Vintage Sounds: The Clacks And Dings Of Pinball Machines

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As part of our occasional series on All Tech Considered, "Vintage Sounds," we remember sounds of older technology that brings fond memories to the minds of listeners. Today, listeners share what they loved about pinball machines.


We've asked you to send us stories about the vintage sounds of technology you miss, and we've been listening to those stories on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Today, Scott Smith of Duncan, South Carolina, with the help of his own vintage sound collection, tells us about something he recalls first hearing when he was a small child.

SCOTT SMITH: I can remember I fell in love with the startup sound of an electromechanical pinball machine, oh, when I was 3 or 4 years old.


SMITH: We're with family in my grandparents' hometown of Lancaster, South Carolina. And we walked into a department store there, and there stood this big, wooden box. There was a man standing there playing it, of course.


SMITH: So I cried a little bit and finally convinced my dad to put me up into a grocery buggy where I could stand and watch it. And I was mesmerized.


SMITH: Over the years, that love grew. And every summer, when we take our vacations up in the mountains of North Carolina, there was a little arcade right near the house where we stayed. And I would beg for quarters and play pinball, and play pinball, and play pinball and got pretty good at it.


SMITH: I can remember one day going to church, we sat down in front for the children's sermon. And the pastor was trying to get us to understand the value of money and putting that money when we earn it into the offering plate on Sunday. So he came along and asked us what will we do with a quarter. And so other people said various things. And he got to little Scott, and little Scott said: I would play a game of pinball.


SIEGEL: Listener and no longer little, Scott Smith of Duncan, South Carolina. Those sounds come from his collection of old pinball machines that he loved as a child.


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