The Believer is running an excellent piece on Norman Bel Geddes, an early American industrial designer and game creator. One of the most fascinating bits details his mechanical horse racing game and its impact on Raoul Fleischmann, co-founder of The New Yorker:
“It was a tense race and a close finish, but Raoul’s horse won,” Geddes would recall decades later. “Not until five minutes before sailing did someone remember, and shouted, ‘Raoul, your ship!’ into his ear. Raoul dashed from the house without hat, coat, or winnings, and arrived at the pier in time to watch the Europa—her gangplank in, her docking lines aboard, her whistles wide open, and her railings draped with wives and children hysterically sobbing—set sail without him. Raoul won his second race of the evening, however, when an amiable tug captain put him aboard the ship in mid-channel.
Gedde himself was a little more humble about the game:
The Nutshell Jockey Club would usurp all of Geddes’s previous games, despite his insistence that he’d “never been the slightest bit horsey.”
Read the entire article here.