Kennard Novelty Company1891

   Posted by: David   in Uncategorized

Kennard Novelty Company1891

There is little doubt that the spirit board was in use and even manufactured before The Kennard Novelty Company began to manufacture them in Baltimore in 1890 but it was Charles Kennard who, along with Elijah J. Bond and William H. A. Maupin, filed for and was granted a patent on the board on May 28, 1890.

On October 20, 1890, The Kennard Novelty Company was officially incorporated. The company was, of course, in my home town of Baltimore Maryland. The trademark on the name “Ouija” was granted on February 3rd of 1891. Ouija was produced in Baltimore until the rights were sold to Parker Brothers in 1966. I wish the board had never left Baltimore but I was only six when the deal was made.

I tried for a very long time to find a “Kennard” board in a price range I could afford. There were plenty for sale and still are but the asking price was and is too rich for me or the bidding left me in the dust. I finally won a bidding war. The price was reasonable but the bidding was on the board alone. The planchette was missing and, as of this writing, I do not have one of the first Kennard plancettes in my collection. I will correct that problem as soon as possible but for right now, the planchette remains elusive.

Even without the planchette, I’ll never forget the feeling that came over me when the box arrived and I opened it up on the living room floor. It was more beautiful than the pictures or the description led me to believe. For me, it was “a moment.” My wife was there watching as I opened my treasure and of course she didn’t get it. She could understand and still can’t understand why I choose to spend a portion of our money on old Ouija boards but she knew that this particular board had great meaning to me.

It was an emotional moment.

I own boards that are more beautiful but none that are more significant.

Pictured below is my board:

2 Kennard Novelty Company1891

The following image is of the back side of the board:

2 Kennard Novelty Company1891underside

This image is a close up of the stamp on the back side that gives the date “1891.”

2 Kennard Novelty Company1891date

I know the date is hard to make out but this board has been in use since 1891. That takes my breath away.

I love the Victorian period and to own something of such significance from the era is extraordinary for me. It is one of the joys of my life.

Much love,

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 at 11:29 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 comments so far


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October 22nd, 2013 at 8:17 pm

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  1. ebook    Oct 05 2013 / 3am:


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