Since the founding of AGCA in 1985, and with our evolution to become the AGPC, our organization has honored individuals who have made major contributions to games and puzzles. Our awards have evolved to be aligned with our major mission areas: games, jigsaw puzzles, and mechanical puzzles.
The Sam Loyd AwardThe Sam Loyd Award is given to an individual who, as an entrepreneur, has been responsible for the promotion of the interest in mechanical puzzles, through the design, development, manufacture, and/or distribution of mechanical puzzles.
This award is named after Sam Loyd, who invented thousands of puzzles of all types, including mechanical puzzles, word puzzles, mathematical puzzles, logic puzzles, etc. Loyd began inventing puzzles in the 1870s. His Cyclopedia of Puzzles contains almost 5000 puzzles. His first important contribution to mechanical puzzles was the 3-piece cardboard cut-out Mules Puzzle. In 1896 he patented his most remarkable mechanical puzzle, his famous “Get Off the Earth” puzzle.
Sam Loyd Award Recipients
1998 Bill Ritchie (originally an AGCA Abbott Award) - Founder of Binary Arts (now known as ThinkFun)
2000 Stewart Coffin - Designer, wooden interlocking puzzles
2002 Nob Yoshigahara - One of the world’s foremost mechanical puzzle designers
2006 Jerry Slocum -World-renowned mechanical puzzle collector, researcher, and author
The Spilsbury Award
The Spilsbury Award recognizes an entrepreneur who has made a significant contribution to the jigsaw puzzle field, either by the design, manufacture, or promotion of jigsaw puzzles.
The award is named after John Spilsbury, an English mapmaker, who cut and sold "dissected map" puzzles in the 1760s. His work as an early manufacturer of jigsaw puzzles has been well documented, and he is widely credited with their initial commercial development.
Spilsbury Award Recipients
2001 Steve Richardson -
Expert puzzle designer and cutter, and owner of
2004 Katie & Bob Lewin - Founders of Springbok Editions in 1964, producing innovative jigsaw puzzles
2007 Anne Williams - Renowned collector of jigsaw puzzles, researcher of their history and the many companies and individuals who made them, and accomplished author of several books on jigsaw puzzles
The Bradley-Parker Award
Lithographer Milton Bradley, who started his company in 1860, and game inventor George S. Parker, who went into business in 1883, were among the greatest entrepreneurs in the game industry. Bradley is credited with the first large-scale mass-marketing of games, and Parker with the mass production of games that appealed to adults as well as children, and their legacy has made the Bradley and Parker names recognized throughout the world.
Bradley-Parker Award Recipients
2005 Francis Spear - The last generation of Spears to run the famous Spear & Sons company
2005 Victor Watson - CEO of Waddington’s Games
2008 Bruce Whitehill - Founder of AGCA/AGPC, author of influential game history and price guide, game designer and researcher
Previous AGCA/AGPC Awards
The Abbott Award is named after Anne Abbot, one of the first entrepreneurs in the game industry, and an inventor of games published by W. & S.B. Ives in the mid 1800s. Abbot invented the first truly American card game, “Dr. Busby”, and the first American sports game, “Game of the Races”. The Abbott Award was awarded each year from 1993 to 1998 to an individual who showed an entrepreneurial spirit in the industry and helped promote games through their invention, design, manufacturing, and/or marketing.
In conjunction with the name change from AGCA to AGPC, in 1999, the Abbot Award was retired. Its last recipient, Bill Ritchie, exchanged his Abbot Award for a Loyd Award when the mechanical puzzle award, more appropriate to his accomplishments, was introduced.
Abbot Award Recipients
1993 Jim Prentice - Electric Game Company
1994 Robert J. Whiteman - Bettye B. Company
1995 Douglas R. Bolton - Cadaco-Ellis
1996 Lynn Pressman - Pressman
1997 Sid Sackson - Game inventor
1998 Bill Ritchie - Founder of Binary Arts
The AGCA Hall of Honor
The Hall of Honor was established by the AGCA to acknowledge those individuals, no longer living, who have contributed significantly in some way to the development of American games and/or to the game industry in the United States. This includes company founders and presidents, manufacturers, inventors and designers, illustrators, promoters and agents, and the like. The award ceased in 2000 when the AGCA became the AGPC.
Inductees in the AGCA Hall of Honor
1994 Milton Bradley - Founder of Milton Bradley Company
1994 John McLoughlin - Founder of McLoughlin Brothers
1994 George S. Parker - Founder of Parker Brothers
1995 Elizabeth Magie Phillips - Inventor of the Landlord’s Game (a.k.a. Monopoly)
1996 Edmond McLoughlin - The “other” McLoughlin brother
1997 E. G. Selchow - Cofounder, Selchow & Righter
1998 E. E. (Elmer) Fairchild - Cofounder, Alderman-Fairchild Co.
1999 E. I. (Edward Imeson) Horsman - Founder of E. I. Horsman Co.