"When I was 16, I started working summers, first in the stockroom, then as a personnel manager. It's a wonderful thing, to work in a family business. I proved they shouldn't let me hold tools, 'cause I destroyed some games trying to put them together. Every morning my father got up at six to think of something he could call me about at seven. Ultimately, he worked for me.
"Pinball is a Chicago product. The people who know pinball are here. Detroit was once the capital of automobiles, and Chicago is and will remain the capital of pinball. Most of our parts are made in the Chicago area, either by ourselves or our suppliers. In 1986, we made a game that had a little map of America with a flag coming out of Chicago, and it said on this map, 'Made in Chicago, Illinois, Pinball Capital of the World.' We spelled "capital" wrong, but we didn't realize that till we'd made the third game.
"There's about 3,500 parts in a pinball machine. Over half a mile of wire. About three and a half to four man-days of labor. That's more, I read, than the Ford Taurus. So yeah, it's complex. Before the 70s, there were no microchips, no transistors. It was done with step-up units and relays, like one of those old telephone switchboards with the wires you plug in.
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