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tucker Wachsmuth

Tucker Chester Wachsmuth will discuss the history of pinball machines and display about a dozen of his machines at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco.

Courtesy photo

Two of Northwest pinball machine collector Chester “Tucker” Wachsmuth’s pinball machines, Bowling Queen and World’s Fair, are on exhibit at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, 115 S.E. Lake St., Ilwaco.

The display is part of the museum’s Flashback: Remembering the 1960s exhibit.

Wachsmuth will present bring more than a dozen of his machines to the museum for an “afternoon of history and play” starting shortly after a 1 p.m. annual museum members’ business meeting Saturday, March 3.

Wachmuth’s collection dates back to the early 1930s when pinball machines became popular in the United States, according to a press release from the museum. In 1931, David Gottlieb’s Baffle Ball became the first hit of the coin-operated era. The game resonated with people wanting cheap entertainment in the Great Depression-era economy, states the release. Most drugstores and taverns in the U.S. operated pinball machines, with many locations quickly recovering the cost of the game. Baffle Ball sold tens of thousands of units and established Gottlieb as the first major manufacturer of pinball machines, notes the release.

As decades passed, the machines became more complex with electric bumpers, flippers and elaborate artwork depicting the culture of each decade. With more levels of play pinball players developed strategies and techniques to gain those coveted extra points and free games.

Wachsmuth will present machines from the 1930 through the 1970 and will give an overview of their histories and special features.

Attendees also will have a chance to play the games after the presentation.

Regular museum hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens 55 years old and older and $2.50 for children. Admission is free on Thursdays thanks to the Port of Ilwaco.

For details, call 360-642-3446 or visit


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