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William Andrew Fuld
October 1st 1893 - November 19th 1976
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William Andrew Fuld

William Andrew Fuld was born in Baltimore, Maryland on October 1st 1893 to William Fuld and Annie Schmidt. He was the oldest son of seven children, five boys, and two girls. Listed from oldest to youngest; Carrie Anne, William Andrew, Katherine Bowie, Paul Ambrose, George Edward, Arthur Francis, and Hubert Harris. Their first born son William Andrew was named after his father William Fuld. William Andrew's youngest living sibling was Hubert Harris Fuld, twenty years his junior. As William's eldest son, William Andrew was the natural successor to his father's business. He not only had his father's name, but also his sense of invention and vision of marketing. He would take his father's Ouija board and Mystifying Oracle and make them the most popular talking boards in history. His campaign to have these boards carried in every toy and novelty store in America resulted in the crushing defeat of every knock off talking board manufactured. While some of these other talking boards would do well for a time, the Ouija board managed to outlive them all. Without William Andrew, the Ouija board would be a shadow of what it is today.

William Andrew attended public schools and for a short time attended Baltimore City College. By 1910 he left school to work full time for the family Ouija and toy business. It was William Andrew who sent out mailings to his uncle Isaac Fuld's customers citing potential infringements of Isaac's Oriole boards on his father's Ouija boards. Tragedy struck the Fuld family on February 24th 1927. William Fuld, while overseeing the replacement of a flagpole was tragically killed by complications falling from the roof of his three story Harford, Lamont, and Federal Street factory. William Andrew was thirty-four years old. He took over the business as president and became his youngest brother's mentor and surrogate father.

He and his sister Katherine Bowie would run the Ouija and toy business together until Hubert was experienced enough to take over. On April 5th 1921 William Andrew was assigned his first patent on a wheeled toy (No. 1,373,631.) His first Ouija related patent was granted on August 9th 1932 (No. 1,870,677) for his modern interpretation of the talking board, the electric Mystifying Oracle. Though this talking board would demonstrate William's vision for taking the talking board into the twentieth century, the Great Depression had other plans. The board cost $3.50, too much for a struggling public. WWII broke out and most of these boards were melted down for scrap metal. On May 2nd 1939 William Andrew was granted a design patent on the Ouija board doing away with the familiar stars on the bottom of the board and replaced them with depictions of people playing the board. It was William who actually drew those now familiar figures.

William Andrew Fuld married Tommye Hunt in the late 1930's. Tommye also worked for the family business. They didn't have any children and later divorced. He was a family man who loved his brothers and sisters deeply. He enjoyed singing and was a member of a local choir. Like his sisters, William Andrew attended the Peabody Institute Conservatory from 1923-1927 studying voice. He was forced to leave the school in 1927 following the death of his father.

Besides his family, his first love was the Ouija board. Even after naming his youngest brother Hubert Harris Fuld as president, he never stopped working at the business. After suffering a series of small strokes in the mid nineteen sixties, William Andrew, Hubert, and Katherine were forced to break their promise to their father. On February 24, 1966, they sold the entire business, including the Ouija board, to Parker Brothers.

Without the Ouija board William Andrew found solace in a beagle named Daisy given to him by his niece Kathryn Ann. He also spent time with his sister Katherine on Hubert's boat. William Andrew Fuld died surrounded by his family at the age of eighty-three on November 19th 1976 after suffering a massive stroke.