BURLINGTON — A private collection of funny, “punny” and serious rebuses from the 1800s to modern day is on exhibit Feb. 24 at the Logic Puzzle Museum, 533 Milwaukee Ave. Two 90-minute sessions will be available — at 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Rebus puzzles, phrases and stories written with letters, words and pictures combined, have been around for hundreds of years. Humor and puns are common elements in a rebus, but some have serious messages. To read it, one must first solve the puzzle.

Antique postcards in the exhibit include a 1914 postcard titled “A Farmer’s Love Letter” picturing 11 different vegetables in the message, and another fancy antique postcard with just four words and two images for the message. A rare rebus game pre-Civil war is exhibited. Girl and boy names from 1916 in rebus form is a favorite in the exhibit, with several names still unsolved by any visitors.

Antique rebus holiday cards, vintage valentine rebus cards, Victorian dating cards, postcards from 1905, Sam Loyd rebus puzzles and contemporary rebus puzzles will be displayed and are begging to be solved. The writing of correspondence in rebus form became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Rebus letters served either as a sort of code or simply as a pastime. At one time it was popular for national companies to offer rebus puzzles in their ads. A soap company in 1891 offered $1,000 in prizes.

Each session begins with an introduction and time to see the exhibit, plus the option of also trying up to 60 hands-on mechanical puzzles. Other days are available by appointment for groups of four or more, school age to adult. Admission is $10. Call 262 763-3946 to reserve tickets.

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Community Coordinator

Loreen Mohr is the community coordinator for The Journal Times.

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