Puzzlers' League is the granddaddy of organization
s dedicated to wordplay
and puzzles. They were founded on July 4, 1883 (that's right...they've been in continuous existence since the late 1800's) when a group of word puzzle freak
s met at Pythagoras Hall
in New York
, New York. Originally, they called themselves "The East
ern Puzzlers' League" but were renamed the "Nation
al Puzzlers' League" in 1920.
Dues paid by its members fund the publication of their monthly magazine, "The ENIGMA" (originally "The Eastern Enigma"). In the beginning, "The Eastern Enigma" usually contained very few puzzles in each issue, reporting instead on the business conducted at conventions, debates on controversial puzzle topics, and even poems and skits written by League members.
In 1970, the editors were sure that the League was preparing itself for sudden death. Membership was declining sharply and editors had very little material to put in "The ENIGMA". However, the League showed that it had the strength of a thousand elephants, and fought off the cancer of low membership. Since then, the League has grown like the mighty Scots Pine; the number of puzzles in "The ENIGMA" every month has increased greatly along with the puzzles' ingenuity.
Until 1958, members met around once a year, sometimes more, for a Puzzlers' League convention. But, from then on to the 1970's, low membership and interest discouraged the meetings. Then, in August 1976, the Puzzle Gods saw it fit to bless the League with a successful convention in Princeton, New Jersey. Since then, the League has held a convention every summer for three to four days, each bringing great success. They've had conventions all over the Land of the Free; California, New York, Indiana, Colorado, and many other places.
Back in the day of the Eastern Puzzler's League, conventions were mostly boring business discussions and voting junk. *YAWN* The powers that be finally realized that conventions would be much more fun and be more likely to attract new members if puzzle-play-time was included. So, modern conventions consist of very little business discussion and mostly puzzle competition and puzzle talk.
It should be noted that none of the personnel working for the League are paid for doing so. The source of income for the League comes from membership dues and donations.