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Designer
Publisher
Year Published
1840
# of Players
4 − 5
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Playing Time
20 minutes
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Category
Mechanic
Primary Name
Dr. Busby
Alternate Names
Dr. Fusby MD
Game of Doctor Fusby
Game of Dr. Busby
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ObjectID: 13571
Description Edit | History

Dr. Busby is the first game to sell so many copies, that it is considered as having started the game craze in the United States.

HISTORY:
According to the March 7, 1843 Salem Gazette newspaper, The Improved and Illustrated Game Of Dr. Busby was first published by W. & S. B. Ives of Salem, Massachusetts and went on sale that date. In the May 1843 Boys and Girls magazine, the components of the first edition were described: a gold embossed thumb-hole cloth (maroon) case with printed instructions card (yellow) and four sets of 5 cards, each set outlined in a different color: brown for the Busby family, red for the Doll (the dairymaid) family, yellow for the Ninny-come-twitch family, and blue for the Gardner's family.

S(tephen). B. Ives continued to hold the Ives' games copyrights after he and his brother William dissolved the business in April, 1854 (as mentioned in William's newspaer, The Salem Observer).

Stephen's son, Henry P. Ives partnered with A. Augustus Smith to take over the business until Henry bought Smith out in 1861 according to the 1861 Salem directory.

Stephen, his son Henry, and elder son David (with a dry goods business in Boston) continued to publish the game until 1887 when the last remaining Ives' family member, Henry, sold the copyrights to George S. Parker.

During the interimum, editions were printed by the Ives' family with Milton Bradley labels, Henry P. Ives and Selchow & Righter labels, S. B. Ives and E. G. Selchow labels, and S. B. Ives and E. G. Selchow and E. I. Horseman labels.

According to a letter many publishers were associated with Dr. Busby until 1886 but they really were purchasing and reselling Ives' published games.

In the 1890's McLoughlin Brothers ignored the copyright and put out there own version as did many other major American game manufacturers. That is why you see so many publishers of Dr. Busby in the 1890s.

George S(winterton) Parker made grandiose claims about the games he published which lead to a number of mistakes by historians who failed to go back to the primary sources when describing the history of Dr. Busby.

Consequently, sParker Brothers rulebook...

"This game was the first ever published in America, being brought out of Salem in 1840."

Anne Wales Abbot may have first made a prototype of Dr. Busby in 1840 but there are no primary sources to prove this is the case. It may be because the first edition that was published by W. & S. B. Ives is called The Improved and Illustrated Game Of Dr. Busby. Before that published edition with an 1843 copyright, no other earlier editions have been found with or without a copyright date.

George S. Parker, in his 1895 edition of the board game, The Mansion Of Hapiness, made another incorrect claim. The game box cover states that The Mansion Of Happiness was the first board game published in America. There are at least three copies of F. & R. Lockwood's The Travellers' Tour Through The United States (copyright 1882) and one copy of F. &. R. Lockwood's The Travellers' Tour Through Europe in private and museum collections. So Parker was wrong in this claim too.

RULES:
The game consists of 20 cards, divided into 4 families: the Busby Family, the Dairymaid's Family, the Ninnycometwitch Family, and the Gardener's Family. Each family has 5 members, for example the Busby Family consists of Dr. Busby, his Wife, Son, Servant and Dairymaid's black-eyed Lover.

The starting player begins by asking the player on his right for any card not in his own hand. If that player has the card he calls for, he gives it to him and the starting player may call for another card and so on until he calls for a card which the player doesn't have. Then the next player takes his turn, but must first call for those cards which have been called for and obtained by the first player. Thus it becomes a game of memory since any incorrect call ends a turn. When a player has called every card from the player on the right (thus putting that player out of the game), he may continue to call from the next player on the right. At the end of the game, the winner will have successfully called all the cards into his own hand.

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More Information Edit | History

I found this game on E-bay while searching my last name. The information there is a bit different, as the illustrations. The following is the item number, link address, and history, as listed by seller. Tonja Busby-Blandon, BlandonTm

291268842321

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1843-IMPROVED-ILLUSTRATED-GAME-OF-DR-BUSBY-by-W-S-B-IVES-PRE-CIVIL-WAR-/291268842321?pt=Folk_Art&hash=item43d0f9d351

For your consideration is this very rare pre civil war card game of Dr. Busby published by the firm of W. and S.B. Ives in 1843.
W. & S.B. Ives of Salem, Massachusetts, is credited with being the first major manufacturer of games in this country and this was the first card game mass-printed and published in America.
As document in a book entitled "Prose and Verse" by Charles E. Trow, the game was first created by Anne Wale Abbott in Salem Massachusetts and she produced a very small quantity of the game for local residents. She approached the Ives brothers with their publishing house in Salem Massachusetts to publish her game but was turned down. She then went to Boston to several other publishers and was again turned down. In a last attempt, she approached the senior brother, William Ives, and made her pitch again. This time he accepted but only printed 500 packs of the game under the title “THE IMPROVED AND ILLUSTRATED GAME OF DR. BUSBY”. The game of Dr. Busby became so popular that every major game publishing house in the United States created various versions of the game over the course of the next 70 years, well into the early 1900’s.
This original version of the game offered here is complete with all 20 of the original HAND COLORED cards. As you can see in the pictures, the cards are in good condition for being 171 years old and have no rips or tears. The images are all stong and the hand colored paint is still impeccably bright. Early games, such as this were produced by hand-coloring a monochrome print, a time-consuming and expensive process.
The game consists of four families, as follows: (1) The cards with the Mortar & Pestle in the corner are the Busby Family, consisting of Dr. Busby, his Wife, Son, Servant and Dairymaid's black-eyed Lover; (2) The cards with the pan of milk in the corner are the Dairymaid's Family, consisting of Doll the Dairymaid, her Father, Brother, Servant and Pan of Milk; (3) The cards with eye in the corner are the Ninny-come-twitch Family, including Mr. Ninny-come-twitch, His Wife, Son, Servant and One Eye; and (4) The cards with the spade in the corner are the Gardener's Family including Spade the Gardener, his Wife, Son, Servant and Spade.
The slipcase sleeve that holds the hand colored cards is in nice presentable condition. The front label reads THE IMPROVED AND ILLUSTRATED GAME OF DR. BUSBY, SALEM, MASS. PUBLISHED BY W. AND S. B. IVES. The back has the directions for playing the game and are quite faded but the game is played as follows: “The players should sit round a table. The cards must be well shuffled and distributed equally. Any one of the players may begin the game by calling upon his right-hand neighbor for any card which he has not in his own hand. If his neighbor has the card he calls for, he must give it up to him. He may then call for another and go on till he calls for one which his neighbor has not in his hand. Then the next takes his turn calling first for those cards which have been called for and obtained by the first. The players must be attentive, and remember to call for every card which has been called and obtained before, if possible, as the game is made longer and more complicated by every failure of memory. When a player has called every card from the hand of his right-hand neighbor, thus putting him out of the game, he may continue to call from the next on the right hand. At the close of the game, the victor will have all the four families united in his hand.”

This is a very rare pre-civil war card game believed to be the first game to be mass produced in the United States. Additionally, Dr. Busby's black servant, an impeccably dressed and honorable man, is noted to be the earliest representation of an African-American in an American game.
This original hand colored game doesn’t come to market that often as there aren’t many still in existence and are treasured by collectors. This is your chance to own a piece of American gaming history!

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Game of Dr. Busby
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Game of Doctor Fusby
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