Baltimore will soon have another historical site recognizing the city’s contributions to the history of the mysterious talking boards known as Ouija. The city will unveil a new plaque commemorating the contributions of Helen Peters Nosworthy, who was known as a “strong medium,” in giving the Ouija its iconic name. The ceremony will take place at 1:30PM on Friday, April 24, 2015, as part of OUIJACON events at the Baltimore Harbor Hotel at 101 W Fayette St, Baltimore, MD 21201.
The event will also announce a Mayoral Proclamation making April 25, 2015—the date the Ouija was named—as Ouija’s 125th Anniversary.
Helen Peters Nosworthy, affectionately known as the “Mother of the Ouija Board,” is the woman responsible for giving the Ouija its mysterious name. Letters printed in the Baltimore Sun, originally discovered by Talking Board Historical Society (TBHS) founder Robert Murch, revealed that a woman by the name of “Miss Peters” asked the then-unnamed talking board what it would like to be called. The board spelled out O-U-I-J-A, and when asked what the term meant, it responded “Good Luck.”
The plaque will join other popular landmarks commemorating Ouija’s contributions to the city, including the first public landmark in Maryland acknowledging the city’s Ouija history: William Fuld’s 1919 Harford Avenue Ouija factory, as well as the popular Ouija-inspired headstone of Ouija patentee Elijah Bond in Baltimore’s historic Green Mount Cemetery, which has since become the historic cemetery’s most-requested gravesite.
“Ouija’s place in modern pop culture is at an all-time high, and there’s no better time to recognize its contributions to Baltimore’s history than on its 125th anniversary,” says Murch. Indeed, with the recent success of the Ouija movie and the first redesign of Hasbro’s iconic board since 1998, the popularity of talking boards is soaring.
“The history of Ouija is the history of Baltimore, and this plaque helps recognize the contributions of Helen Peters Nosworthy and others to that history,” says TBHS vice-president Brandon Hodge.
This unveiling is made possible by the Talking Board Historical Society, in partnership Baltimore City officials, the Baltimore City Commission For Historical and Architectural Preservation, and the Baltimore National Heritage Area. You can meet the TBHS’s Board of Directors and the researchers that are at the forefront of recovering and preserving Ouija history at tbhs.org. Talking Board Historical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.