All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Milton Bradley, Game Maker

Board-game pioneer Milton Bradley was born in Vienna, Maine, on Nov. 18, 1836. The Milton Bradley Company website has his professional bio:
In 1860, Mr. Milton Bradley started a lithography business in Springfield, Massachusetts. One of the first lithographic works turned out by Milton Bradley was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln without his beard. Lincoln had just been nominated for the Presidency of the United States. The sale of this picture was extremely encouraging to the young printer until it was found that Lincoln had grown a beard. The sale of Bradley's beardless lithograph dropped off drastically.

In seeking ways to keep his business afloat, Mr. Bradley began producing a game he had previously invented called, "The Checkered Game of Life." His game was so successful, he sold as many as he could produce. [Link]
"The Checkered Game of Life" was patented by Bradley in 1866. A new version of the game was introduced on its centennial in 1960, the name shortened to "The Game of Life."

Milton Bradley died May 30, 1911, and was buried in Springfield, Mass.


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