Milton Bradley

Milton Bradley ( born November 8, 1836 in Vienna, Maine, † May 30, 1911 in Springfield, Massachusetts) was an American illustrator, lithographer, patent attorney, inventor and founder of the game manufacturer Milton Bradley Company. He is regarded as a pioneer in the gaming industry in North America.


Bradley was born in Vienna as the son of the craftsman Lewis Bradley and his wife Fannie Lyford Bradley.

After he graduated from high school at Lowell High School in 1854, he enrolled at the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but broke the two -year course after 1 ½ years, since he moved with his parents to Hartford, Connecticut.

In 1856 he moved at age 19 to Springfield, where he was employed as a draftsman at the Wason Manufacturing Company immediately. After 1858, the Wason Car Manufacturing Co. briefly stopped operating, he became self-employed as a draftsman and patent attorney.

The Checkered Game of Life

Around 1860, he identified himself to the art of lithography, a, bought a printing press and founded a business in Springfield for lithography. In 1860 he developed the game The Checkered Game of Life, which he patented in 1866.

In November 1860 he married Vilona Larue Eaton ( born February 8, 1838 in Ludlow, † March 13, 1867 ).

After 1861, he sold more than 45,000 copies of his game, he decided to produce other games, so he produced 1861 Games for the Soldiers, a compilation of nine popular games.

Milton Bradley Company

Bradley was founded in 1864 with partners JF Tapley and Clark W. Bryan, the company Milton Bradley & Company, 1878, he paid the partners and renamed the company Milton Bradley Company.

From 1880, he expanded the assortment of the company to the puzzle.


After the death of his wife in 1867 he married Vilona 1869 Ellen Maria Thayer ( born September 18, 1836 † September 19, 1918 ) with whom he had two daughters ( Florence Lenore, born June 22, 1874 Lilian Alice, * January 13, 1879 ).

In 1869 he published with Edward Wiebe book, The Paradise of Childhood: a manual for self -instruction in Friedrich Froebel 's educational principles, and a practical guide to children's Garteners. the first American book on the ideas of Friedrich Froebel kindergarten.

He founded the first kindergarten in Springfield, where he, his wife and his father were teachers there.

Next he was interested in colors and wrote from 1890 four books on the color theory for kids.

  • Color in the Schoolroom, 1890
  • Color in the Kindergarten, 1893
  • Elementary Color, 1895
  • Water Colors in the Schoolroom, 1900


  • Patent US53561: Social Game. Published on April 3, 1866 Inventor: Milton Bradley.
  • Patent US54848: Croquet Bridge. Published on May 22, 1866 Inventor: Lewis Bradley, Milton Bradley.
  • Utility model USD3664: Design for a Hinge. Published on September 21, 1869 Inventor: Milton Bradley.
  • Patent US215205: Improvement in Paper Cutting Machines. Registered on 16 December 1878 published on 13 May 1879 Inventor: Milton Bradley.
  • Patent US225457: Process of Engraving Printig - Surfaces. Published on March 16, 1880 Inventor: Milton Bradley.
  • Patent US310873: Spring Toy Gun. Published on January 20, 1885 Inventor: Milton Bradley.
  • Patent US416437: Drawing Board. Published on December 3, 1889, Inventor: Milton Bradley.
  • Patent US418437: Kindergarten table. Published on December 31, 1889, Inventor: Milton Bradley.
  • Patent US492604: Color Disc Rotating Mechanism. Remember on April 25, 1892 published on 28 February 1893 Inventor: Milton Bradley.
  • Patent US524160: Compasses. Remember on April 11, 1894 published on 7 August 1894 Inventor: Milton Bradley.
  • Patent US537887: Color Mixing top. Me on February 16, 1894 published on 23 April 1895 Inventor: Milton Bradley.