Tiddlywinks Chronology

Year Date Event Area Reference
1888 8 Nov Joseph Assheton Fincher files provisional specification for English patent for a “New and Improved Game” History UK Patent # 16,215
1889 29 Jan Fincher applies for an English trademark for “TIDDLEDY-WINKS” History UK Trademark # 85,800
15 May “TIDDLEDY-WINKS” trademark published in Trade Marks Journal History UK Trademark # 85,800
19 Oct Fincher’s patent application approved History UK Patent # 16,215
1890 18 Jan Query about tiddledy-winks, new game in British Guiana History Notes & Queries, page 48
22 Sep E. I. Horsman Jr. applied for a patent for “Parlor Tennis” Equipment US Patent # 442,438
7 Nov Extensive rules for tiddledy-winks, including tiddledy-winks tennis, appears in a book Rules The Young Folks’ Cyclopaedia of Games and Sports, by John D. Champlin Jr. and Arthur E. Bostwick (date from introduction), pages 725-726
1891 23 Oct John Kendrick Bangs’ book Tiddledywink tales is copyrighted Books US Copyright # 38,009
6 Dec Macy’s newspaper ad includes tiddledy winks Publicity New York Times, page 17
6 Dec Bang’s book Tiddledywink tales is reviewed Books New York Times, page 19
1892 6 Apr John Kendrick Bangs’ book The tiddledywink’s poetry book is copyrighted Books Copyright # 15,185
24 Apr Emily Lytton wrote a letter to Rev. Whitwell Elwin about a tiddledy-winks party Books In A Blessed Girl, 1954, pages 97-98
1936 20 Feb The Duke of Kent sees TIDDLYTENNIS (An Ernest Sewell game manufactured by The London Magical Co.) played at the British Industries Fair Publicity Daily Telegraph, 21 Feb 1936
Daily Sketch, 21 Feb 1936
1947 Early reports of tiddlywinks play at Cambridge in England
1954 The beginnings of enduring tiddlywinks activity at Cambridge
1955 The Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club (CUTwC) is formed Club On the Mat
by Guy Consterdine
First match (CUTwC vs. Whitcomb’s Winkers) played under modern squopping rules Tournaments
1956 Marchant Trophy (teams championship) established
1958 The English Tiddlywinks Association (ETwA) is founded Club
1 Mar CUTwC plays The Goons, representing Prince Philip Tournaments Winks Rampant
by Guy Consterdine
First CUTwC vs. OUTS match Tournaments
“Official” rules agreed upon at First World Congress Rules
4-2-1 scoring system defined (but no potout point transfer) Rules
Free turns limited to the number of free winks after the squop-up Rules
Time limit optional; games were usually played until a potout Rules
Marchant equipment becomes tournament standard Equipment
1960 First Varsity Match, Cambridge vs. Oxford Tournaments
Oxford introduces double squop strategy at Cambridge-Oxford match Play
“Time limit” (to be agreed upon by team captains ) introduced as a result of the double squop strategy (previously games ended via potouts) Rules
1961 Prince Phillip Silver Wink Trophy donated (university team championship)
Xylophone freeing shot outlawed; current rule for desquopping introduced (can hit winks only directly below top wink) Rules
Winking World, a publication of ETwA, first appears Publications
1962 Aug-Sep The Oxford University Tiddlywinks Society (OUTS) tours the United States, sponsored by Guinness Stout Publicity
British winkers attend university in Canada and start “pre-NATwA” winks teams
Steve Carnovsky pots 4 out of 5 from the line during a Harvard team practice; the source of the name for the “Carnovsky” shot. History
Dec Life magazine article on Harvard tiddlywinks appears History
1963 Time limit points increased from 2 to 3 for a potted wink (to encourage more potting) Rules
Addition of five extra rounds after the time limit for a game expires Rules
Rule change to only lose one turn no matter how many of your own winks sent off Rules
1965 Baselines added to mats Rules
Point transfer for potting out added to rules Rules
Squidge-off winner ends rounds Rules
1966  27 Feb The North American Tiddlywinks Association (NATwA) is founded Club
1969 Newswink, a publication of NATwA, first appears Publications
(Approx) Sharp squidgers become prevalent in England when Keith Seaman develops a method for machining them Equipment
First published discussion (in WW) about possible advantage of dominant corners
1970 IFTWA established
