The History of Weather Dice
My first glimmer of weather die comes in 1986. I’m not sure about the date but what I do remember is sitting at the Holland tunnel waiting to get into New York city. The rain was pouring down and I’m stuck in traffic listening to news on the radio. The news is telling me it’s sunny and warm and yet here I am sitting in the rain and it’s not just on the New Jersey side, it was raining everywhere. It was raining all the way through New York city area. So I thought, this guy does not even have a window to look out at the weather. He sits in his radio studio and it seems he does not even have a friend in Pennsylvania who could tell him what weather to expect. You could tell he’s in a dark, dark room with his studio TelePrompTer just reading out what it is telling him to say. He’s telling me it’s sunny as I sit in the rain. He doesn’t even seem to have a friend outside, he doesn’t have anyone in Pennsylvania, he has no one to tell him what is actually happening outside.
To me I thought; “Wow you don’t really know what the weather is would be better off rolling the dice to figure out the weather might be. I thought they’d like have a better chance of being right than sitting there in this dark room with no way to know what the weather is outside much less predicting what weather might be coming. That’s where the dice idea started to jell.
It was sometime in the 1990s, well after I left the gift industry and was working in the computer industry where I was building and selling computers and computer services. So I had plenty of money because that was a lucrative new technology to be in. I remember so many times where the weatherman was wrong and I would tell my friends about my Weather dice idea and each time they would tell me “why don’t you make the dice it is a good idea. So I ask myself, finally, what the hell is stopping you? I thought, OK maybe I will. So I started investigating how to make the dice come into reality.
I’m an American and I wanted to make these dice American. I looked and looked, I researched everywhere but I couldn’t find anyone to make weather dice in the USA. It looks like I had to give up on “Made in the USA” and what the heck could I do? I got a hold on a few companies who claimed they could manufacture the dice. They said they’d make the dice and the cost came out to be $25 a pair and that was not on a card or anything to market them with. I didn’t know what to do. I thought, well let me call Parker Brothers and see where they make their dice. The guys there were friendly and they told me they make their dice in China. Seems that’s the only place you can make dice so so I got in touch with a broker who ends up the only broker to make dice. He got me a price and it was a great price. It mean I could sell these at a dollar to $2 a pair and that was really what I wanted to do.
Once the manufacturer came up with the specs to complete the job I started working on the card and the actual designs on the dice. This was 1992. It took another year to finish the designs for the card front and back as well as the dice for the 6 sides and then I had to come up with great wording to print on the card and give it some spark.
Once I had the designs and art done I had to get the patent in place. I sent for the patents and placed the “patent pending” mark on the art when I sent it off. Since the patent was submitted I had a valid pending mark in 1992. You can use the QR code to see it. The interesting thing is that search gives you some other patents on dice and they have images! Some are almost 100 years ago.
I did finally, after many back and forth letters and lawyers, get the actual patent granted from the US patent office. However in 2012 I did not renew it. I wanted to get the actual patent certificate and put it up with this article but I haven’t been able to find it. I will find it eventually, I did save it as it’s a cool little thing with the seal on it and everything, as well it was one of my first patents.
Check out this back:
To be continued and expanded….