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The Improved and Illustrated Game of Dr. Busby

Object Number: 
2000.566
Date: 
1843
Medium: 
Cardboard, paper
Dimensions: 
box: 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 3 5/8 in. ( 1.3 x 6.4 x 9.2 cm ) each card: 2 3/8 x 3 3/8 in. ( 6 x 8.6 cm )
Marks: 
printed: on the box cover: "THE/IMPROVED AND ILLUSTRATED/ GAME/ OF/ DR. BUSBY/ SALEM, MASS./ PUBLISHED BY W. AND S. B. IVES".
Description: 
"The Game of Dr. Busby" card game with 18 chromolithographed playing cards in a paper covered cardboard box; two sets of four cards and two sets of five cards each representing a family, Busby, Spade, Doll's and Ninnycometwitch; box cover inscribed, "THE/IMPROVED AND ILLUSTRATED/ GAME/ OF/ DR. BUSBY/ SALEM, MASS./ PUBLISHED BY W. AND S. B. IVES".
Gallery Label: 
"The Game of Dr. Busby," perhaps the first original American card game, called on players' memory skills to win the game. It was packaged in a purposely nonsensical way, grouping twenty people and things into four suits or "families." The players, presumably children, had to remember who among the group had each card. Dr. Busby's black servant, an impeccably dressed and honorable man, is probably the earliest representation of an African-American in an American game.
Credit Line: 
The Liman Collection
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group