Mystery Maze, Once Owned by Olive C. Hazlett

This example of Mystery Maze belonged to Olive C. Hazlett (1890–1974). Hazlett was one of America's leading mathematicians during the 1920s. She taught at Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Illinois, after which she moved to Peterborough, New Hampshire. This and other of her puzzles and books of puzzles were collected from a community of Discalced Carmelite brothers who had lived in New Hampshire and who had befriended Hazlett there.
On the back of this puzzle there are marks that indicate that it was manufactured by the Harmonic Reed Corporation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and that a patent had been applied for. The following description of the puzzle appears in the February 3, 1951, issue of The Billboard: The Amusement Industry’s Leading Newsweekly on page 66 under Merchandise Topics: “To retail for 50 cents, Harmonic Reed Corporation has introduced its Mystery Maze puzzle. The plastic tilt puzzle, with clear top and standard beebee ball, has the unusual feature of a concealed section. Though unseen by the player, the ball must pass thru this section to reach the finish. However, if a mistake is made, the ball will not go farther and must be returned to the puzzle’s starting point before another try at the concealed section can be made.”
Currently not on view
date made
Harmonic Reed Corporation
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 1 cm x 7.6 cm x 7.6 cm; 13/32 in x 3 in x 3 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Hermitage of St. Joseph
Mathematical Recreations
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Mathematical Association of America Objects
Women Mathematicians
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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