This piece of cardboard was once part of the box for a very old Parker Brothers version of Tiddledy Winks.1 I must say that adding faces, legs and arms to the winks makes them a bit creepy.
A lot creepy, actually.
We call the game tiddlywinks now. But it was patented as Tiddledy-Winks in 1889 by Joseph Assheton Fincher and was a popular adult parlour game in Victorian England.
Here are some more tidbits about the game from the frighteningly comprehensive Wikipedia page and the website of The North American Tiddlywinks Association:
- The modern and "serious" version of tiddlywinks was the brainchild of some University of Cambridge undergraduates in January 1955. By the 1960s, at least three dozen universities in Britain had official clubs.
- Over here in the States, Severin Drix of Cornell and Ferd Wulkan of MIT helped to popularize the game on college campuses in 1965.2
- In "serious" tiddlywinks, many competitors custom-make their own squidger -- the disc used to shoot a wink. Top players might take up to twenty different squidgers -- made of plastic, glass, rubber, cork, or even onyx -- to an event.
- Songs written by the North American Tiddlywinks Association Song Committee include "You'll Never Squop Alone," "Song For Old Winkers," and "Home on the Mat."
- In the latest Tiddlywinks World Ratings, the top five players are Larry Kahn, Matt Fayers, Patrick Barrie, Matthew Rose and Dave Lockwood.
1. The cardboard measures 12¼ inches wide by 7 inches deep. I couldn't quite fit the entire piece on my scanner; a little bit is shaved off the right side. Here's what the entire box looked like.
2. Severin and Ferd are, indeed, real people and not characters in the Harry Potter series.