Midway, Bally Legends Together in Hall of Fame


A trio of industry movers and shakers of Midway Manufacturing and Bally Manufacturing fame are now joined in the Amusement Industry Hall of Fame – Marcine Wolverton, Hank Ross and Bill O’Donnell.

Bally Manufacturing president Bill O’Donnell (left) looks on as Midway Manufacturing’s president Marcine Wolverton (middle) and secretary-treasurer Hank Ross sign an agreement for Bally’s acquisition of Midway.

Marcine “Iggy” Wolverton and Hank Ross, the co-founders of Midway Manufacturing informally known as Iggy and Hank, were design engineers who came from Lynn Durant’s old United Mfg. Co., where they helped popularize table-top bowling games call “shuffle alleys,” among other games.

They left United to found Midway Games in the late 1950s, where they turned out a bevy of such early arcade games like target rifles and car drivers – all electromechanical. After selling the business to O’Donnell’s Bally Mfg. Corp., they ventured into licensed electronic game making like Taito’s 1978 Space Invaders and many others before retiring.

Meanwhile, Bill O’Donnell joined Bally Manufacturing as an amusement machine salesman in 1946 when it was known as the Lyon Manufacturing Company, according to his obituary in The New York Times.

He and several partners bought out Lyon in 1963 and O’Donnell became chief executive, changing the name to Bally in 1968 and expanding the company’s operations from pinball machines to computerized games – and later video poker machines.


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