Pinball game anyone?

A fun object to look for in the Designing Tomorrow exhibition is a pinball game, the “World’s Fair Jig-Saw” designed by Rock-Ola Manufacturing Company in honor of the 1933-34 A Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago,  touted as “the mightiest sensation ever presented to the American nation!”


The World's Fair JIGSAW Pinball Game

Ad, "The World's Fair JIGSAW," Rock-Ola Manufacturing Company, c. 1933.

With each ball sent flying, players could assemble a colorful “jigsaw” puzzle that showed and aerial view of the Chicago fairgrounds. At the top of the playfield is a stylized view of the exposition’s signature structure, the Sky Ride, while five holes below are decorated with illustrations the Federal Building, Administration Building, Electrical Building, Hall of Science, and the Travel and Transport Building.

Here’s a video to see the game in action…enjoy!


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8 Responses to Pinball game anyone?

  1. Renee Robison says:

    I have a 1933 Century of Progress Pinball with wood around the edges, glass encased, wooden back stamped Made by Northwestern Mailbox Co, St. Louis Missouri marked Patent pending. Is there somewhere to find its worth if anything. It was my grandfathers.

    • Deborah Sorensen says:

      Dear Renee,
      I will send a response offline – thanks!

    • Iris Schwartz says:

      I just purchased one in Petersburg, VA. Were you able to get a value on it? Thanks, Iris

      • dmsorensen says:

        Hi Iris,
        I’m afraid I do not have any information about the value of this pinball game, or others. You can try researching its origins and possible value in a world’s fair collectors guide like those found on Amazon or from other booksellers – or post your request on a world’s fair collectors website or listserv. Occasionally there are world’s fair memorabilia shows — — or other gatherings where collectors meet to show their latest finds and to find new items to add to their collections. Best of luck with your search!

  2. i would like to know the value of a Poosh Up game circa 1933

    • dmsorensen says:

      Hi Hilary,
      I’m afraid that I’m unfamiliar with the Poosh Up game. However, I’ve seen several World’s Fair Collector guides, as well as classic toy buying guides, available for purchase online and in the Collectibles sections of bookstores. You can also search for similar objects on eBay or other auction sites, to get a sense of what is out there. Good luck!

  3. e. parish says:

    i have the same game renee robison has….century of progress pinball by nrthwestern mail box co. anybody know about them

  4. dmsorensen says:

    Iris – another option might be to follow up with the folks at the National Pinball Museum –

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