Williams design with "reverse" flippers.
    • Caravan #74, 6/52, four trap holes.
    • Long Beach #75, 7/52, a bingo, Flyer, BG, PF, Game, Game.
    End of Reverse flippers era.

    Start of conventional flipper positioning era.

    • Paratrooper #76, 8/52, four inline kickout holes that move the ball, Flyer.

    Start of inline trap hole replay era.

    • Hong Kong #77, 9/52, fifteen trap holes, inline trap holes replays, BG, PF, Game, Flyer.
    • Four Corners #78, 10/52, sixteen trap holes, inline trap holes replays, BG, PF, PF, Game, Game, inline trap holes replays, Flyer.
    • Bullseye #79, 10/52, game unknown.
    • Disk Jockey #80, 11/52, fifteen trap holes, inline ball replays, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Twenty Grand #82, 12/52, 20 Grand has nine trap holes (no inline trap holes replays), can win up to 20 replays (two gobble holes spot lit letters in circle to spell out backglass words "two", "five", or "twenty" for same number of replays), BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Silver Skates #85, 2/53, five trap holes (no inline trap holes replays), BG, PF. Flyer.
    • Starlite #83, 3/53, designed by Sam Stern/Harry Williams, sixteen trap holes, inline trap holes replays.
    End of inline trap hole replay era.

    • Times Square #84, 4/53, five trap holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Fairway #81, 6/53, four trap holes and five kickout holes, hinged coin door, BG, PF, Flyer.
    End of Trap hole era.

    • Palisades #87, 7/53, two automatic flippers and two player controlled flippers, BG, PF, Game, Game, Game. Flyer.
    • Grand Champion #86, 8/53, nine trap holes, balls in holes 1-5 stayed trapped until the end of the game, but the Grand Champion hole had a separate release and you could the ball back if you made 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Grand Champion. BG, PF, PF, Game, Flyer.
    • 53 Deluxe Baseball #88, 4/53, pitch and bat, novelty version.
    • Star Baseball #89, 4/53, pitch and bat, replay version.
    • C.O.D. #90, 9/53, five kickout holes.

    Games with Score Reels. This was an experiment by Williams at using score reels. It used three moving score reels and four stationary "zero" place setters (to keep the scoring in the millions, to be comparitive to the non-scorereel games). Abandoned after six games.

    • Gun Club #91, 10/53, score reel scoring, three kickout holes, BG, PF. Flyer.
    • Army Navy #95, 10/53, score reel scoring, two kickout holes.
    • Struggle Buggies #92, 11/53, score reel scoring, two kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Super Pennant Baseball #93, 11/53, replay or novelty plus double match.
    • Special Deluxe Baseball #94, 11/53, straight novelty only version for New York.

    Start of the Gobble hole era.

    • Lazy-Q #96, 12/53, score reel scoring, Game, Flyer.
    • Dealer #98, 12/53, score reel scoring, one gobble hole, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Nine Sisters #97, 12/53, score reels scoring, single impulse flipper, left side spiral corkscrew ramp, four trap holes, gold painted bumper caps and gold painted flipper.
    End of Score Reel scoring.

    • Thunderbird #99, 1/54, left side captive ball kicker which scores inline kickout holes,
    • Special Deluxe Baseball #100, 1/54, one player, pitch and bat same as #94 (11/53).
    • Super Star Baseball #101, 2/54, one player, novelty pitch and bat with double match.
    • Super Pennant Baseball #102, 2/54, one player, pitch and bat same as #93 (11/53).
    • All Star Baseball #103, 2/54, six player pitch and bat replay version of #93 with triple match.
    • Major League Baseball #105, 2/54, six player novelty only pitch and bat version of #103.
    • Big League Baseball #106, 2/54, one player replay or novelty pitch and bat plus triple match just like #102.
    • Skyway #107, 2/54, single impulse flipper, eight side lanes which lead ball to a long left side lane where a kicker sends the ball up the lane to the top of the playfield, a top center wire habitrail ramp directs a ball to the right side four inline ball-passing kickout holes.
    • Screamo #104, 3/54, one gobble hole, BG, BG, PF, PF. Flyer.
    • Big Ben #108, 5/54, single impulse flipper, "midget" (mini) playfield, two gobble holes, can win up to 20 replays (two gobble holes spot lit letters in circle to spell out backglass words "two", "three", "four", or "twenty" for same number of replays), not to be confused with the 1975 Williams game with the same name,
    • Daffy Derby #110, 6/54, single impulse flipper, left side captive ball kicker, animated backbox horse race (like Hayburners),
    • Cue-Tee #109, 7/54, two gobble holes, same game as 7/54 Star Pool but *without* the "Star feature", BG, PF, Flyer.

