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A trilon is a triangular prism-shaped object, turning on an axle (either mechanically or manually) to show different letters or images. Trilons have been used on game shows and billboards.

The squares on the original Concentration game board, first aired in 1958, may have been the first use of trilons on a game show. The game combined the card game with a rebus puzzle, which was gradually revealed as matches were made. As the show was an immediate replacement for the disgraced Twenty-One, the network insisted on keeping the puzzle pieces under high security, attaching them only to the trilons as needed.[1]

Trilons also showed the categories most versions of Pyramid series (exceptions were the main game board in 1990 and all boards in the 2002 and 2012 versions), the first-season Street Smarts episodes. The letter squares on the old Wheel of Fortune letter board used trilons until 1997. The entire game board on the original Family Feud was one large trilon through 1994, as was the board used in the Hidden Pictures rounds on the syndicated version of the Nickelodeon game show Finders Keepers. The second rounds (Jailtime Challenges) of every Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? episode featured 15 places of the location that the second round took place, represented by trilons. The Jeopardy!-like game board of Debt consisted entirely of trilons.[2] Trilons are still being used on several The Price Is Right pricing games, such as Bargain Game and One Away. Trilons are also used in live competitions on the American version of the reality television show Big Brother.

Trilons were temperamental, labor-intensive, and sometimes made a lot of noise when turned. They were largely replaced by on-set television monitors, as on Jeopardy! (starting with the 1984 revival) and Family Feud (starting with the 1999 revival).[3]

Trilons have been used in roadside billboards. Many long, thin trilons are placed side-by-side in the frame, and periodically rotate simultaneously to cycle the billboard through three separate signs. Trilons have also been used for highway variable-message signs, although many have been replaced by dot-matrix signs capable of displaying a much wider range of messages.


  1. ^ David P. Johnson. "Concentration ... through the decades". Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  2. ^ "Video of a Debt episode from its first season". Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  3. ^ James Vipond. "Concentration: How the board worked". Retrieved 2008-03-22.