Fact File about the Invention of the Ouija Board: Invention: Ouija Board *** Date of Invention: 1891 *** Name of Inventor: Elijah Bond *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1847 - 1921 *** Nationality of Inventor: American *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Category: Recreation *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, Elijah Bond, and the invention of the Ouija Board ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Ouija Board? The Ouija Board was invented by
Elijah Bond in 1891. Prior to the invention of the Ouija Board people enjoyed
many different types of parlor games and board games. The Movies, Radio and
Television had not been invented so playing games at home was a major source of
Fact 2: Who invented the Ouija Board? The history of the talking board,
or spirit board, dates back to the mid 1850's and became popular during the
uncertain time of the American Civil War (1861 - 1865) when people were frantic
to learn of the fate of loved ones fighting in the war. Others were desperate to
find a way to communicate with the dead.
Fact 3: Who invented the Ouija Board? During this era people became
fascinated with science, magic and the supernatural. A new religious movement
called Spiritualism emerged which elaborated a method of communicating with the
dead in séances through mediums.
Fact 4: Who invented the Ouija Board? In 1882, a group of well known
intellectuals founded the Society for Psychical Research and interest in the
occult and its association with the supernatural sciences increased still
further. The intellectuals associated with the society gave the whole area of
the occult and an air of respectability.
Fact 5: Who invented the Ouija Board? Talking boards or spirit boards
became popular. By 1870 boards were being produced with a 'planchette' with its
index pointing to successive letters and figures on the board. The W. S. Reed
Toy Company of Leominster Massachusetts, marketed a novelty device in 1886 that
was nicknamed the "witch board".
Fact 6: Who invented the Ouija Board? Talking boards proved popular as
Victorian parlor games as they allowed young men and women, not usually allowed
to be alone let alone touch a member of the opposite sex, to flaunt the social
conventions of the time and touch each others hands.
Fact 7: Who invented the Ouija Board? The environment of the era was ripe
to create and exploit a new Talking board game and the Ouija Board was invented
by a lawyer named Elijah Bond.
Fact 8: Who invented the Ouija Board? The inventor of the Ouija Board, Elijah
Jefferson Bond, was born on January 23, 1847 in Bel Air, Maryland, United States and died on April 14, 1921.
Fact 9: Who invented the Ouija Board? The early years of Elijah Bond were spent in Bel Air,
Harford County, Maryland, United States where he was raised by his family. His
father was Judge William Bond and his mother's name was Charlotte Howard
Richardson. Elijah Bond was the fourth child in the family.
Fact 10: Who invented the Ouija Board? The American Civil War erupted in
1861 and Elijah Bond's education was interrupted when he served as a Confederate
during the Civil War. After the war Elijah Bond completed his education at
the Law School of the University of Maryland.
Fact 11: Who invented the Ouija Board? Following his education Elijah Bond
opened a law practice in Baltimore. He was a pillar of the community, had a busy
social life and kept in contact with his friends from school and University and
his army comrades. Elijah Bond married Mary Peters of Maryland and the couple
had one son who they named William Brown Bond.
Fact 12: Who invented the Ouija Board? Elijah Bond had an active mind and
invented and patented several items including water and steam boilers.
Fact 13: Who invented the Ouija Board? The active social life of Elijah Bond
resulted him being involved in many parlor games and inevitably he was
introduced to one of the popular talking board games.
Fact 14: Who invented the Ouija Board? Elijah Bond was fascinated by the
idea of the talking boards or spirit boards and decided that he could improve
the original designs and go on to market such a product. As an inventor he was
aware of the process of patenting ideas and potential profits to be made from
Fact 15: Who invented the Ouija Board? Elijah Bond created a 15 x 22 inch
board printed with letters of the alphabet in a semi-circular shape, numerals
from 0-9 and the words "Yes" and "No". Bond also created his version of a hand
Fact 16: Who invented the Ouija Board? Elijah Bond spoke to his friend,
William H. A. Maupin, a founder of the newly established Kennard Novelty
Company, about the viability of marketing the new board. He liked the idea and
so did Charles Kennard, the owner of the Kennard Novelty Company.
Fact 17: Who invented the Ouija Board? Elijah Bond applied for a patent
on May 28, 1890 describing it as a toy or game. The patent was granted on
February 10, 1891 (Patent number US446054) listing Elijah J. Bond as the
inventor and the assignees as Charles W. Kennard and William H. A. Maupin of
Fact 18: Who invented the Ouija Board? Elijah Bond was also granted a
Canadian patent (Patent number 36,092) for the Ouija board on March 10, 1891
Fact 19: Who invented the Ouija Board? The patent designates the item as
Ouija or Egyptian luck-board - the Egyptians apparently always used 'diving
tables' before undertaking any important projects. Charles Kennard had
come up with the word "Ouija" which derived from the French word 'oui' and the
German word 'ja', both meaning "yes". The name 'Ouija' had a mysterious,
memorable ring to it and the name stuck.
Fact 20: Who invented the Ouija Board? Nowhere in the patent application
was the Ouija Board associated with the occult - it was always described as a
game or toy. It was sold by all first-class Toy Dealers and Stationers and
manufactured by The Kennard Novelty Company, 220 South Charles Street,
Fact 21: Who invented the Ouija Board? An employee of Elijah Bond, named
William Fuld, took over the manufacture and production of the Ouija Board. He
claimed to have invented it and it became synonymous with his name.
Fact 22: Who invented the Ouija Board? William Fuld filed for his
own patent for 'Games appratus (Patent Number 479,266) which was granted on July
19, 1892 In 1901, Fuld started production of his own boards and popularised the
name "Ouija Board".
Fact 23: Who invented the Ouija Board? The Ouija board was regarded as a
toy and an amusing parlor game unrelated to the occult until American
Spiritualist Pearl Curran (1883–1937) popularized its use as a divining tool.
Fact 24: Who invented the Ouija Board? Pearl Curran claimed that she
received the words to poems and novels, via a Ouija board, from a 17th century
Puritan English woman named Patience Worth. Interest in the Ouija board
increased and it began to be marketed as both fun, family entertainment and a
Fact 25: Who invented the Ouija Board? Elijah Bond died of a stroke on April 14, 1921
in Baltimore, Maryland. He was buried in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore. The
back of his gravestone (which was added to his grave in 2007) in is
engraved with the image of the Ouija Board.
Fact 26: Who invented the Ouija Board? The fascination with the Ouija
Board continues to the present day. Some say the use of the Ouija board is
dangerous, others that it is just harmless fun.
Fact 27: Who invented the Ouija Board? The illusion that the planchette
is moving under its own control on the Ouija board is often extremely powerful
and sufficient enough to convince many people that spirits are truly at work.
Fact 28: Who invented the Ouija Board? What is true is that in times of
disasters such as wars, civil unrest and economic depression desperate people
turn to the Ouija Board to provide them with answers to unfathomable questions.