    Start of "Star Feature". This feature was only used on a handful of Williams woodrail pinballs. From the scorecard of 'Colors': "2nd coin gives player new STAR feature! Each time a ball leaves playfield one or two numbers from 00 to 90 lite up. Should either number match first two digits in score of 10,000 to 90,000 a STAR lites on backglass. Matching numbers twice lites TWO STARS for 5 replays. Lighting 3,4 or 5 STARS GOOD for up to 200 replays on the 5th star. A sure come-on for players."

    • Star Pool #114, 7/54, Star feature, two gobble holes, an exact copy of the 7/54 Cue-Tee game before it but with the "Star feature" added.
    • Colors #112, 8/54, Star feature, unique two mini Bagettle playfields on either side of the flippers, two gobble holes.
    • Lulu #111, 11/54
    • Jubilee #113, 11/54.
    • Jet Fighter #115, 11/54, a flying/gun game.
    • Super Jet Fighter #116, 11/54, same as Jet Fighter (but maybe a replay model).
    • Spitfire #117, 12/54, Star feature, one gobble hole, two captive ball kickers, reverse flippers.
    • Delite #118, 12/54, unknown game type.
    • Safari #122, 12/54, gun game novelty version of #121.
    • Jubilee #119, 1/55, free play version of Jubilee #113.
    • Select-A-Train #120, 1/55, player controlable train game.
    • Safari Deluxe #121, 5/55, gun game same as #122 but replay model.
    • Peter Pan #123, 3/55, Star feature, one gobble hole & one kickout hole, BG, PF, Game, Flyer.
    • Polar Hunt #124, 3/55, gun game.

    Start of Williams multi-player game era.

