Who Invented the Weegie Board

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Although it sounds like it is a “weegie” board, the Ouija board is considered to be a game to some, a spiritual communication device to others, and is generally used as a term for any board that is used for a talking board. It was first brought to the commercial market in 1890 by Elijah Bond and has often been seen as a parlor game. Today, however, some religions consider the use of a Ouija board as a means of communicating with evil spirits and some in the occult believe that demonic possession can occur throughh its use.

Who Was Elijah Bond?

Elijah Bond was a man who was actually in love with the law more than he loved inventing items. He was a veteran of the Confederacy, but also graduated from the University of Maryland in 1872. Bond also invented water and steam boilers, but his patent for the Ouija board his probably his most famous credit.

He took the concept of the talking board and expanded it with his trademark of the word Nirvana in the early 1900’s. Through the novelty toy company that he helped to found, he put out a different talking board that featured a swastika on it. Of course today the swastika is typically associated with Nazi Germany, but in Bond’s era, it was associated with prosperity. On the Nirvana board there aren’t the moon, stars, or goodbye message. It’s been replaced with other unique images and the word “farewell.”

What Does the Ouija Board Actually Do?

The official term that is used for a Ouija board is called “planchette writing.” Planchettes date back as far as 1100 AD and are thought to have originated in China during the Song Dynasty. This has always been seen as a method of being able to contact the dead or to communicate with relatives that have passed away.

Is it really a spirit possession that happens? According to some scientists, what happens during the use of a Ouija board is what is called the ideomotor response. In essence, the human body makes certain motions unconsciously. Tears, for example, occur when powerful emotions are present, even if someone isn’t trying to cry. For the Ouija board, this motion can take the form of movement and make it seem like words, phrases, or communication is occurring.

Is it just a toy? Does it allow people to communicate with spirits? Is it just a gateway for evil? That’s a decision for each person to make on their own. For Elijah Bond, the talking boards were just another invention that was produced as a toy more than anything. Many famous people have used these talking boards over the years and it is still popular to use them. Some experiences have been positive, others negative, and others even terrifying.

Through it all, Elijah Bond is the man who gets the credit for bringing it all to the market.

History of the Ouija Board
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