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About the Games

Many, if not most, of the games played by children (or adults, for that matter) of the mid-nineteenth century required little, if any, equipment. The booklet American Children's Games contains some of these frequently active games that children played, requiring usually only willing participants. The booklet Mid-Nineteenth Century Parlor Games contains games for parties where both adults and children might be present. However, a few games -- as opposed to sports which usually have equipment requirements -- did have some necessary equipment or parts. Some, like the board games of fox and geese or nine-man's morris, used a playing board or surface where the movement of markers was the object. Others, like graces or tip cat, used the equipment to promote a physical activity. Depending upon the game these could be played by children or both children and adults, As a rule of thumb, the games played on a table would probably be games for adults. I would leave it up to the individual parent whether they would allow their children to play with cards or dice.


GameShort DescriptionPrice


This in a moderately inexpensive but still very nice wooden backgammon board. The playing surface is recessed so all the playing pieces can be stored in the board when it is closed.

$ 30.85

Playing Cards

These are the plain paper playing cards often seen in museum exhibits as examples of soldiers' pastimes, not glazed and without numbers.

$ 8.95

Playing Cards of Generals

A reproduction set of playing cards with images of civil war generals. Originally printed in the 1860's. These are modern glazed cards.

$ 6.00


A folding form of the classic game of chess.


Chinese Puzzle or Tangram

A geometric puzzle popular during the nineteenth century with numerous variations. Comes with 24 puzzle patterns and solutions and a cloth bag.



A card game played in the 19th century that used a board with holes and pegs to keep score. May be played with two or four players.

Cards are included but consist of modern coated cards. If using for a nineteenth century impression, you may wish to purchase Playing Cards as well.

$ 5.95


Dice could be used for a variety of games, especially by the soldiers. In this latter category was the game chuck-a-luck. The dice come three to a set in both wood and, to simulate lead dice hammered from musket balls, pewter.

Pewter $ 5.45
Wood $ 2.60


Dominoes were a popular pastime during the 19th century. Milton Bradley's "Games for the Soldiers" included pieces and rules for four different games. They were also used in a variety of magic tricks.

$ 6.50

Fox & Geese

This game dates back to the 1300's in Europe. It was brought over with the colonists and is mentioned in children's activity books of the 19th Century.

$ 13.35


This game is mentioned in activity books for both boys and girls. It consists of two pairs of sticks, two wooden hoops, and some ribbons for ornament. The hoop is tossed back and forth on the sticks and, with the ribbons attached, almost looks like a period illustration.

$ 19.10

Graces Replacement Hoops

In case you lose a hoop, these are the wooden hoops only without the ribbons.

$ 7.00


This set comes complete with pewter jacks, both rubber and wooden balls, and a carrying bag.

$ 7.95


Check with us before ordering. Our supplier was out of stock of these so we'll have to wait until they have them again. These marbles are made of baked clay similar to those boys could have purchased inexpensively or even made themselves for the many games they played with marbles. Includes ten small marbles, one large shooter, and a leather pouch.

$ 6.60

Nine Man's Morris

A strategy game for two players mentioned in numerous game books.

$ 15.00

Nine Pins

This is a tabletop or indoor version of a game similar to bowling.

$ 14.95

Pick-Up Sticks

Also known as Jackstraws, the rules have not changed from the way they are played now.

$ 8.50


This game consists of a wooden block holding wooden pegs in the shape of a cross. The pegs are jumped over one another to try to have as few pegs remaining as possible (with the ideal being one in the center).

$ 8.25

Tip Cat

A game consisting of a pointed block of wood that is hit with a flat bat. Several different games are possible. Directions for the different games are included.

$ 7.00

Trap Ball

A precursor for baseball involving a ball launcher and a flat bat.

$ 45.00