Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ELIJAH J. BOND inventor of the oujia board

Elijah J. Bond
January 23rd 1847 - April 14th 1921
Elijah Jefferson Bond was born on January 23rd 1847 in Bel Air, Maryland, the fourth child of Judge William Bond and Charlotte Howard Richardson.

 Bond was a veteran of the Confederate Army as were two of his brothers Arthur W. Bond and General Frank A. Bond.  General Bond would father Harriet Virginia Bond, who would later marry Elijah's friend, William H. A. Maupin.  Maupin was one of the original founders of the Kennard Novelty Company, the first company to produce the Ouija board.  After attended public schools in Anne Arundel County, he graduated the Law School of the University of Maryland in 1872 with classmate Harry Welles Rusk .
Harry Welles Rusk was president of the Kennard Novelty Company which incorporated on October 30th 1890. The two remained close friends for life.  Bond joined the Masons on April 14th 1873 and was a Collector for Anne Arundel County from 1873-1877.   He also opened a law practice in Baltimore and presided over an infamous case in 1894 where his client was accused of polygamy. Newspapers the Hagerstown Herald and Torch Light ran with the story.

Though not an employee of the Kennard Novelty Company,  Bond would assign the original Ouija patent (No. 446,054) registered on February 10th 1891 to Maupin and Charles W. Kennard.  Bond was then granted a Canadian patent (No. 36,092) for the Ouija board on March 10th 1891. Initially, this patent wasn’t assigned to anyone else, although he did soon after reach an agreement with the International Novelty Company granting them the sole right to this patent and therefore the ability to manufacture Ouija boards in Canada.

Between January 29th 1883 and November 7th 1887 Elijah Bond visited family in Denver, Colorado. 

 Bond  moved from Baltimore, Maryland to Charleston, West Virginia in the early 1900's. There he applied for and was granted a trademark on his Nirvana talking board on June 18th 1907. The mark is shaped in the sign of a swastika with the word Nirvana in the center. On June 20th 1907 Bond assigned this trademark to The Swastika Novelty Company who manufactured and sold the Nirvana talking boards. While living in Charleston he worked as both an attorney and an insurance agent.
Elijah Bond married Mary Peters of Maryland and had one child, William Brown Bond. Elijah later returned to Baltimore and suffered a "stroke of paralysis" in 1919 and died on April 14th 1921.

Though his family were buried in Trinity Church Cemetery in Dorsey, Maryland, Elijah was laid to rest in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland along with his wife's family, his son, and grandchild.

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