Ouija Board

Object Number: 
2012.14ab
Date: 
ca. 1920
Medium: 
Wood
Dimensions: 
Part (Board): 12 x 18 in. (30.5 x 45.7 cm) Part (planchette): 3/4 x 4 5/8 x 5 1/2 in. (1.9 x 11.7 x 14 cm)
Description: 
Rectangular wooden board wtih alphabet, numbers, yes/no, and goodbye printed on obverse; directions and manufacturer's information printed on reverse. Heart-shaped planchette or "table" printed "Rajah points the way / look through here for an answer" with arrow pointing to cut-out.
Gallery Label: 
This Ouija Board, used by the donor's mother, was made around 1920 by William Fuld of Baltimore. First patented in 1891 by Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard, the talking board uses a planchette (small heart-shaped piece of wood) to indicate a spirit's message by spelling it out on the board during a séance. Participants place their fingers on the planchette, which moves about the board to spell out words. William Fuld took over production of the talking board in 1901 and coined the name "Ouija," a combination of the French and German words for "yes." The heyday of Ouija Boards was the 1920s through the 1960s; in 1966 Fuld's estate sold the business to Parker Brothers.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Arlene Harderode
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group