Next up in the series of Wacky Patents is a board game which has spooked people for ages! This humble board game has been a source of spook for many. Ouija (pronounced wee-jee) is derived from compounded French word, ‘Oui’ and German word, ‘Ja’, both meaning “Yes”. It was originally a trademark owned by Kennedy Novelty Co. which later became generic when people started to use the word for any talking board. What was previously used as a medium for communication with the dead, was later patented with certain improvements.
The US Patent Office granted Letter Patent No. 446,054 in 1891 to Elijah J Bond, for his invention of a certain new and useful improvement in “Toy or Game”. In the patent application, Bond says that his invention relates to improvements in what he designates as “The Ouija or Egyptian-luck Board”. The invention discloses a Board of suitable size and thickness with letters of the alphabet, numbers from 0-9, ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ in the corners and ‘Good-bye’ at the bottom in combination with a table provided with legs and a pointer which is operated by hand.