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Puzzle, TRI'-N'-DO-IT

Puzzle, TRI'-N'-DO-IT

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John D. Boyle (1891-1968), an English-born New York advertising executive who lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, patented several mechanical puzzles.. At least two of these were produced, including this one, which sold under the name TRI'-N'-DO-IT. The puzzle consists of three wooden cylinders held together by three wooden dowels and a shaped metal piece. The goal of the puzzle is to take apart the pieces.
A mark on one of the cylinders reads: TRI'-N'-DO-IT (/) TR.MK. (/) US PAT 2207778 (/) IT COMES APART (/) WITHOUT FORCE. Boyle applied for a patent for this puzzle August 30, 1939, and received it July 16, 1940.
Compare MA.333295 and MA.333289.
John D. Boyle, “Puzzle,” U.S. Patent 2,207,778, August 30, 1939.
“John D. Boyle, 77, Ex-Head of an Advertising Agency,” New York Times, May 30, 1968, p. 25.
Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans, Puzzles Old & New: How to Make and Solve Them, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1986, p. 52.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1940
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 2 cm x 8.25 cm x 7.5 cm; 25/32 in x 3 1/4 in x 2 15/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Edith R. Meggers
Mathematical Recreations
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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