The name Charles Fey has forever become connected to the slot machine all though he wasn't really the father of slots. Already in 1891 a machine with five drums displaying poker hands was created in New York by Pitt and Sittman. Their machine could not spit out the prize money but the idea of matching pictures was the same. Pictures of suites of cards were something that Charles Fey used in his first slot machine called the Liberty Bell. His machine was very heavy and far away from the video slots of today with a touch button on the screen to start the wheels spinning.
The classic fruit symbols appeared in Fey's second creation which was called the Operator Bell Slot machine. The beginning for the US slot machine was a difficult one. It became outlawed in many places all over the USA. This is why the bar symbol was created by the Bell-Fruit Gum Company. They were the first company to start to mass produce the slot machines and in order to get around the ban on gambling they had a gum pop out for every pull on the handle. The bar symbol symbolizes a gum and has stayed around since then.
In the 80'ies the pulling arm was no longer actually on the machine which now had the features of a video slot and looked very much like it does today in land-based casinos and online. Today slot machines are completely electronic and the internet has managed to take them from the exclusive use of the US slot players to the whole world. Today anyone can enjoy a slot game no matter where he lives all that is needed is an internet connection and a computer.
There are still versions of slots online that look like the original US slot machine with three reels and the fruit symbols. This kind of machine is popular but many slot players prefer to enjoy themselves on a slot machine with more reels and special features such as bonus games and multi-pay lines.