Games and Puzzles


These games come from the Paul Fink Transportation Game Collection, which was acquired in 2010 by Mrs. Peggy Osher on behalf of the Osher Map Library. They manifest the increasing public interest in transcontinental travel that resulted from improvements in paved roads and in the safety of airplanes during the first half of the twentieth century. The cover art of the game boxes combines the map logo with a train, plane, or car to reinforce the unceasing desire for mobility.

Dissected Map - cover

Dissected Map - cover

Dissected Map of the United States (Springfield, Mass.: Milton Bradley, Inc., ca. 1917-1918). 30 x 26 cm. Osher Collection.

Game of Air Mail - cover

Game of Airmail (Springfield, Mass.: Milton Bradley Co., 1930). 17 x 32 cm. Osher Collection.

Streamlined Train - cover

Streamlined Train Game (Rexall, 1936). 37 x 53 cm. Osher Collection.

During the nineteenth century, the rapidly expanding middle classes were greatly interested in geographic instruction and sought aids to foster map-reading skills and geographic literacy among their children. The result was the proliferation of educational aids and pastimes — such as board games, cards, and puzzles — that continue to be popular today. Shown here are examples of twentieth-century pastimes that incorporate the United States map.

modern board games - during installation

The United States Puzzle (Atlanta, Ga.: A Broader View, Inc., nd). 22 x 32 cm. Naden Collection.

United States Presidents: 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle (2007). 61 x 76 cm. Osher Collection.

World Impressions. Pro-Basketball (nd). 20 x 26 cm.

First State Quarters of the United States Collector Map (1999-2008). 45 x 70 cm. Courtesy of Pat Picton.