ANTIQUE-THE BUSH BALL GAME (FOOTBALL GAME)
An early 20th Century patented football game, initially called the Bush Ball Game in its original box. We believe this to be the sample model and therefore the only example in existence.
The game seems to have been developed in 1912 by George Bush who gave a description of the game on the back of a property rental agreement for 19, Aldensley Road, Hammersmith, Middlesex which was dated 12th December 1911.
A patent application was filed by George Bush, Henry Booth & John Watson on the 31st May 1915, the patent numbered 8033/1915 was approved and a copy of this is available with the game, and was granted for the invention of improved appliances for playing table games. A framed copy of the original specification is also available.
In the patent application, a description of how the game is played was given and an extract from this follows:
A suitable arrangement of our improved ball game will now be described as a representative of football. The board which represents the football ground is provided at opposite ends with goal posts in which is provided a suitable recess into which the ball must be placed to obtain a goal. Around the board is arranged a suitable fencing or guard preferably comprising upright posts and connected by a series of horizontal cords or wires which prevent the ball from rolling off the board. The ground is provided with a series of zones or depressions, each of which may have a series of grooves adapted to direct the ball towards their centre. At the centre of each of these depressions are provided two plungers, one of each of which is connected through a lever to a finger piece at opposite ends of the board and adapted to be operated by the opposing players. Each of these plungers face and operate in a different direction pointing towards the opponents goal, and by actuating the fingers pieces which operate the plungers in the particular depression in which the ball rests, one or other of the players may knock the ball from the space until one of the players finally secures a goal by knocking the ball into the recess between the opponent’s goal post.
They then changed the name of the game to The Allies Onset or Table Football and produced leaflets suggesting that the game would appeal to wounded servicemen back from the First World War. Drawings and the sample game were sent to ‘The Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops’ for disabled soldiers & sailors to see if they would manufacture the game, but unfortunately they were turned down as the construction was somewhat intricate and rather beyond the power of the men available.
The game can be removed from the case enabling you to see the mechanics and it is fairly easy to see why the game was probably never put into production.