The original punchboards were wooden and made their debut in taverns back in the 1790’s. Players paid a fee, selected a silver circle on the board and punched their choice with a simple punching device. If the punched out slip contained a winning number or symbol, the player won food, drink, or a special prize.
In the 1870’s, punchboards began appearing in their present cardboard form. In 1913, with the first mass printing of the boards, they began flooding the country. They reached their peak of popularity in 1939 and could be found in bars, restaurants, drugstores, and barber shops.
During the 1950’s, in an effort to control ‘racketeering’, Congress passed strict laws regarding the interstate transportation of gambling devices. While not specifically mentioned, punchboards as a ‘chance device’ clearly fell within the governing regulations. As one manufacturer stated, “It took the wind right out of the industry... it’s never been the same since.”
Punchboard games of chance are still legal in many states and are often used for fundraising by fraternal, veteran, and religious organizations.
The most valuable punchboards are artistically imprinted boards sometimes found in antique stores, private collections, and online.
Since the dawn of civilization, humans have kept track of time by the moon, the stars, and the sun.
In Africa and Europe, archeologists have found notched bones – used to record moon phases.
Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, Babylonians worshipped the moon. Months began and ended with the full moon. At the full moon, the half moon, and the new moon, they would take a day off from work to rest and worship. This meant that a holy day (holiday) would occur about every 7 days. The Babylonians called this day “Sappatu”. The Babylonians had Jewish slaves who called this day the Sabbath. Eventually, every week became 7 days because 7 became an important number: some considered it magic or mystical. This is because astronomers had found 7 planets in the night sky (the word planet means “wanders the universe”). The planets were thought to be (or represent) the gods and each day of the week was named after the planets.
Our current names for the days derive from these original names in the following way:
Today, there are approximately 40 different types of calendars in use, including: the Gregorian (most common), the Hebrew, the Indian, the Islamic, the Persian, the Chinese, the Ethiopian, the Tibetan, the Buddhist, and the Balinese Pawukon.
The oldest known calendar is a Lunar Calendar in Aberdeenshire, Scotland which was constructed around 8,000 BC, using a series of earthen ‘pits’.