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Subject: The Redgrave Story rss

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Eamon Bloomfield
23569 Lübeck
Schleswig Holstein
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In 1869, a British inventor named Montague Redgrave settled in America and started manufacturing bagatelle tables in 1870 out of his factory in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1871 Redgrave was granted a US Patent for his "Improvements in Bagatelle", which replaced the cue at the player's end of the table with a coiled spring and a plunger. The player shot balls up the inclined playfield using this plunger, a device that remains in pinball to this day. This innovation made the game friendlier to players. The game also shrunk in size and began to fit on top of a bar or counter. The balls became marbles and the wickets became small "pins". Redgrave's innovations in game design are acknowledged as the birth of pinball in its modern form.

I have seen a letter from Montague Redgrave, which shows his then current and last address as 10 Willow Court, Jersey City, New Jersey. It also shows his home address of 568 Pavonia Ave. and of course his signature. In this letter to one of his suppliers, Montague asks for a speedy delivery of some of the products that he has on order. The left side column of the letter showed some of the game titles that were made by Redgrave such as : Crusing, Parlor Bagatelle, Columbia Base Ball, War of the Roses, Is Marriage a Failure, 7 Up or Help your Neighbor. There was also a full length picture of a "Spinner Parlor Bagatelle 1 Bell" made in November of 1897. This was the first game with his new patent for an integrated shooter that replaced the traditional spring shooter that expired in 1897.
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