This is the first custom machine I created in 2012. The idea to do a custom design started when I purchased an old Williams Satin Doll machine from 1975– a favorite machine from my youth. I was excited to start restoring the machine, but I dropped the cabinet and shattered the back glass soon after bringing it home. So I had to get creative…
The theme is all about Kennywood Park– a traditional style amusement park near Pittsburgh. Every year of my youth, on the first Thursday in August, all businesses in my hometown of Brownsville, PA closed and all citizens made the pilgrimage to Kennywood.
The design centers on the RACER roller coaster– a single track (mobius for the nerds out there) racing coaster. The central image includes “cartoonized” images of my two teenage children in one of the cars. The playfield includes many iconic images from the park- such as the the warning sign at the top of the coaster: “DO NOT STAND UP”- complete with skull and cross-bones for emphasis.
I wanted to capture the sounds of the park as well- so I experimented with various sound chips (from talking greeting cards!) and rigged various trigger switches to activate the sounds. For example, as new balls are put into play, we hear the sound of a coaster climbing the first hill; drained balls trip sarcastic laughs from the “fat lady” at the park. My experiments cost me hundreds of dollars in blown circuitry as I became more knowledgeable on electrical systems. As a Civil Engineer, electronics were not my specialty.
As my first creation, I doubt I ever let this machine go.