The commercial introduction of the Ouija board took place in the year 1891 through the efforts of businessman Elijah Bond, who introduced the Ouija board as a game of entertainment. Earlier that year Ouija board advertisements had started appearing in papers, featured with titles such as: “Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board”, which was used to boom a Pittsburgh toy and novelty shop!
The Ouija board was described in the advertisements as e.g.: a magical device that answered questions “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy”, and promised to present “never-failing amusement and recreation for all the classes” plus a link “between the known and unknown, the material and immaterial.”
The full 1891 advertisement is displayed in the picture above (left column); various examples of today’s versions of the games are displayed below.
Source: The Pitssburg dispatch