Long before there was Skip-Bo, a Kalamazoo bookkeeper invented the card game Flinch.

Next time you give a gift, give something unique that was created here in Kalamazoo: the game Flinch. If you've played Skip-Bo, you know how to play Flinch. They are both stockpile games where the object is to get rid of all of the cards in your inventory by playing them sequentially.

A. J. Patterson was a bookkeeper at the Beecher & Kymer stationary store. Kalamazoo Public Library has the story on how he invented the game Flinch:

Patterson was an avid card player, and in 1901, while playing cards in his Vine Street home, he came up with the idea for a new game that would be played with a special deck that he would produce and sell. He called the game “Flinch” and ran the Flinch Card Company out of the offices of Beecher, Kymer, & Patterson at 122 South Burdick.

-Kalamazoo Public Library

All but forgotten today, the 150 card game was a national sensation when it debuted, selling a million copies in 1903. You can purchase a vintage 1913 edition on Amazon for about $60 or a new one for $40.

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