Created on 07-14-2021





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1946-1959: Dispatches from Syracuse's 'War on Pinball'


Just one found


A county-wide crackdown on illegal pinball machines ordered by District Attorney Arthur Wilson got off to slow start on April 28, 1959.


Only one machine, found at the Caravan Restaurant at 700 South Avenue, was confiscated.


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Patrolman Paul Barlow walked into the restaurant and noticed a sign on the machine which said what was required to win free games. After the machine was removed to police headquarters, Barlow and a colleague tried in vain to win a free game but could not do it.


A Post-Standard reporter was surprised that police could only find the one machine and walked down Salina Street to an arcade and found 20 machines set to reward free games or merchandise.


The crackdown was said to have moved into “high gear” the next day.


Several machines were seized, loaded onto trucks for the Cicero Dump, unloaded, smashed, then set on fire.


Copyright 2004 Heritage Microfilm