The TBHS seeks to promote the study of talking board history, publish important findings, and preserve and officially designate locations with historic connections to talking boards. Fundraising is an important part of these efforts, and the TBHS maintains an endowment fund for carrying out the above-stated purposes. Through these projects and others, the TBHS hopes to unite people of similar interests and promote a fuller understanding of Talking Boards, their historical significance, and their place in popular culture.
The mission of the Talking Board Historical Society, Inc. is to research, preserve, and celebrate the history of talking boards, the men and women behind them, and the people who use them.
The Talking Board Historical Society began in 2008 as a loose affiliation of talking board collectors and enthusiasts, brought together by talking board historian Robert Murch to bring recognition to the forgotten founders and history of the enigmatic Ouija. In that year, the group assembled and raised funds to erect a talking board-inspired headstone at the unmarked grave of Ouija patentee Elijah Bond in Baltimore’s historic Green Mount Cemetery, which has since become the historic cemetery’s most-requested gravesite.
The following year, the TBHS worked to bring recognition to William Fuld’s iconic Harford Avenue Ouija factory, built in 1919, which became the first public landmark in Maryland acknowledging the city’s Ouija history. In 2012, the TBHS collaborated with the Baltimore Museum of Industry to host a first-ever of its kind exhibit displaying talking boards and spirit device from the many eras of manufacturing history. These years also mark a flood of discoveries by the TBHS’s historians and researchers, including the discovery and documentation of the Chestertown, Maryland home where Charles Kennard claimed to invent the Ouija, identifying Ouija’s 1886 Witch Board precursor by W.S. Reed Toy Company, and uncovering the enduring legacies of Ouija’s founders in the Igili, Nirvana, Volo, and Weird-A talking boards, among many, many others.
In 2014, the TBHS officially incorporated and became a registered non-profit 501(c)(3), naming Robert Murch Chairman of the Board. The TBHS has since worked tirelessly to preserve the history of this unique pop culture phenomenon. Their next project is the construction of a grave marker recognizing the medium Helen Peters for her role in giving the Ouija its unique name, and through this project and others, the talking Board Historical Society hopes to bring greater and wider recognition to the nearly-forgotten stories and lives of this incredible institution.