    • Race the Clock #125, 3/55, first Williams game with four players, boomerang style rear legs and funky pedestal front legs, number match feature, Flyer.
    • Sidewalk Engineer #126, 4/55, a novelty game where the player gets to push sand around a glass encased sandbox, no points scored.
    • Poker Alley #127, 4/55, a very rare pinball?
    • Wonderland #130, 4/55, one gobble hole & one kickout hole.
    • Band Wagon #128, 5/55, four players, PF, Flyer.
    • King of Swat #129, 5/55, pitch and bat.
    • Three Deuces #131, 5/55, one gobble hole, reverse flippers, Flyer.
    • Smoke Signal #132, 5/55, one gobble hole, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Regatta #133, 8/55, Flyer.
    • Jolly Joker #134, 8/55, a rolldown bingo game (no flippers), strange cabinet size, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Can Can #135, 8/55, Star feature, animated backglass, one gobble hole and two kickout holes.
    • Circus Wagon #138, 8/55, two players, one gobble hole and one kickout hole, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Auto Race #136, 9/55, probably a novelty game but I'm not sure, not a pinball.
    • "Pop-Up Thumper Device" #137, 9/55. Apparently this was a development game that was never produced, and that ultimately became Gusher #197 (9/58) with the disappearing pop bumper.
    • Snafu #139, 8/55, designed by Sam Stern/Harry Williams, Flyer.
    • Bank Pool, #140, 1/56, coin operated pool table.
    • Klondike #141, 1/56, unknown game type (not to be confused with the 1971 Williams Klondike).
    • Royal Crown #142, 2/56, unknown game type.
    • Tim-Buc-Tu #143, 1/56, six kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Crane #144, 2/56, crane game where the player picks up beans.
    • Piccadilly #145, 4/56, two players, Flyer.
    • Peppy the Clown #146, 4/56, marionette kids game with tape player sound.
    • Four Bagger Deluxe #156, 4/56, pitch and bat game.
    • Yukon #147, 5/56, a williams bingo game. Really, a bingo by Williams. Pretty rare. BG, playfield, cabinet.
    • Bank Pool Deluxe #148, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Red White Blue #149, 5/56, a rare pinball.
    • Golden Nugget #150, 5/56, unknown game.
    • Royal Crown steel ball #151, 5/56, unknown game.
    • Bank Pool Deluxe Senior #152, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Score Pool #153, 5/56, coin operated pool game, BG, Game, Game.
    • Score Pool Diamond #154, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Punch Pool #155, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Score Pool Diamond Senior #157, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Lite Up Pool #158, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Royal Pool Lite Up #159, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Royal Pool Lite Up Senior #160, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Lite Up Bank Pool Senior Deluxe #161, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • 3 Hole Deluxe Bank Pool Lite Up #162, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Surf Rider #163, 5/56, four players, Flyer.
    • Star Pool #164, not sure what this is again listed (repeat of game #114?)
    • Hot Diggity #165, 5/56, one gobble hole and two kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Imperial Pool #166, 5/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Pingame Cabinet #167, 6/56, an unknown pinball game that was never named but a production number was assigned.
    • Recreational Pool #168, 6/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Olympic Pool #169, 6/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Super Score #170, 6/56, one gobble hole, center drain has a kick-back to save ball.
    • Commodore #171, 7/56, unknown game.
    • Bank Pool Deluxe Magic Top #172, 7/56, coin operated pool game.
    • Fun House #173, 8/56, 4 players, BG, Flyer.
    • Perky #174, 9/56, five gobble holes, BG, PF, Cab, Flyer
    • Starfire #175, 9/56, one gobble hole, Flyer.
    • Tiny Town Trains #176, 9/56, unknown game.
    • Shamrock #177, 10/56, 2 players, Flyer.
    • Cue Ball #179, 12/56, one gobble hole, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Roll-A-Ball #180, 12/56, unknown game.
    • Crossfire #181, 12/56, gun game.
    • Gay Paree #178, 1/57, four player, BG, Flyer.
    • 1957 Deluxe Baseball #182, 1/57, replay pitch and bat game.
    • 1957 Deluxe Baseball (NY) #183, 1/57, novelty pitch and bat game.
    • Arrow Head #185, 2/57, three gobble holes, BG, PF, Cab, Flyer.
    • Six Pocket Pool #186, 2/57, coin operated pool game.
    • Hi-Hand #189, 6/57, a Bingo, BG, PF.
    • Naples #184, 8/57, 2 players, Flyer.
    • Kings #187, 9/57, two gobble holes, BG, PF, Flyer.

    Start of Match era.

