Whenever any pinball machine is designed and built, there’s a lot of paperwork generated.  From the playfield drawings, the wiring diagrams and mechanical drawings of every mechanism, to the bill of materials and the purchase orders, everything has to be designed, calculated and documented.
That paperwork can also be rather revealing; about how the games were created, the personal relations between members of the design team and the state of the business at the time, with notes, suggestions and comments from the designers not uncommon amongst all the printed material.
These days much of that documentation is electronic of course, but what became of all the paperwork for some of the most historically significant and popular titles of modern times?
Well, there was one man who made it his mission to collate and preserve much of this historically-significant information during his last days working at Williams, and that man was the hugely successful and prolific game designer, Steve Kordek.
Steve made sure the records from Williams and Bally were saved, storing huge quantities of paperwork in his office and at the factory in the day prior to Williams pulling the plug on their pinball operation in late 1999.  When the doors closed on pinball production at Williams’ Waukegan plant much of the documentation was sold – along with surplus stock and part-developed games such as Wizard Blocks and Playboy – to Gene Cunningham who transported it all to his Illinois Pin Ball Company base in Bloomington, Illinois.
Gene was an avid collector – and some might prefer ‘hoarder’ – of pinballs, parts and paperwork.  Along with the Williams assets, he also bought the remaining stock from Capcom and used some of that to manufacture the Big Bang Bar game which had previously only made it to the prototype stage at Capcom Pinball before they too closed.
However, Gene had financial troubles of his own, and his collection of Williams files was eventually purchased by James Loflin of Pinball Inc. in 2009.  James had been producing reproduction ramps and plastics for many years before selling that side of the business to Starship Fantasy so that he could