Jump to content

Elijah Bond

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Elijah Bond
Elijah Jefferson Bond

(1847-01-23)January 23, 1847
DiedApril 14, 1921(1921-04-14) (aged 74)
Resting placeGreen Mount Cemetery
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Maryland School of Law
  • Lawyer
  • inventor
Known forpatenting of the ouija board
SpouseMary Peters
Military career
AllegianceConfederate States of America
Service/branchConfederate States Army
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Elijah Jefferson Bond (January 23, 1847 – April 14, 1921) was an American lawyer and inventor.[1][2] He is best known for patenting the ouija board.

Early life[edit]

Elijah Jefferson Bond was born on January 23, 1847, in Bel Air, Maryland, to Charlotte Howard (née Richardson) and William B. Bond. His father was a judge. Bond graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law.[3]


Bond served in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He worked as a lawyer in Baltimore until around 1918.[3]


Although he invented and patented items, including a steam boiler, he is best remembered for patenting what became known as the Ouija board. He filed for a United States patent on May 28, 1890. Charles W. Kennard and William H. A. Maupin were listed as assignees. The patent was granted on February 3, 1891.[4][citation needed] Bond sold the US distribution rights for the Ouija board to the Kennard Novelty Company.[5]

The building where Bond chose the name for the board still stands in downtown Baltimore. Its first floor is now a 7-Eleven convenience store. A plaque commemorating Bond and the Ouija board is installed inside the store.[6]

Swastika Novelty Company[edit]

By 1907 Bond had relocated to West Virginia where he established the Swastika Novelty Company. The company produced a knock-off of Bond's original Ouija board called the "Nirvana".[5] The Swastika Novelty Company was a U.S. corporation that was incorporated in June 1, 1957, and dissolved on December 30, 2014. The company status was revoked after failure to file an annual report. The company's officers were Bond, E. T. Crawford and J. E. Crawford.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Bond married Mary Peters of Baltimore. They had at least one son, William B. Bond.[3]

Bond died on April 14, 1921, at the home of his son at 3304 Clifton Avenue in Baltimore. He was buried in Baltimore's Green Mount Cemetery. In 2007, his grave marker was replaced with a custom headstone resembling a Ouija board.[3][7]


  1. ^ "Elijah Bond's Official Biography". www.elijahbond.com. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  2. ^ "Elijah Bond's Official Biography". Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d "Elijah Jefferson Bond". The Baltimore Sun. April 15, 1921. p. 12. Retrieved September 7, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  4. ^ "U.S. Patent "Ouija"".
  5. ^ a b "Image of Nirvana board with description". Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2007.
  6. ^ "Ouija 7-Eleven". atlasobsura.com. Retrieved April 27, 2024.
  7. ^ "Elijah Bond's Ouija Board Grave". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved August 11, 2019.


  • Gruss, Edmund (1994), The Ouija Board: Horror of Reality, New York: P&R Publishing, pp. 13–15


External links[edit]

Media related to Elijah Jefferson Bond at Wikimedia Commons