Antedating of "Bingo" (1923)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Feb 2 07:12:19 UTC 2004

In a message dated 2/1/2004 12:45:08 PM Eastern Standard Time,
fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU writes:

> bingo2 (OED 1936)
> 1925 _Wash. Post_ 1 July 2 (ProQuest)  The "Bingo" game
> soon became the
> big attraction on the grounds, drawing large crowds.

   Oh, all right.  I thought Sam does these things. is not working again--the date range limit doesn't
work and I get all dates for "bingo."
   I'm using, with first name "bingo" and last name "game*"
between the years 1918-1924.
   "BINGO" is not simple.  First, the word pre-existed the game.  Second,
there may have been other games with the same name of "BINGO."
   BTW:  The "1918" MOUNT PLEASANT NEWS (Iowa) stories are really from 1948.

   15 August 1923, IOWA RECORDER (Greene, Iowa), pg. 1, col. 5:
   "This office is receiving numerous inquiries from the fair secretaries
regarding the corn game, bingo, corno, etc., and for that reason it is thought
advisable to issue this letter.
   "The above games and games of this nature are games of chance, pure and
simple, and are considered gambling games under the Iowa laws.  The corn game
and its associates are nothing but the old "keno" game of years ago.
   "We have adevice from Attorney General Gibson that this game is not
allowable under the laws of this state and it has already been closed at several
places this season.  No fair can afford to lose their state aid, so keep your
midway clean.
   "This office recommends that you abide strictly by the Iowa laws and allow
nothing but games of skill.  Protect yourself and do not sell privileges for
corn games, corno, bingo, etc., wheels of any kind or any other game of
chance." (...)

   18 January 1924, APPLETON POST-CRESCENT (Appleton, Wisconsin), pg. 5?,
col. 1:
   The next card party will be given on Jan. 31.  A corn game, called bingo,
is scheduled for next Wednesday night.

   24 January 1924, APPLETON POST-CRESCENT (Appleton, Wisconsin), pg. 5, col.
   A large crowd attended the bingo corn game given by the Loyal Order of
Moose Wednesday night in Moose temple.

(27 June 2001 post from Bapopik at
BINGO (continued)
   From THIS WEEK, NYHT, "Bingo!", (Pg. number cut off), col. 3:  Despite its
obvious derivation from lotto, which itself is a variation of the ancient
Greek pastime, bingo recently has been claimed as the brainchild (Col. 4--ed.) of
two Americans.  Hugh J. Ward, of Hazlewood, Pittsburgh, was the first to put
himself forward as the "inventor" of the game.  He got the idea, he said, at
the Toronto Exposition in 1916, when he saw several Canadian soldiers playing a
game they called "horsey-horsey."  Also similar to lotto, the soldiers' game
had 109 combinations.  Ward says he reduced the combinations to 75, dubbed his
game bingo, and began operating it at carnivals.Several Chicago companies
started making bingo sets in 1924, and in 1933, as the game began to achieve
popularity, Ward wrote a book of bingo rules and published it.  Directly it was
copyrighted.(...)(Col. 5--ed.)The other "inventor" had better luck.  A
Massachusetts game manufacturer, who claimed to have popularized the game in 1933,
argued that he had coined the word "beano."  Taking the case into court, he won
the sole right to that name, and bingo sponsors were forbidden to call their
games beano unless they used his equipment. (...)

(So maybe the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, you know, the publication that was digitized
last summer...--ed.)

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