N.p. Ajax Boards, Circa 1930s. Vintage gambling punchboard, marketed to an African American audience, with punch stick still sealed under a printed label. Holograph pencil annotation to the distributor company label on the verso notes the board as serial No. 3322.
The predecessor to modern-day lottery scratch cards, punchboards originally came into use in the 18th century, created by tavern owners from pieces of wood, with small holes drilled into the wood which contained paper tickets or game pieces. The holes were then covered over by paper or foil, and after purchasing a chance at the punchboard, patrons would puncture one of the hole covers (typically with a nail or in later years, a metal stylus included with the board) and retrieve the ticket. Boards increased in popularity throughout the ensuing decades, hitting a peak in the 1930s in bars and drugstores, before being discouraged and even outright banned in several states after World War II as a result of national crackdowns on gambling.
Approximately 4 x 2.5 inches. Near Fine.