Humpty Dumpty / IPDB No. 1254
6,500 units (confirmed)
Flippers were already used on many games prior to 1947, but they were non-electrical, entirely mechanical. Some games had eight mechanical flippers, such as Ad-Lee Company's 1932 'Double-Shuffle'. Most were "manually-operated" bats used on baseball games, one to a playfield. 'Humpty Dumpty' is the first pinball machine manufactured with flippers that were electromechanical. According to the book Pinball 1, David Gottlieb wanted to name this game 'Flipper' but a legal check found a patented countertop game that had a manual bat, Smith Manufacturing Company's 1932 'Flipper'.
Attached below is a Billboard ad in which a distributor enthusiastically thanks Gottlieb "for making the greatest improvement in the history of pin games". 'Humpty Dumpty' was out for less than a month at the time the ad was published, highlighting the immediate impact this game had on the industry.
Harry Mabs of Gottlieb is credited with inventing EM flippers. Jerry Koci of Chicago Coin also claimed to have invented them, for which he received a patent. See Chicago Coin's 1947 'Bermuda' for more information.
A method of player-control other than flippers is found on Rock-ola's 1932 'Juggle Ball'.
Announcing... The Greatest Triumph in Pin Game History - Sensationally New Player Controlled Flipper Bumpers.. The player will Laugh! The Spectator will Roar! The operator will be Thrilled!
Backglass, flyer & ad: