Kangaroo Puzzle, Once Owned by Olive C. Hazlett

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This example of Kangaroo, a set of three puzzles, 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.
Kangaroo was made by the Douglass Novelty Company of Detroit, Michigan and sold for ten cents. It is listed in American Game Collectors Association’s The Game Catalog: U.S. Games Through 1950 (8th ed., Oct. 1998, p. 40) as having been made in about 1930.
The box contains a shiny orange cardboard playing board and twelve, six gold and six silver, small blank cardboard discs. The directions for the three different puzzles are printed on the inside of the cover of the box. The playing board is square and has small circles and squares marked on it. There are also two rows of number marked, one runs from 1 to 10 and the other runs from 1 to 8. The directions for each puzzle specify a starting position, the rules for moving the discs (including jumping), and the required final position of discs.
The first puzzle was a popular puzzle described by W. W. Rouse Ball in his Mathematical Recreations and Essays. The other two are related to another puzzle described by Rouse Ball and ascribed to P. G. Tait, a 19th-century Scottish mathematician remembered for his work in knot theory.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1930
Douglass Novelty Company, Inc.
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 1 cm x 14 cm x 13.5 cm; 13/32 in x 5 1/2 in x 5 5/16 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


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