Pinball literature

There are quite many books on collecting pinballs and other coin operated devices. Even if they are not directly found in every library or bookstore, most stores can obtain them by order. Or you can buy directly from good pinball shops, such as Marco Specialties. I will present various books on this page, as my own collection grows.

The Complete Pinball Book
Marco Rossignoli 2000
Schiffer Publishing
ISBN 0-7643-1003-8

Everything you wanted to know about pinballs! Over 300 pages of interesting stories on pinball technology and history, very nicely presented. Hundreds of great color photos of machines, including European made games. At the end of the book, a good listing of every pinball ever made, with their main features. A must for every serious pinhead.

Pinball Machines
Herbert Eiden, Jürgen Lukas 1997
Schiffer Publishing
ISBN 0-7643-0895-5

This book concentrates mainly on pinball art. There are 168 picture pages of playfields and backglasses, including stories about the artists. Pictures are divided in several chapters of different themes, such as entertainment, movies, history, technology etc. Some photos are black and white. Includes tips on restoration and a listing of most every pinball game.

Collector's Guide to Vintage Coin Machines
Richard M. Bueschel 1995
Schiffer Publishing
ISBN 0-7643-0579-4

A book by late Dick Bueschel, about all kinds of coin operated devices history. Not only pinballs, this book is about slot machines, jukeboxes, arcade games and most everything coin operated. Focus is in older games, and every page of the 217 has color photos of these fine machines, from the time when they were made to please the eye, very decorated. Still also the more modern games are represented, such as Addams Family by Bally.

Pinball 1
Richard M. Bueschel 1988
Hoflin Publishing

First part of Dick Bueschels intended ten parts series of pinball history. Unfortunately he only made two parts ready before passing away. This first part handles pinball and its ancestors from years 1775-1931. There are plenty of B/W photos of these old games and stories about their development. The book has 241 pages, of which about half is dedicated to an overview of typical games from years 1885-1978, which I think is the most interesting part of the book. There are many interesting stories about game manufacturers, designers and artists.

Electronic Pinball Repair & Maintenance
Star*Tech Journal 1993
BOSS Service Manuals

117 page compilation of technical articles of Star*Tech Journal mostly from 1987-1993. Of course the tips can often be applied to other games also. You can find hints on Gottliebs System-80 modifications, as well as description of the WPC system, and much more.

Randy Fromm's Big Blue Book
Randy Fromm 1992
Randy Fromm's Arcade Schools

Information and troubleshooting guides of coin operated games. Learn to test electronic components, fix pinballs and videogames and read schematics. 86 pages plus a 47 page reference section of component data, with power supply and monitor schematics.

Parts catalogs
Complete catalog of game parts with order codes. Parts are today hard to find, although at least in US there are some parts dealers that still can supply most parts. The best part of these catalogs are good and clear pictures of various parts. They make the job much easier when a broken part has to be repaired or rebuilt.

Thanks to Tomppa for new updates to my catalog collection!

Game specific manual
Bally 1993
Midway Manufacturing Company

The most important book of all for the hobbyist is a games own manual. They contain game specific devices assembly diagrams and repair tips, as well as schematics and adjustments. If your game is missing a manual, you may be able to find one from the Internet. Or ask other pinheads. Many pinball shops sell manuals for a reasonable price. Get one for each game you own. They make life easier.