Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Ruth Pickering (American, 1876-1984)
"Games Worth the Candle," in Arts and Decoration
February 1933

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Norman Bel Geddes Database

Job 56, War Games, 1926-1945

Summary: Bel Geddes was an avid historian of military strategy, devising an elaborate war game as early as 1915 and hosting legendary war-game parties in his New York apartment in the 1920s and 1930s using an aerial view model he had constructed.

Geddes overlapped concepts and technologies developed in his various gaming and theatrical activities (he also created an automated horse race game) in his design work. The aerial perspective of his war game was repeated in the Shell “City of Tomorrow” and in Futurama. Mechanical track systems that moved scenery in The Miracle also operated the race track and drove the model cars along Futurama’s highway system.

Partial records remain of the 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Wars, ca. 1926-1930. Material also includes a proposed 1937 game and a 1940 Navy game.


(click image for description)

Box/Location Folder Description
box 5 56.1 Correspondence 1929-1942.
box 5 56.2 Fourth War Game Official Record --- Orders, situation maps, weekly reports.
box 5 56.3 Fourth War Game Official Record --- Tack Order 1926? Notes 1939.
damaged flat box 1 56.1 Sixth War Game --- Day 2-20. Orders, situation maps.
damaged box 7 56.1 Sixth War Game --- Day 15-18, 84, 85-? Orders, map annexes, summaries.
damaged flat box 2 56.1 Sixth War Game --- Day 21-28 Situation maps.
damaged flat box 3 56.1 Sixth War Game --- Day 35-63 Orders, diagrams,maps.
damaged box 7 56.2 Sixth War Game --- Day 59-70 Orders.
damaged flat box 4 56.1 Sixth War Game --- Day 77-? Situation maps.
damaged box 7 56.3 Sixth War Game --- Day 155-231 Situation maps, summaries.
damaged box 7 56.4-5 Geographical Concordance and numerical index.
damaged box 7 56.6 Map blueprints without notes.
damaged oversize box 1 56.1-4 Map blueprints without notes.
box 5 56.4 Seventh War Game --- Rules, schedules, documents Nov. 1929- .
box 5 56.5-6 Eighth War Game --- "Rules of Play" w/ms. revisions.
box 5 56.7 Eighth War Game --- "Rules of Play" 2nd copy without annotations.
damaged box 8 56.7-12 Eighth War Game --- Weeks 1-6.
damaged box 9 56.13-14 Eighth War Game --- Weeks 7-8.
damaged oversize box 1 56.1 Eighth War Game --- 10 blueprints with notes - situation maps. 1 sketch, 1 negative image of table contour map [8th War?].
box 5 56.8 Military Game of Strategy and Tactics 1937.
box 5 56.9 Separation Sheets. Annotated negative envelope.
photo box 1a 56.1 Record Copy photograph of 1/3 of War Game Table; 1939 war map photo.
negative box 1 56.1 4 Negatives of 1939 war map with exposure notes.
box 5 56.10 Navy Game --- Memos; forms; clippings 1940.
box 6 56.11 Publicity Writing --- Clippings 1929-1945.
damaged box 9 56.15-16 Blank forms.
damaged box 9a 56.4a Blank forms.
damaged box 9b 56.16a Blank forms.
damaged box 9 56.17 Data --- Solution Map US Army Staff School.

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