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William Fuld Factories
1208 Federal Street, Baltimore, Maryland
1306 North Central Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
331 North Gary Street, Baltimore, Maryland
1226-1228 North Central Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
1508-1514 Harford Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland

2511 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland
Warwick Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
1318 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland

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Early Factories

William Fuld Manufacturing Company was the first company William owned outright and he incorporated his own name into it. It was born in 1901 after the partnership with his brother Isaac dissolved into a ninety-six year old family feud. William started his own company at his home of 1208 Federal Street in 1901. He moved again in 1903 to 1306 North Central Avenue and continued to work out of his home. In 1907 he moved his Ouija board operations to 331 North Gay Street and called this address his "Factory and Show Rooms." In 1910 William launched his new showrooms at 1226-1228 North Central Avenue just a few blocks away from his home at 1306 North Central Avenue which he kept as the company's main office. In 1917 the Ouija board told him to “prepare for big business” so he bought a block of land across the street from his old address of 1208 Federal Street. 1508-1514 Harford, Lamont and Federal was a three story, thirty-six thousand square foot factory unlike anything built in Baltimore at that time. It cost one-hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars and opened its doors in late 1918.

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Harford, Lamont, and Federal Street

On February 24th 1927 fate intervened. While overseeing the replacement of a flagpole, William Fuld was tragically killed by complications falling from the roof of his three story factory. The iron support he was leaning on gave way, and he tumbled backwards off the roof, grasping and catching one of the factory windows and then falling to the ground. He suffered a “concussion of the brain, five fractured ribs, a broken arm, a fractured leg, and numerous cuts and bruises.” An employee who witnessed the fall picked him up and rushed him to the hospital where he later died from one of his broken ribs piercing his heart. Laying on his deathbed he made his children promise they would never sell the Ouija board.

William Andrew would become president for a time and Katherine Bowie would become vice president. Hubert Harris would become president by 1942 though William Andrew stayed very active in the company's future and development. William Andrew introduced the Electric Mystifying Oracle and redesigned the Ouija board making it into what we recognize today. He also artfully maneuvered the Mystifying Oracle to take over in case the Ouija trademark was revoked and when it held firm, he decided to officially merge the two. He discontinued the Mystifying Oracle as its own talking board, and the Ouija would become Ouija the Mystifying Oracle.

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2511 North Charles Street

The Ouija and toy company would remain at Harford, Lamont, and Federal until about 1950 when costs were cut by farming out the manufacturing of the different Ouija pieces and having them shipped, assembled, and packed in Baltimore. At this time William Fuld, Inc. ceased making any other toys and only produced the Ouija board. William Andrew and Katherine Bowie lived in and owned 2511 North Charles Street. They temporarily moved the headquarters of the business there in and then in 1959 rented space on Warwick Avenue while construction on their new location was completed. During an upturn in Ouija board sales the doors of 1318 East Fort Avenue opened in 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland and the business would remain there until being sold to Parker Brothers on February 24, 1966.

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1318 East Fort Avenue

William Fuld's company witnessed the evolution of William Fuld, his family, and the Ouija board. It watched as William took the Ouija board from obscurity to the number one game in America. It was born out of the feud with William's brother Isaac, and it grieved his tragic death. It was taken over by his children giving the Ouija board a chance to adapt and find its place with a new generation. It sat silently as the Ouija board's design changed and moved from wood to paper over pressed board and plastic. It was the plaintiff of many lawsuits and put other knock off companies out of business. Most importantly it created and kept the mystique of the Ouija board by not determining what the Ouija was, letting everyone else decide. Without information people made up their own stories about the origins of the Wonderful Talking Board and thus a legend was born. William Fuld as a company manufactured the Ouija board for sixty-five years from 1901-1966.