Ouija - Is it a Game

While doing a little research on the Ouija board I discovered there is a possibility that it originated around 500 BC.. Although, we are more familiar with the most recent form of the deviation tool known to us as the Ouija board. The new movement was led by mediums, who claimed to be intermediaries between the living and the dead.

History of the Ouija

Ouija boards have their roots in Spiritualism, which began in the United States in the late 1840s.

planchettes device

There were a number of ways mediums made followers believe that they were communicating messages from those who had passed. One, table turning, involved the table moving or knocking on the floor in response to letters called out from the alphabet. Another method used planchettes, heart-shaped devices with two wheels at one end and a pencil at the point; users would place their fingers on the device, which would then be guided by spirits who would “write” messages.

No one seems to know just who invented the Ouija board, but it may have been Elijah Bond, or Charles Kennard. Since Elijah Bonds name is on the original patent documents from February 10, 1891, we assume it was his idea, and Elijah Bond called his new creation "Ouija" because he claims the board told him that Ouija was Egyptian for "Good Luck." Charles Kennard was the owner of Kennard Novelty Company who patented the Ouija board which was made of solid wood and began production in 1890, selling the board for $1.50.

About a year later, Charles Kennard was out of the Ouija business, and William Fuld who worked for the Kennard Novelty Company along with his brother Isaac took over the business, and renamed it to Ouija Novelty Company, and continued selling boards at a high volume.

William Fuld then owned all rights to the Ouija board. He claimed that he invented the board. He also said that the name Ouija was a mixture of the French, and German words for "yes" Oui, and Ja “yes”, therefore Ouija.

William died in 1927 leaving the company to his children who continued the business of making the Ouija board throughout the Great Depression until 1966 when they all retired. All rights then sold to the Parker Brothers, and they decided to switch from solid wood to a tightly pressed paper, and later on to cardboard. Later on at the beginning of 1991, Parker Brothers sold the Ouija board rights to Hasbro, which still holds the copyrights, and patents to the game, or is it a game?

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