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photograph

This AP photograph from 1955 helps document a game invention. Frank Blake of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, knew that his two sons, Fred and Lee, found mathematics difficult. So he created a game for them, based on the Scrabble game board, to help make math more fun. Word spread and soon Blake's house filled with other children clamoring to play. He took his idea to New York but found no game company willing to back him. Back home, he financed the manufacture himself. After losing money in his venture, he finally found a local department store willing to carry the game, and eventually sold about 100,000 copies. Blake's quote, from an article published in the Miami Herald at the time, demonstrates what occupied the thoughts of many Americans during the mid-1950s: "With so much emphasis being placed on science today--particulary in Russia--I think it's important that our youngsters begin earlier if we're to compete against Russians in future years."

Materialphotograph
OriginUSA
Object ID113.415

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