SAN RAFAEL, California--You might not think of pinball as an educational tool, but to some devotees of the age-old arcade favorite, that's exactly what they can be.
That's because pinball machines have been around for decades, and often have themes representative of the era in which they were built. And this weekend, visitors to the Pacific Pinball Expo here, an event billed as the "world's largest" pinball show, can see history on display in bright lights and enhanced with familiar bells and whistles, things like the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the first man on the moon, contemporary music from the 1950s and much more.
At the expo, which opened Friday at the Marin County Civic Center here (admission is $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under), visitors can see more than 350 machines from as early as the 1920s, and with names like "Wild West," "Quartette," "Dragonette, "4-Belles" and much more.
And the mission statement of the Pacific Pinball Museum, which is behind the expo, is as follows: "To inspire an interest in science, art and history through pinball and to preserve and promote this important part of American culture."
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