The history of air hockey and how it evolved

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Are you a fan of air hockey? If so, then you’re familiar with the iconic “ping-ponging” sound it makes as two competing players try to outmaneuver each other in an intense match. But what many people don’t know is that this beloved game has a fascinating history behind it. 

From its first appearance in 1969 as an invention by three mechanical engineers to the commercial success of Brunswick Corporation for creating and marketing home arcade versions of the game – Air Hockey has come a long way since its inception! 

In this blog post, we will take a look at the unique background of air hockey and how it evolved.

What is the history of air hockey?

Air hockey was first invented in 1969 by an American physicist called Bob Bishop. After tinkering with existing games and watching ping pong, he decided that a game of low friction could be created by suspending a puck above the surface with a steady stream of air. 

He first demonstrated the game at the US Manufacturing Company in 1969 and it quickly began to spread throughout main arcades, bowling alleys, and other entertainment venues across the US. In 1972, "Brunswick" came up with their version of air hockey and patented it in 1973. From then until now, air hockey has become an incredibly popular arcade game enjoyed by players all over the world.

When was air hockey invented?

Air hockey is an exciting, fast-paced game that is popular in arcades and homes alike. But do you know when it was invented? Believe it or not, air hockey was first invented back in 1969 by Brad Baldwin, Bob Kenrick, and Phil Crossman. The three Buffalo, New York natives developed a prototype table out of metal plates with tiny holes drilled into them to disperse the effect of a cushion of air created by an electric fan built into the underside of the playing surface. 

They then patented their invention as U.S 4200432 A on April 8, 1975, and sold it under the name "Brunswick Eversharp Air Hockey". From that day forward, air hockey has been providing hours of entertainment for young and old!

Where was air hockey invented?

The origins of air hockey are surprisingly difficult to pin down. Most agree that the game originated in the United States in the mid-1970s, though some claim it was around earlier than that. Some sources suggest it was invented by a trio of Brunswick Billiards engineers, while others say it was dreamed up by Tom Asano, a student at UC Berkeley.

It's even been suggested that an employee of the LA Times created the first tabletop version in 1969 – though this has yet to be proved. If anything is certain when it comes to air hockey's past, it's that its history remains shrouded in mystery!

What is air hockey called?

The game we all know and love as air hockey goes by many names, including table hockey, rod hockey, and stick hockey. While some may think its name reflects the fact that it is a game played with an 'air puck', the real origin of the name dates back to almost 50 years ago when a company called Brunswick released a version of their version of table hockey which they labeled 'Air Hockey'. Its revolutionary design offered players an unmatched smooth playing surface that allowed for shots to travel at high speeds. 

Air hockey became so popular over time that it eventually made its way into arcades and then homes across the country. Today, air hockey stands as one of the favorite classic games around providing endless fun for both adults and kids alike!

Is air hockey a real sport?

Air hockey may not be a sport that immediately comes to mind when someone thinks of competitive sports, but it has its place in the world. Whether you're racing against your best friend or playing in a local tournament, air hockey is a thrilling and exciting experience for all levels of competitors. 

The fast pace and reactive play of air hockey make it an engaging pastime and can be enjoyed by players of all ages. Even if it may not have the tradition and stature of other more established sports, air hockey will certainly remain one of the most popular "arcade sports".

Summing it Up

Who could have imagined that two waxed pieces of wood and a sheet of plastic would someday transform the world’s entertainment landscape forever? Not only does air hockey grant people immense fun when playing, but it is also an incredible tool to bring family and friends together. It has been around for decades, continuously evolving, bringing countless memorable and competitive nights to countless homes across the world. 

Air Hockey has left an iconic mark in gaming and competitive sports that won't easily be forgotten. From its lost-in-time roots at Brunswick's factories with dusty sheets of Formica and die-cast aluminum pipes burst apart by wooden mallets, to the modern-day wonders lit up with digital overlay tracks, air hockey will remain as one of the most beloved games ever created.

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Tony Fisher

Tony Fisher

I like to hit that puck! As hard as I can, and score a quick one. Here I'll share the best info on the best indoor game there is!

About Me

I like to hit that puck! As hard as I can, and score a quick one. Here I’ll share the best info on the best indoor game there is!

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