First NATwA National Pairs tournament Tournaments
(Approx, may have been 1969) Bristol shot developed at Bristol University Play
1971 First ETwA National Singles tournament Tournament
1972 MIT tour of England; sharp squidgers brought back to USA; boondock strategy “exported” to England Play
Games no longer being played on the floor Play
First ETwA National Pairs tournament Tournaments
First NATwA National Singles Tournament Tournaments
“Good” shot (desquop using wink adjacent to the pile) invented by John Good at MIT Play
1973 First World Singles match Tournaments
1974 (Approximately) 2 ply grey felt mats no longer being made; switch to new source all white mats Equipment
1975 (Approx) Increasing popularity of using a more wide-open, long squopping strategy as an option
to pure “positional” play
1976 NATwA establishes 30 second rule (clock stops automatically, no opponents’ choice) Rules
1977 Original red tapered pot supply almost gone; NATwA pot mold commissioned (late 1976) and “new” pot production begins Equipment
1978 First World Pairs match Tournaments
Squidger diameter limited to between 1 and 2 inches Rules
1979 Joe Sachs popularizes “squop-style” bring-ins Play
“Foreign visitor” rule for World Challenges agreed upon; however national title still went to highest
national finisher even if foreigner finished first
1980 Pam Knowles’ NATwA singles win prompts consensus change that national titles go to winner (foreign or not); highest national finisher also gets world challenge (as was decided previously) Rules
1981 30 second rule revised to opponents’ choice; adopted by NATwA and ETwA Rules
Free turns rule clarified so that free turns before time limit do not go into rounds Rules
Length of games standardized at 20 minutes for singles and 25 minutes for pairs (previously ETwA used 20 minutes for both and NATwA 25 minutes for both) Rules
NATwA and ETwA rules “converge” (with a few minor exceptions) Rules
1982 “Personalized” winks banned for tournament games (a result of Charles using a “flattened” set of winks created via Larry’s boiling method) Equipment
“New” Italian winks introduced; judging winks as squopped or unsquopped becomes much more
difficult (among other things)
1984 Megacrud blowup shot outlawed; 2 inch “jab” rule introduced (ETwA) Rules
1985 American tour of England Tournaments
1986 Bristol (or Cambridge) Good shot developed at CUTwC (may have been 1987) Play
1987 (Approx) First use of flexible squidgers for potting nurdled winks (After Jon introduces his Sainsbury mint jelly top squidger, Nick inadvertently buys a different brand with a very flexible lid) Play
“Push” pile shot (no downward motion) ruled not in the spirit of the game, leading to better
rules wording for the definition of a legal shot.
1988 British tour of the United States Tournaments
1990 British tour of the United States Tournaments
Ratings (from Nick) first published in Winking World (best rant material ever)
“Nominated wink” rule for failure to free incorporated (proposed by Rules Committee in 1989) Rules
1991 25th anniversary celebration of NATwA Celebrations
1992 The term “tiddlies” replaces “time limit points”, providing the answer to the common question, “If those are the winks, what’s a tiddly?” Rules
1993 First Scottish National Pairs tournament Tournaments
“Playing out of turn” rule refined so that offended party decides which color to shoot next Rules
2004 Major rewrite of rules to make them easier to read/understand and to clarify some of the more
complicated situations (the problem of piles crossing the boundary has yet to be solved)
2005 50th anniversary celebration of modern winks and the first modern tiddlywinks club, the
Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club
2006 Jul NATwA celebrates its 40th anniversary with events at Cornell and elsewhere in Ithaca NY Celebrations
2008 1 Mar To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famed Goons vs. CUTwC Royal Tiddlywinks Match of 1958, Prince Philip designates the Savage Club to be his royal champions to play CUTwC in Cambridge, England Celebrations
2009 10 Jan The first triples tournament is held in the UK: the London Triples Tournaments

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