Milton Bradley

Inventor / Entrepreneur

Born: 8 November 1836
Died: 30 May 1911
Birthplace: Vienna, Maine
Best known as: Board game pioneer who invented The Game of Life
American draftsman and lithographer Milton Bradley founded the Milton Bradley Company, famous makers of family board games such as The Game of Life, CandyLand and Twister. Raised in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Bradley attended Harvard's Lawrence Scientific School from 1854 to 1856. He then worked as a draftsman for the Wason Car Works, manufacturers of railcars, until 1860, when he founded a lithography business in Springfield, Massachusetts. His initial success with a lithograph of clean-shaven presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln was dashed after Lincoln grew his famous beard, but Bradley moved on with a board game called The Checkered Game of Life. Now called The Game of Life, it is part of a Milton Bradley catalog that includes Yahtzee, Connect 4, Chutes and Ladders, Mouse Trap, Operation and Big Ben jigsaw puzzles. Mr. Bradley was also an advocate of kindergarten programs and early art education, and for many years his company manufactured materials and published books for childhood education. Bradley himself published several books in the field, including Color in Kindergarten (1893) and Water Colors in the Schoolroom (1900).
Extra credit: The Milton Bradley Company was acquired by Hasbro, Inc. in 1984... In 1881 Bradley was awarded a patent for a one-armed paper cutting machine... During the last years of his life the press sometimes referred to Bradley as "the Edison of Kindergarten"... Milton Bradley is also the name of a right fielder who plays professional baseball (his full name is MIlton Obelle Bradley, Jr.).

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