60's SF Depicted in Pinball Form with Questionable Accuracy

Last time I was at Alameda's Pacific Pinball Museum, I failed to notice this 1964 William's pinball machine themed around our prime city.  Certainly the machine was fun to play, but the artwork by then Chicago-based game manufacture was real highlight.  Ignoring the fact that they depicted the Golden Gate Bridge as having four towers, the city is essentially represented as Chinatown with a harbor, cable cars and white women dancing in the streets.

From what I understand, this sort of racist and misogynist imagery wasn't uncommon in older pinball machines.  After all, these machines were made to be played in the back of seedy, smoke-filled bars by all sorts of disreputable badasses.  And, you know, what kind of self-respecting badass wouldn't want to look at a caricature of Chinese person while smacking a ball around with flippers.  Even so, this machine exemplifies how SF was marketed in the 50's and early 60's: experience the exotic wonders of 'the Orient' while riding the cable cars and scoring 10 points when lit.

Comments (7)

On the plus side, with four towers the Golden Gate Bridge might have actually been long enough for Magneto to stretch all the way to Alcatraz.

“…the city is essentially represented as Chinatown with a harbor, cable cars and white women dancing in the streets.”

What’s inaccurate about that?

Looks like such an awesome place. Are they exhibits only? No touching allowed?

There are some true un-PC gems at the Musée Mécanique as well..

awesome. I love censored bits of history like this. and people wonder why things were so fucked up in the olden days.

seriously though, this is great, I had a friend growing up whose dad collected old pinball and pachinko machines, he had a veritable arcade in their downstairs, and even had old slot machines! so awesome.

Looks like the Golden Bay Bridge to me……..

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