    • Reno #190, 9/57, first Williams game with a match replay feature, Flyer.
    • Steeple-Chase #191, 10/57, two gobble holes, BG, PF, Game, Flyer.
    • Contest #192, 10/57.
    • Jig Saw #193, 11/57, in Jigsaw completing the roll-overs lights the backglass jig saw puzzle, one gobble hole.
    • Sea Wolf #194, 11/57, unknown game (not the same as Sea Wolf #209 7/59).
    • Ten Strike #196, 12/57, replay version mankin bowler.
    • Ten Pins #200, 12/57, novelty version of Ten Strike manikin bowler.
    • Ten Strike 6 Players #202, 1/58, seven foot alley and 6 players.
    • Top Hat #188, 2/58, 2 players, Flyer.
    • Kick-Off #195, 3/58, three gobble holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Short Stop Deluxe #203, 4/58, replay pitch and bat.
    • Short Stop #205, 4/58, novelty pitch and bat.
    • Satellite #199, 6/58, one kickout hole.
    • 4 Star #198, 7/58, one gobble hole, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Turf Champ #207, 7/58, animated playfield with racing horses, wider cabinet, player was able to select which horse he wanted to win before starting play (this was the only Williams horsy game that did this; all the other horse games randomly picked the player's horse for them). This game had a slight change during the production run. Early games have "advance" on the pop bumper caps. Later games have the horse number (1 to 6) on each pop bumper cap. The later version is easier to play, as the player knows which pop bumper controls which horse number (the object of the game was for the player to advance his choosen horse to the finish line first). On the early version, it was not clear which bumper advanced which horse. The rules may have also changed with the pop bumpers (I need to see if there are two different schematics for this game).
    • Casino #201, 8/58, mirrored backglass which completes to show secret picture, BG, PF, Game.
    • Gusher #197, 9/58, disappearing pop bumper.
    • Vanguard #204, 10/58, replay gun game version of #213.
    • 3-D #206, 11/58, mirrored backglass with image that reveals during gameplay, one gobble hole and two kickout holes.
    • Club House #214, 11/58, lightbox scoring with two score reels to show card value, BG/PF, PF, Flyer.
    • Tic-Tac-Toe #208, 1/59, Tic Tac Toe has one gobble hole.
    • Golden Bells #219, 2/59, one gobble hole and two kick out holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Electric Organ #210, 2/59, unknown game.
    • Crossword #211, 4/59, Williams Cross Word has nine gobble holes which allow the completion of the crossword puzzle.
    • Roll Down #212, 4/59, unknown game.
    • Pinch Hitter Deluxe #217, 4/59, replay pitch and bat.
    • Pinch Hitter #221, 4/59, novelty pitch and bat.
    • Vanguard #213, 5/59, novelty gun game version of #204.
    • Bank Shuffle #215, 5/59, shuffle alley.
    • Hercules #216, 6/59, replay gun game.
    • Sea Wolf #209, 7/59, disappearing pop bumper, one gobble and two kickout holes.
    • Spot-Pool #218, 8/59, strange artwork characters, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Hercules #220, 8/59, novelty version of #216 gun game.
    • Crusader #222, 9/59, replay gun game.
    • Bingo Gun #223, 9/59, bingo style gun game?
    • Rocket #224, 11/59, seven kickout holes, BG, PF, Game, Flyer.
    • Titan #225, 11/59, replay gun game.
    • Crusader #226, 11/59, novelty version of #222 gun game.
    • Spelling Bee #227, 11/59, unknown game.
    • Fiesta #231, 12/59, two players, BG, Flyer.
    • Golden Gloves #228, 1/60, one gobble hole, game design by Harry Mabs.
    • Titan #229, 1/60, novelty version of #225 gun game.
    • Football #230, 1/60, unknown game.
    • Official Baseball Deluxe #232, 2/60, replay pitch and bat.
    • Twenty One (21) #233, 2/60, backbox scoring but with two score reels for card scoring, one gobble holes and two kickout holes, BG, PF, Flyer.
    • Nags #234, 4/60, animated backbox horse racing (like Hayburners), rotating playfield pop bumper turntable, first Williams single player score reel scoring game since "Nine Sisters" (12/53), last single player Williams full production woodrail, BG, PF, Flyer, Game.
    • Serenade #235, 5/60, two players, game design by Harry Mabs, last Williams full production woodrail, BG, Game, Flyer.
    • Darts, #236, 6/60, one player, made in both woodrail and the new modern cabinet style (though most made with the new cabinet style), light scoring, New Cab BG, New Cab PF, Flyer, Woodrail BG, Woodrail PF, Woodrail Cab.
    • Official Baseball #237, 6/60, novelty version of #232 pitch and bat.
End of the Williams Woodrail Flipper era.
Thanks for Richard Lawnhurst for his help in developing this document.


    Other 1960s Interesting Williams Flipper Pinball Games.
    Though generally not as interesting games, Williams made some winners during the 1960s too. Here's some of them.

    • 4 Roses, 12/62, reverse wedgehead cabinet design, interesting motorized rotating center target and two gobble holes.
    • Moulin Rouge, 5/65, oblong cabinet (to accomodate larger multi-coin coin door). Backglass light animation (scene lights up in segments as playfield objectives achieved).