Inventor Stories

May 15, 2017

Inspiration is the Mother of Invention

The celebrated toy producer, Louis Marx and Company had a 59 year history of bringing engaging playthings to surprise and delight kids of all ages. Brothers Louis and David Marx started their inspired company in 1919 with a mission to provide their customers with high quality toys for a reasonable price. The brothers steadily grew the company even throughout the depression. In the 1950’s, Marx[...]
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December 1, 2014

Elizabeth Magie Paves the Way
For Monopoly and Easy Money

If it hadn’t been for Elizabeth Magie, the classic games of Monopoly or Easy Money may never have been invented. Elizabeth or “Lizzie” was a follower of the economic principals of Henry George called Georgism. She invented THE LANDLORD’S GAME to show players how rents only enhance the wealth of landlords and leave their tenants at a loss. THE LANDLORD’S GAME was patented in 1904 but not[...]
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April 24, 2014

Tenacious Tri-Ominos Inventor – Allan Cowan

What is it that inspires someone to create “something from nothing” or to spend hours and hours, days and days and sometimes numerous years prototyping, testing and refining a product? The hallmark of a successful inventor is tenacity. It’s determination that takes a dream to manifestation. The journey of TRI-OMINOS inventor, Allan Cowan is a testament to his tenacity. Born in Paris, France in[...]
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January 9, 2014

Ohio Born Inventor Reuben Klamer

Reuben Klamer, a native of Canton Ohio, invented one of my childhood favorites, The Game of Life. In 2013, Life celebrated its 50th birthday. This fun family classic sold more than 50 million copies in its 50 years! In 1959 Klamer approached Milton Bradley hoping to sell them an art center concept. They declined but asked him to design a game to commemorate the 100th anniversary of their company. Klamer[...]
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January 2, 2014

John Spinello – Father of the Operation Game

Did you know that John Spinello is the original developer of the Operation Game? In the book, “Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them”, Tim Walsh tells John’s amazing story. In 1965, John was majoring in Industrial Design at the University of Illinois. One of his class projects was to create a toy. John designed a metal box whose lid was perforated with multiple holes[...]
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December 19, 2013

Marvin Glass Studio

Marvin Glass and Associates, a Chicago based design firm, headed up by Marvin Glass was responsible for some of the best loved toys and games of the 60’s and 70’s. Their client list included Aurora, Cardinal, Gilbert, Hasbro, Hubley, Ideal, Irwin, Kenner, Lakeside, Marx, Matchbox, Mattel, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Schaper Toys and Whitman. In 1960, MGA’s first big success was Ideals’ take-apart[...]
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December 12, 2013

Herb Schaper: From Mailman to Inventor

I wonder if this mailman from Minneapolis knew what was in store for him when he decided to whittle fishing lures while he walked his route. In 1948, Herb Schaper embarked on his journey into the world of toys and games with a $75 investment and a shop in his basement. He started working on a take-apart toy Cootie bug and one year later, had developed the Cootie bug into a game. He formed the W.H. Schaper[...]
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