Milton Bradley Biography

Milton Bradley was a businessman and a manufacturer of toys and board games. He founded Milton Bradley Co.


Milton Bradley was born on November 8, 1836, in Vienna, Maine. He started his career as a draughtsman and lithographer but when he printed and sold the board game, ‘The Checkered Game of Life’, it was so successful that it led him to form Milton Bradley and Company. The company was a longtime leader in the American manufacture of games and toys. Bradley died in 1911.

Early Life and Career

Manufacturer and businessman Milton Bradley was born on November 8, 1836, in Vienna, Maine. After various positions as a draughtsman, he became interested in lithography and introduced the first lithograph press to Springfield, Massachusetts in 1860. He is reagrded by many for launching the board game industry.

Launching Board Game Industry

Bradley printed and personally sold a new parlour game, The Checkered Game of Life, which became so profitable that he formed Milton Bradley and Company (1864) to print games and game manuals. In 1869, he published the first book on kindergartens in the U.S., Paradise of Childhood, by the German kindergarten pioneer, Friedrich Froebel. Bradley followed up with a series of kindergarten materials, newsletters and children's books.

Interested in teaching colours, Bradley wrote and published four books including Color in the Kindergarten (1893). In 1893 his company began publishing the Kindergarten Review which became the journal of the International Kindergarten Union. His partners retired in 1878 and he reorganized as Milton Bradley Co, which long retained its position as a leading American manufacturer of games and toys.


Bradley died on May 30, 1911 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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