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Maze Puzzle - Mercury Maze

Mercury Maze

  • Object:

    Maze Puzzle

  • Place of origin:

    England (designed)
    England (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1978 (designed)
    1978 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Loncraine Broxton & Partners Ltd (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded plastic

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Caroline Kitchener

  • Museum number:

    B.245-2010

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Mercury Maze, Game of Skill was designed by Loncraine Broxton & Partners in England in 1978. The company won a number of Design Council Awards in the early 1980s for their plastic puzzles and games such as Mindbenders and Aquabatics. These puzzles were aimed at older children and teenagers, as well as adults and families in general.
The aim of the game is to rotate and tilt the puzzle to get the silver blob of mercury into the centre of the maze. It is a late example of the use of mercury in a game aimed at children and young people. Mercury is known to be toxic and hazardous to health and the environment, and is consequently banned or restricted from use in manufacturing. Similar maze games now use a ball-bearing or something similar instead of mercury.

Physical description

Circular shaped puzzle with a black plastic base and clear top. The maze inside is silver and shaped like a cube. There is a small blob of mercury contained within the plastic shell of the game.

Place of Origin

England (designed)
England (manufactured)

Date

1978 (designed)
1978 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Loncraine Broxton & Partners Ltd (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded plastic

Marks and inscriptions

'LONCRAINE BROXTON & PARTNERS LTD © 1978 ENGLAND / MERCURY MAZE TM GAME OF SKILL'
Moulded into a circle on the back of the game

Dimensions

Diameter: 14 cm, Height: 0.9 cm

Object history note

The puzzle was owned and played with by Roy and Caroline Kitchener who lived in Surrey in the early 1980s. Roy could solve it but Caroline never could.

Historical context note

Loncraine Broxton & Partners won several Design Council Awards in the early 1980s for their plastic puzzles and "mind-bending" games, including this Mercury Maze puzzle.

Descriptive line

Mercury Maze puzzle, designed by Loncraine Broxton & Partners Ltd, England, 1978.

Materials

Plastic; Mercury

Techniques

Moulding

Categories

Children & Childhood

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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