This tabletop Bagatelle game was donated to the Museum in 1980. It was manufactured by the Lindstrom Tool and Toy Company, Bridgeport, Conn., in the United States in 1932. It appears to be one of a series of bagatelle games made by Lindstrom which used the same materials and designs, but printed different pictures on the top surface. Compare this game with Lindstrom's Playing Card Bagatelle Game in this section.
This board is made of wood, printed paper, tin, and has nails and metal strips as marble deflectors in various places on the board's surface. It is a rectangle 56.9cm long x 35.8cm wide x 3cm high, with the top surface shaped into an arch. The outer sides of the playing surface are enclosed by a metal frame 3cm high. A target hole is cut into the board in front of painted pictures of wild animals. The intent is to achieve points by having a marble land in a target hole on the board's surface.
For proper play, the top of the board should be raised upon a support on the table so that the bottom of the board sits on the table and the entire board slants downward toward the player. Like most standard tabletop Bagatelle games, this game was designed for a right-handed player. On the right side of the board is a Runway - a covered metal channel with an open hole half way up its length in which to place a marble. The function of the Runway is to direct the marble to the top surface of the board.
When a marble is placed in the Runway hole and the board is properly slanted, the marble rolls down the Runway and rests against a Plunger - a spring-loaded cylindrical rod which when operated by the player, propels the marble up the Runway.When a player pulls the Plunger and releases it, the Plunger cylinder hits the marble, propels it up the Runway, and then gravity takes over and the marble rolls down the slated board surface. The degree of propulsive force upon the marble is dependent upon how far out a player extents the Plunger from the board and how quickly the Plunger is released. Different degrees of force cause the marble (during its decent on the board surface) to rebound against the sides of the board and against the embedded nails which act as deflectors. As the marble rebounds against the nails, it either falls into a target hole (resulting in a player scoring points), or comes to rest at the bottom of the board without resulting in any score for that "shot".
Last update February 25, 2010