In the early 1930s, Sam Stern sold pinball merchandise, parts, and accessories as an operator and distributor. In 1947, Sam boldly asked pinball mogul Harry Williams, of Williams Manufacturing Company, “Why don’t you sell me your company?”. In the end, Sam Stern became part owner with a 49% stake and was appointed as vice president of the company. When Williams stepped down in 1959, Sam Stern took full control.

Stern Electronics Inc. evolved from the ashes of pinball manufacturer Chicago Coin. Saddled with debt, the financially troubled amusement company went into bankruptcy and was acquired by Sam Stern’s…

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Michael Thomasson Michael Thomasson (63 Posts)

Michael Thomasson is one of the most widely respected videogame historians in the field today. He currently teaches college level videogame history, design, and graphics courses. For television, Michael conducted research for MTV's videogame related program Video MODS. In print, he authored Downright Bizarre Games, and has contributed to nearly a dozen gaming texts. Michael’s historical columns have been distributed in newspapers and magazines worldwide. He has written business plans for several vendors and managed a dozen game-related retail stores spanning three decades. Michael consults for multiple video game and computer museums and has worked on nearly a hundred game titles on Atari, Coleco, Sega and other console platforms. In 2014, The Guinness Book of World Records declared that Thomasson had “The Largest Videogame Collection” in the world. His businesses sponsor gaming tradeshows and expos across the US and Canada.  Visit