What's more fun than looking up old patent and trademark information? The answer is, just about anything. Going through those moldy books page-by-page is about as much fun as a stab-in-the-eye with a sharp stick. And driving to the state capitol library is no holiday either, never mind the ten dollar parking fee. And try stuffing an eight-pound book into a copier—fine if you have three arms. You could hire a patent attorney to do a search for you but who can afford it? How much do you think he'll charge for a twenty hour search? Fortunately, all this has changed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office online site. That's particularly good news for talking board aficionados like us who have just been just dying to see what was going on in the heads of early talking board inventors. Not that we're any wiser now.

The USPTO site is particularly easy to navigate and search; obviously someone other than a government employee designed it. You may search in a variety of ways and you can cross-reference until you're cross-eyed. The site only carries patents back as far as the 1870's, but who's complaining? We're grateful for what they have, and so should you.

So now is your chance to see the patents of E. Bond, W. Fuld, C. Kennard, F. Black, and H. White. Who were F. Black, and H. White? Well, we don't know, but they made some great looking talking boards. If we hadn't done some digging we would have missed them altogether. Expect to see some really weird stuff: electric planchettes, sound emitting talking boards, strange pendulums, mechanical spirit boards, it's all there.

To get you on your way (no need to thank us, folks), we've listed a few dozen talking board patents by number, date, type and inventor at the bottom of this page. And we weren't too particular, either. If it looked strange enough, we put it down. What more could anyone ask? If you see one that intrigues you, copy the patent number to your clipboard, go to the USPTO site. Enter the number and before you can say "William Fuld," there will be the patent in all its glory. It just doesn't get any better than this. Our list is by no means exhaustive so if you find something really interesting, and we've missed it somehow, give us an email and tell us about it. We would really appreciate it. And tell Yogi, the Hindu Mastermind that we sent you.


Patent
Date
Type
Inventor
233198
1880
dial plate
Becker
446054
1891
talking board
Bond (Ouija)
462819
1891
dial plate
Kennard
479266
1892
planchette
Fuld
520616
1894
talking board
Schirman
546299
1895
talking board
Campbell
619236
1899
talking board
Simonds
641507
1900
dial plate
Hachmuth
661781
1900
dial plate
White
785916
1905
dial plate
Randall
969935
1910
dial plate
Blaikley
1091206
1914
dial plate
Fontanella
1125833
1915
talking board
Fuld
1264637
1918
dial plate
Green
1277152
1918
talking board
Sullivan
1280424
1918
dial plate
Downe
1291198
1919
dial plate
Shore
1322727
1919
dial plate
Pearson (Wander Board)
1352046
1920
dial plate
Black
1366174
1921
dial plate
Goldberg
1370249
1921
talking board
White
1372873
1921
dial plate
Beresford
1378854
1921
dial plate
Gidlof
1386631
1921
talking board
Kliemont
1400791
1922
dial plate
Bigelow
1404927
1922
psychograph
Campbell
1406431
1922
talking board
Weiss
1418686
1922
dial plate
Swallow
1420956
1922
planchette machine
Bisey
1422042
1922
dial plate
Donnelly
1452741
1923
planchette
Jenness
1476158
1923
dial plate
Haffner
1514260
1924
pendulum board
Rees
1550101
1925
dial plate
Schench (Mystiscope)
1809098
1931
talking board
Zieley
1846481
1932
dial plate
Enge
1870677
1932
electric talking board
Fuld (electric Mystifying Oracle)
2220455
1940
electric talking board
McCarthy
2359355
1944
dial plate
Cheape
2381933
1945
planchette
Sloper
2511377
1950
talking board
Richmond
2593244
1952
planchette
Batcha
2953381
1952
dial plate
Gilbert
3306617
1960
talking board
Gillespie
3307849
1967
electric dial plate
Foght
3441281
1969
dial plate
Pannwitz
3472260
1969
talking board
Glass
3628795
1971
dial plate
Hopkins
3640537
1972
talking board
Klamer (Prediction Rod)
3707290
1972
talking board
Birnkrant (Finger of Fate)
3709502
1973
electric talking board
Wyman
3762716
1973
dial plate
Wyman
4371167
1983
audible psychograph
O'Brian
4753439
1988
computer talking board
O'Brian
5518247
1996
pendulum board
Robichaud
5636840
1997
electric talking board
Gardner
D56001
1919
planchette
Fuld
D55593
1920
talking board
Crockett
D56085
1920
planchette
Vandercamp
D56449
1920
talking board
McGlasson
D56658
1920
planchette
Fuld
D59657
1921
talking board
Jacobson
D70170
1926
planchette
Hidalgo
D114534
1939
talking board
Fuld
D122907
1940
talking board
Stearns
D137287
1944
talking board
Primavera
D239952
1976
talking board
Burwell
D372502
1996
talking board
Davis
D405129
1999
talking board
Crawford (Salem Witchboard)


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