Were the Rights to the Board Game Operation Sold for Just $500?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to board games and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of all board game urban legends so far.

BOARD GAME URBAN LEGEND: The board game Operation was sold for just $500.

For over fifty years, fans of all ages have enjoyed the board game Operation, in which players have to test their precision skills by trying to lift items from small holes in a board (the board is of a man and the items are in parts of his body, like removing an apple from where his Adam’s apple would be – stuff like that) using a metal tweezers. If the tweezers hit the metal sides of the holes, then an electrical current is connected and a buzzer goes off and the patient’s nose lights up.

As the story goes, the whole rights to the game were sold for $500 and a job – and only one of those two things ever actually happened!

Is it true?
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How Did Abe Lincoln Growing a Beard Kick Start Milton Bradley’s Gaming Career?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to board games and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of all board game urban legends so far.

BOARD GAME URBAN LEGEND: Milton Bradley got into board games because Abraham Lincoln grew a beard.

Milton Bradley (1836-1911) was a Massachusetts draftsman who turned to lithography to make a living in 1860.

In 1860, Bradley lucked into one of the hottest selling lithographs of the day, a popular portrait of the man who would become President of the United States that year, Abraham Lincoln.

Massachusetts was almost universally Republican at the time, so Bradley was selling the prints constantly, and with Lincoln headed for the White House, Bradley figured he’d have a cash cow for at least the next four years.

Then, something happened that would change Bradley’s life forever.

Abraham Lincoln grew a beard.
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