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Manias of the Gilded Age

May 9 2011
Instructions
Print, How many have you sent? Souvenir post card craze, Oct. 17, 1906, J.S. Pug

The Gilded Age saw the introduction of many games, sports, dances, hobbies, and activities that blazed bright for a while, but then dimmed considerably. Test your knowledge of these 19th-century fads.


  1. By far, the biggest puzzle craze of 19th-century America was:
    A.

    Tangram sets, first brought from China by New England sailors in the 1820s

    B.

    Pigs in Clover, a maze of concentric circles, first marketed in the 1880s, which the player tilted in order to bring marbles into a central pen

    C.

    The Fifteen Puzzle, also called the “Boss puzzle” and the “Gem puzzle,” which first became popular around 1880. It was a shallow square box containing blocks, numbered 1 to 15. Like later forms of the “sliding puzzle,” the player had to rearrange the numbered blocks by sliding them around into a set order. The set was usually sold arranged so that all the numbers were in order except for the last two, 14 and 15, which were reversed.

    D.

    Crossword puzzles


  2. Which of these popular Gilded Age card games is not in the same family of games as the others?
    A.

    Euchre

    B.

    Whist

    C.

    Poker

    D.

    Bridge


  3. Between 1878 and 1885, tens of thousands of Americans paid to see:
    A.

    Foot races on indoor tracks that lasted six days nonstop, the winner being the “pedestrian” who covered the most miles during that time

    B.

    Massed male choirs whose performances consisted of whistled arrangements of popular tunes in four-part harmony

    C.

    Cart races on indoor tracks in which women sat and held the reins and their husbands pulled the carts

    D.

    Circuses in which all the performers were chimpanzees or orangutans dressed like human clowns, aerialists, gymnasts, and animal trainers


  4. A game that swept the United States at the turn of the 20th century, after it had become a fad in England, was:
    A.

    Monopoly

    B.

    Skee ball

    C.

    Pin the tail on the donkey

    D.

    Ping pong