The Golden Defender – Number 50,000

Accent On Achievement mugs at home of Williams President, Mike Stroll

Undated photo from Eugene’s basement

2005 Presentation of Golden Defender for 65th Birthday of Williams President, Mike Stroll

per Larry DeMar (Dec 2012)- The 50,000th Defender made was constructed in a gold cabinet. It was on display in the California Ave. Headquarters for years after it was built. It was then seen in the new manufacturing facility in Waukegan in the mid to late 90’s when it first opened. In 1999 I was trying to search through warehouses for a different old game and stumbled on the Gold Defender. I had them send it to Eugene’s house. Then, in 2005, at Mike Stroll’s 65th birthday party, Eugene suggested that we give Mike the Gold Defender and arranged to have the game moved to the party. Mike was president of Williams during the videogame glory days and the gold game was his creation to begin with so it went full circle in 25 years.

per Eugene Jarvis (May 2014)-  The game for many years thereafter entertained countless Williams employees in the company cafeteria at 3401 California St., Chicago, and at the Gurnee, IL plant. The game eventually fell on hard times due to decades of wear and tear, and in the early 2000,s was slated for relocation to a factory dumpster. The Gold Defender was rescued from its’ sorry state by Larry DeMar, Don Hassler and Ken Fedesna, and restored by Rick Schieve and myself. We presented it to Mike Stroll, President of Williams during the golden age on the occasion of his 65th birthday, and is proudly displayed in his living room to this day.

per Ken Fedesna (2014)-  We (Williams) would have applied the decal sides at our factory, but any painted stencil work would have been done at our wood cabinet supplier. When we first started building Defender, we were in a small factory space on Belden Avenue where Williams had previously designed and built slot machines. We never expected Defender to be as big of a hit as it turned out to be, so not a lot of factory space was ever contemplated being needed. There never would have been room in the Belden facility to be spray painting on the side cabinet art. Because of the success of Defender, Williams started looking for more manufacturing space, which turned out to be a factory facility up in the Gurnee, Illinois area

Images from the Steve Kordek’s archive via FACEBOOK page

The Golden Defender being produced

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Williams Gurnee, IL facility

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Streets Defender facility (UK)

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Defender in an arcade

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Commemorated in Walter Day’s Collection of trading cards

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