A Memorial Day Salute to Toy & Game Industry War Veterans

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Uncle sam

Wishing everyone a great Memorial Day Weekend, but remember to honor those who served for us and attend a parade or a service. My father was a Major in WWII liberating death camps in Germany and was never able to talk about it.

 

In our own industry, to name just a few who served our country:

 

Reuben Klamer, toy and game inventor, distinguished himself in combat as a Naval Officer in WWII.

 

Eddy Goldfarb, toy and game inventor, spent his WWII time on a sub inventing his first toy ideas.

 

Jack Pressman, founder of Pressman Toy, served in WWI.

 

Charles Lazarus founded "Toys "R" Us when he returned home from World War II where he had served as a cryptologist.

 

Walt Disney dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen to join the Army, but the army rejected him because he was underage. So, Walt joined the Red Cross and was sent to France, where he drove an ambulance, thus aiding the soldiers.

 

There are stories of game companies assisting in time of war as well:

 

Parker Brothers/Waddington produced special Monopoly games during World War II that were distributed by the Red Cross. The games secretly contained files, a compass, a map printed on silk and real currency hidden in the Monopoly money enabling prisoners of war to escape from German camps.

 

Milton Bradley temporarily abandoned games production at the outbreak of the Civil War. Mr. Bradley applied his drafting skills to plans for new weaponry, but as the war dragged on, Bradley began a tradition that was to be revived in every major American conflict for the next century. Seeing the boredom of the troops stationed in Springfield, Bradley produced a small kit of games for soldiers to play during their long hours of inaction. Included in the kit were chess, checkers, backgammon, dominoes and, of course, Bradley's own Checkered Game of Life. (http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Milton-Bradley-Company-Company-History.html)

 

Thank you to all those individuals and companies who have served and are serving. If you know of people or companies who have served, post your comments/tributes here.

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