The history of pinball dates back to 18th century Europe; many similar games gradually evolved from court games--games played with balls upon a playing surface, including bowls and even golf. Table versions, it seems, were inevitable inventions to make these games portable and to bring them indoors. What we recognize as pinball evolved in America during the twentieth century. 1947 saw the invention of the "flipper," which added a whole new dimension to the game. In the 1960s, smaller and cheaper home versions were commonly available.