Saturday, January 23, 2016

Elijah Bond, the Original Patentee of the Ouija Board

Elijah Bond

Elijah Jefferson Bond (January 23, 1847 - April 14, 1921) was an American lawyer and inventor from Maryland. Although he invented and patented items, including a steam boiler, he is best remembered for patenting what became known as the Ouija Board in 1891.

By 1907 Bond had relocated to West Virginia where he registered a trademark on the word "Nirvana" on June 18, 1907. The mark incorporated a swastika as its logo and the company which produced these boards was named The Swastika Novelty Company.

Bond died at age 74, and is buried in Baltimore, Maryland's Green Mount Cemetery, beneath a marker that resembles a Ouija board.

Bond's patent for the talking board

Historically, William Fuld has been cited as the inventor and father of the Ouija board. In fact, the first patent on the Ouija or talking board (No. 446,054) was granted to Elijah Bond on February 10th 1891 and assigned to Charles Kennard and William H. A. Maupin, both of Baltimore and two of the founders of the Kennard Novelty Company. The trademark on the word Ouija (No. 18,919) was granted to the Kennard Novelty Company on February 10, 1891. However, it wouldn't be long before William Fuld, under Col. Washington Bowie's guidance, would take over production of the Ouija board and forever be tied to it as its father and promoter.

Bond's grave stone, which on the back bears an image of his talking board.

This patent describes the device and identifies it as a talking board. It is quite curious that no mention of the spiritual or the occult occurs in his patent. It was clearly believed by the inventors and patent holders that the messages spelled out by their device were created in the mind of the operator. This train of thought is duplicated throughout talking board patents. Though many spiritualists and practitioners of the occult claim to use talking boards to communicate with the other side, the inventors, or shall we say patentees, make no such claim, which is why it has been sold as a children's game for many decades. However, almost from the beginning, talking boards began to take on a life of their own.

See also:

Official Biography of Elijah Bond

Detailed History of William Fuld and the Ouija Board