Pinball Museum in Baltimore packed with history

Mon, Dec 26

Where can you see La Guardia kicking a pinball machine, the Queen of England in a bikini and Ted Nugent's autograph on a pinball machine?

Take a walk near Baltimore's Inner Harbor in January and you'll find a collection of bells and whistles gussied up with impressions of some of history's not-so-finest moments.

David Silverman has amassed what is believed to be the biggest collection of pinball machines in the United States. His 900-plus piece pinball collection will be on display beginning Jan. 14 at the National Pinball Museum.

All thanks to his wife.

Mimi, Silverman's wife, gave him a directive some 10 years ago -- get the pinball machines out of the house.

Silverman did, but continued buying more; so many, in fact, that he had to construct seven outbuildings in his backyard to house them.

"My wife is from California and every time she'd go home to see her folks, I'd build another building in the yard," said Silverman, 63, a Bronx-born landscape architect and former community college art professor.

In 2003, he opened an informal pinball salon, where "pinheads" gathered in his backyard on Saturday afternoons. As time went on, Silverman decided to go a step further. He opened a museum in a Georgetown mall in Dec. 2010. But he lost his lease after nine months.

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