Stroboscopic photo of a wink being potted in the game of tiddlywinks The North American Tiddlywinks Association
T i d d l y w i n k s !
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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   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
Play  
    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   (Approx) 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 Play  
1976   NATwA establishes 30 second rule (clock stops automatically, no opponents' choice) Rules  
1977   Original egg cup 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 Rules  
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" (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) Equipment  
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. Rules  
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) Rules  
2005   50th anniversary celebration of modern winks and the first modern tiddlywinks club, the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club Celebrations  
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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