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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Souvenirs ➔ Egg Puzzle, Columbus World's Fair

Identifier:
2018.19.4
Description:
This is an egg-shaped dexterity puzzle commemorating and sold as a souvenir at the 1983 World's Columbian Exposition (AKA World's Fair) in Chicago, Illinois in 1983. The object of the puzzle, getting the egg to stand on its end, refers to the legend about Christopher Columbus standing an egg on end in order to make a point about how solutions or explanations seem simple only after one is already aware of them.

Inside the egg are a small ball and pocket. The puzzle is solvable once one manages to manipulate the egg so that the ball rests inside the pocket.

The egg is made of nickel-plated metal. Engraved in the top of the egg is a bust of Christopher Columbus along with "1492" "1892" "PATENTED."  A series of concentric rings of engraved text circle around the image:
  • First ring: "PATENTEES - CHICAGO - P.M. BAUMGARDNER & CO."
  • Second ring: "EGG PUZZLE - - COLUMBUS - -"
  • Third ring: "SOUVENIR - - WORLD'S FAIR - -"
Date:
1893
Materials:
Nickel Plate., Metal
Dimensions:
2"" h 1 3/4"" w
Current Location Status:
In Storage
Source:
Gift of Ward A. Paul and Charles G. Schoenknecht
Links:
http://articles.mcall.com/1992-11-29/entertainment/2884470_1_egg-christopher-columbus-plating;https://www.pressreader.com/usa/country-woman/20180301/281569471151532;https://digital.wolfsonian.org/WOLF011388/00001;http://www.worldsfairauction.com/catalogs/catalog-20.pdf;https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_of_Columbus
Makers/Donors
Ward A. Paul

Charles G. Schoenknecht

P.M. Baumgardner & Co.
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